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

Blocked Simple Squeeze

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South to lead:

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

In this rare and unusual position, the squeezer apparently has enough winners to take the remaining tricks, but a blockage in the near threat suit makes it impossible to cash all the winners. If there is no way to overcome this blockage in the previous play, South can still succeed in the diagrammed ending by cashing the club A; then if East discards the spade A, the North hand is high, while if East discards a heart, South can afford to cash the heart A, crashing North's K and East's Q, and leaving the J to win the last trick. As the diagram shows, this squeeze is automatic, working against either opponent; interchanging the heart winners leads to an even rarer positional cousin, the spectacular jettison simple squeeze. The 2-loser relative of this squeeze, the stepping-stone, occurs much more frequently.

If the lead were in the North hand, there would be no need for North's heart to be of winning rank; the position would be a standard automatic simple squeeze.

Variations

1) Idle cards: The diamond 2 in the diagram is an idle card, and can be replaced by a low spade (but not by a low club or heart, which would unblock the ending).

2) Extra winners: The blocked squeeze, rare enough in its standard position, has a large number of much rarer significant variants (a similar situation occurs with the variations of the criss-cross simple squeeze). In the position illustrated above, adding spade winners to the South hand makes the squeeze unnecessary, and adding heart winners to the North hand (while correspondingly adding heart losers to the South hand) does not significantly alter the nature of the position, but adding spade winners to the North hand or heart winners to the South hand will result in new positions. For instance, in the following positions, a single winner has been added:

Winner added to blocked threat:

 

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

 

 

 

spade symbol A
heart symbol J 10 9
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol
heart symbol A Q 8
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

Winner added to entryless threat:

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

spade symbol --
heart symbol A 10 9
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

In the position on the left, there is no great difference if East chooses to abandon hearts (South cashes hearts from the top), but if East chooses to abandon spades, then South will make only one heart trick; in compensation, the spade threat has been extended so as to provide two extra tricks in this case. Similarly, in the position on the right, if East abandons hearts, South develops two extra heart tricks to compensate for not making a trick with the spade A.

As with the criss-cross variants, adding winners to both threat suits gives two quite distinct possibilities:

Both threats extended (two extra tricks developed in suit abandoned):

 

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

 

 

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol J 10 9
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol --
heart symbol A Q 8 7
diamond symbol --
club symbol A

 

Neither threat extended (squeeze occurs when the second last free winner is cashed):

 

spade symbol A J 10
heart symbol K
diamond symbol 3 2
club symbol --

 

 

 

spade symbol K Q
heart symbol J 10 9
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

 

spade symbol --
heart symbol A Q 8
diamond symbol --
club symbol A K

 

 

In the criss-cross variants, the free winners in positions corresponding to the ending on the right could be split between the North and South hands. This is not possible in blocked squeezes, because the squeezer must eventually decide which hand will win the first round of the blocked suit; in the ending on the right, replace the club K with a club loser and the diamond 3 with a diamond winner, and East can safely unguard hearts, leaving South with a club loser at the end.

Theoretically, it is possible to go further with this process, adding more blocked winners. For completeness' sake, here is a schematic diagram describing possible endings in the blocked family (in the diagram, n stands for the number of winners held by North in North's own threat suit, s for the number of blocked winners in South's threat suit, and f for the number of winners remaining in the free suits when the squeeze card is cashed. Of course, South's heart winners must include the A, so that the K can be overtaken; in particular, s cannot be 0).

South to lead:

spade symbol (n winners) + (s + 1 - f losers)
heart symbol K
diamond symbol(f idle cards)
club symbol --

 

 

spade symbol (n + 1 cards)
heart symbol (s + 1 cards)
diamond symbol --
club symbol --

spade symbol --
heart symbol (s winners) + (n + 2 - f losers)
diamond symbol --
club symbol (f winners)

 

All hands in this ending have n + s + 2 cards; if East discards a spade on South's next free winner, then South cashes any remaining free winners, and crosses with a low heart to the established North hand; if instead East discards a heart, South can run the hearts from the top. Note that North's idle cards must all be in diamonds and spades (heart or club losers would unblock the ending).

The numbers n, s, and f must satisfy four conditions:

(A violation of either of the first two conditions would mean that North-South have the rest of the tricks without resorting to a squeeze; the third condition says that North, South, and West can have at most 13 spades between them; the fourth condition says the same thing about hearts.) This leaves no fewer than 48 possible values for n, s, and f, tabulated below:

n, s, f
n, s, f
n, s, f
n, s, f
0, 1, 1
1, 5, 2
3, 2, 1
4, 3, 1
0, 2, 1
2, 1, 1
3, 2, 2
4, 3, 2
0, 3, 1
2, 2, 1
3, 3, 1
4, 3, 3
0, 4, 1
2, 2, 2
3, 3, 2
4, 4, 3
0, 5, 1
2, 3, 1
3, 3, 3
4, 4, 4
1, 1, 1
2, 3, 2
3, 4, 2
4, 5, 5
1, 2, 1
2, 3, 3
3, 4, 3
5, 1, 1
1, 2, 2
2, 4, 1
3, 4, 4
5, 2, 1
1, 3, 1
2, 4, 2
3, 5, 4
5, 2, 2
1, 3, 2
2, 4, 3
4, 1, 1
5, 3, 2
1, 4, 1
2, 5, 3
4, 2, 1
5, 3, 3
1, 4, 2
3, 1, 1
4, 2, 2
5, 4, 4

The five sample endings in this article illustrate the cases 0, 1, 1; 0, 2, 1; 1, 1, 1; 1, 2, 1; and 1, 2, 2 respectively.

3) Losing squeeze card: The only condition here is that the far threat must include a winner if that suit might be returned when the squeeze trick is lost.