1-Loser Triple Squeezes
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There are three distinct possibilities when the squeezer holds
three single menaces against the same opponent:
- There are 2 (or more) losers before the squeeze, and the
squeeze generates one trick. This is the triple strip
- There are 2 losers before the squeeze, and the squeeze
generates two tricks. This is often called a repeating or
progressive squeeze, although neither term is really
- There is only 1 loser before the squeeze.
Many positions can be constructed in which a player comes under
pressure in three suits when the squeezer has only one loser, but in
most cases, one of the menaces will be redundant and the position can
be played as a simple squeeze by ignoring the extra menace. The true
1-loser triple occurs when all three of the possible simple squeezes
are defective, so that all three menaces are required to squeeze out
the extra trick. Only these true cases are listed here. It is worth
noting, however, that a third threat will sometimes clear up the
ambiguity of a simple squeeze.
The 1-loser triple squeeze resembles the simple squeeze in that
only one opponent is threatened, and only one trick is gained; this
means that there will usually be a single squeeze card, a winner in
the free suit which forces the victim of the squeeze to abandon one
of the guards. The key point of 1-loser triple squeeze play is that
the squeeze card is usually the second last free
[Aside for the mathematically minded: To see why this is so,
suppose a player comes under pressure when forced to discard from a
holding of p cards in one suit, q cards in another, and r cards in a
third. Then the squeezer typically holds a total of (p-1) + (q-1) +
(r-1) winners in the threat suits; since the squeezer holds a total
of p + q + r - 1 winners (one less than the number of cards
remaining), the number of free winners will be 2, and the squeeze
occurs when the second last free winner is cashed.]
What kinds of defects in simple squeeze positions can be repaired
by adding a third menace? In terms of Clyde Love's BLUE
- Busy in two suits - more than satisfied, since all
three threats are against one opponent.
- Loser count equals 1 - satisfied by definition for the
1-loser triple squeeze.
- Upper hand contains at least one threat - must still be
satisfied for the triple squeeze to work.
So the problem must lie with the Entry condition. There are
two principal types of entry problem which can be fixed by adding a
- The free suit is blocked (the equivalent of A opposite Kx).
Sometimes there will be no entry to the hand opposite the last
free winner; sometimes unblocking the free suit removes a vital
entry. In either case, making the squeeze operate when the second
last free winner is cashed may solve the problem.
- A simple squeeze would operate if not for an inconvenient
winner in one of the threat suits, which can't be cashed in a
timely fashion without using a vital entry. Sometimes these
positions involve an obtrusive winner in the hand opposite the
squeeze card; sometimes they involve a blocked threat suit with a
winner in each hand, the equivalent of Kxx opposite A.
Both problems can occur in the same ending.
Like simple squeezes, 1-loser triples can be classified
structurally, according to the location of the menaces and the the
means of access to the menaces, but for 1-loser triples a thematic
classification into 7 categories, each containing several positions,
seems more illuminating.
- the positional 1-loser triple
squeeze, in which all three threats are positional in nature.
- the 1-entry 1-loser triple squeeze,
in which there is only one entry remaining after the squeeze card
- two classes of squeeze in which a blocked, recessed menace
(the equivalent of Kxx opposite A) is overcome;
- the double-cross
1-loser triple squeeze, in which one extra entry resolves the
- the triple-cross 1-loser
triple squeeze, in which entries in all three threat suits are
- the criss-cross 1-loser triple
squeeze, in which there is no blocked recessed menace, but at
least one threat is the equivalent of xx opposite A (or a ruffing
menace, xx opposite -- and a trump).
- the jettison 1-loser triple
squeeze, a progressive squeeze in which an inconvenient winner may
be discarded on the squeeze card.
- the shortstop 1-loser triple
squeeze, in which an n-card holding blocks an (n+1)-card
In classes 1 through 4, the squeeze card is the
second-last free winner. In classes 5 and 6, the squeeze card is
the last free winner.
Some patterns of variation can be observed in these positions:
- In several positions, a normal two-card menace (the equivalent
of x opposite Ax) can be replaced by a split menace (the
equivalent of Qx opposite Ax).
- Some positions occur in two variants, one with the squeeze
card opposite the last free winner, and the other with both cards
in the same hand. Typically, the last free winner provides a
discard for a menace card that is not established by the squeeze;
if this is so, then moving the last free winner to the other hand
will also require adding a recessed winner to one of the threat
suits to provide the necessary discard.