Legend: Green = Menace Card; Blue = Idle Card; Red = Trump

Automatic Simple Squeeze

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South to lead:

 

spade symbol A J
heart symbol --
diamond symbol 2
club symbol --

 

 

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol A
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 2
heart symbol K
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

This is by far the most common of all squeezes (in my records, more than a quarter of all squeezes are of this form). Its ubiquity is due partly to the simplicity of the requirements, and partly to the fact that it is automatic, working against either opponent. A closely related form is the twin-entry simple squeeze.

Variations

1) Idle cards: In the sample ending, North has an idle card in diamonds. This could be a loser in any of the four suits.

2) Extra winners: Extra winners in the suit of the far menace in either hand, or extra winners in the near menace in the near hand, have no effect on the squeeze. As with the positional simple squeeze, adding extra winners in the near menace to the far hand may introduce an element of ambiguity, but the situation is more serious with the automatic squeeze. Suppose the hand opposite the squeeze card contains winners in both threat suits, as in the following diagrams, where South is on lead:

West is squeezed:

 

spade symbol A J
heart symbol A 3
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol K 4
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

 

spade symbol 2
heart symbol Q 2
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

East is not squeezed:

spade symbol A J
heart symbol A 3
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol K 4
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

spade symbol 2
heart symbol Q 2
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

In the ending on the left, the squeeze is still effective, but the extra winner in the North hand has in effect converted the ending to a variant of the split positional simple squeeze. The ending on the right shows why this is a problem; now when the club A is cashed, North's hand is squeezed first, and East can ensure a trick by following North's discard. This is the reason for the technique called the Vienna coup; South should if at all possible arrange to cash the heart A before reaching the final squeeze position.

This problem arises in a somewhat more sophisticated form when the so-called Transfer Squeeze is considered (the terminology is unfortunate, but well-established). Consider the following endings:

West is squeezed:

 

spade symbol A J
heart symbol A 2
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol K 4
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 4 3
heart symbol J 3
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 2
heart symbol Q 10
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

East is not squeezed:

 

spade symbol A J
heart symbol A 2
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 4 3
heart symbol K 4
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol J 3
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 2
heart symbol Q 10
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

East is squeezed:

 

spade symbol A J
heart symbol 2
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 4 3
heart symbol 4
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol J
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 2
heart symbol 10
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

The peculiar form of the heart menace allows for a threat against either opponent; the Q threatens West's K, but South can also transfer the guard to East's hand by leading the Q, forcing West to cover, and leaving East with the only heart higher than South's 10. Such menaces can play a role in variants of any squeeze, and often it is unimportant whether the transfer is performed before or after the squeeze card is played. However, the need to execute a Vienna coup means that with the automatic simple squeeze, such menace transfers must be performed before the squeeze card is played.

In the first ending, West holds the spade guard, so the squeeze is effective (although as usual, it would remove ambiguity if the heart ace were cashed before the ending). In the second ending, East holds the spade guard, and the squeeze no longer works, since North has to make a critical discard first. In the third ending, South has managed to restore the squeeze by performing the transfer before the squeeze card is played.

3) Losing squeeze card: If one opponent is squeezed in the majors while South loses a minor-suit trick to the other opponent, then North-South must be able to control any return, and also South requires a re-entry in case the near menace is established. If the re-entry is in the suit of the far menace, it makes sense to consider the position a losing-trick version of the twin-entry simple squeeze instead, so suppose the South hand has a winner in the near menace. The position is still automatic (switch the East-West cards), and is also unambiguous, since South can test both threat suits.

 

spade symbol A J
heart symbol 3 2
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 9 8
heart symbol 4
diamond symbol --
club symbol 3

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol K Q
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol 3
heart symbol A J
diamond symbol --
club symbol 2