Barry Rigal'The Expert Game'

                                   by Barry Rigal

 

 

Next month Terence's Reese's magnum opus The Expert Game', largely reworked and rewritten by me, and about one third increased in length,will be republished in the UK, nearly 40 years after it originally came out. Unfortunately in the USA, where the book was sold under the title Master Play', copyright reasons will prevent its being sold through the normal channels. However, you might be interested in an excerpt from the revised version. Reese was largely responsible for first promulgating material on what were then the exotic subject of winkles, vise-squeezes and stepping stones. The book now includes a discussion of the use of trumps in squeezes. Here are two hands featuring members of the GNYBA in action, by       coincidence from the last two Cavendish pairs events, from the chapter entitled Trump squeezes and one-suit squeezes...       "There is a whole genus of squeeze plays which require declarer to achieve an accurate reading of his opponents' cards. By and large the squeeze without the count, that is to say where a trick still has to be lost, forms some of the trickiest of positions. The strip-squeeze is but one example. There you endplay an opponent with his winner to lead into your tenace; however there are other more complex examples involving the use of trumps. The following two examples both show how ruffing-squeezes materialise, and how good players build up a picture of the whole hand and convert that assessment into a winning endgame.

 

                        T 5 3 2

                        Q 7 4

                        T 3

                        A J 7 4

 

            K Q 9                    7 6 4 

            K 9 8 5                  J T 6 3 2

            Q 6                      8

            K 6 5 2                  Q T 8 3

                        A J 8

                        A

                        A K J 9 7 5 4 2

                        9

 

When this hand occurred in the Cavendish Pairs the field generally elected to open One Diamond, although the hand offers an impossible rebid no matter what happens next, which argues for a strong opening to me. Be that as it may, a sizeable percentage of the field went overboard in Six Diamonds, and only one pair were lucky enough to make it when the opening       lead by an uninspired West was the SK. However the contract is actually lay-down on any lead but a club, and should be brought in if East makes the understandable early discard of a spade, allowing South to read the position in that suit. Declarer simply runs all his trumps but two, and this is the ending which materialises:

 

                        T 5

                        Q 7

                        --

                        A J

            K Q 9                     7 6

            K                         J T

            --                        --

            K 6                       Q T

                        A J 8

                        -- 

                        4 2

                        9

 

At this point, on the lead of the penultimate trump, West must bare his CK, and declarer leads to the CA and ruffs a heart, reducing West down to three spades; now a low spade from hand endplays West at trick twelve. Of course if West keeps two hearts in the five-card ending, a club to the CA squeezes him out of his penultimate heart or out of a spade trick. The       ending forces West to release a non-material card, his exit card, because declarer still has a trump left. A very similar play by Brian Glubok, won him the award for the play of the 1995 Cavendish tournament.

 

                        Q 8 6 4

                        J 9 6

                        Q J 7

                        8 4 3

            K 9 7 5 3              A J T 2

            7 3 2                  10

            10                     K 9 8 4 3 2

            K Q 9 2                7 5

                        Void

                        A K Q 8 5 4

                        A 6 5

                        A J T 6

 

Glubok reached Four Hearts having shown a very strong hand with hearts, and a subsidiary club suit. Most tables had few problems on a diamond lead, but here West led a low trump to the H9, H10, and HK. Brian expected that the opening lead was based on a good club holding, and he next led a low diamond to the DJ and DK. Not surprisingly, this was too tough for the       defence to read, and East played back the C7 to the C10 and CQ. A second trump was won in dummy, and a spade ruffed in hand. Now Glubok cashed two more trumps, and led the DA.  This was the five card ending;

 

                         Q 8

                         --    

                         Q

                        8 4

            K 9                     A J

            --                      K    

            --                      9 8

            K 9 2                   5

                        --    

                        4

                        5

                        A J 6

 

When Brian played a low diamond to the DQ, West was forced to let go of a spade. Now Glubok ruffed a spade to hand, and exited with the CJ, unblocking the C8 from dummy. In the two-card ending the defender had to lead from the C92

into the CA6 tenace. Again, West was forced to let go of his exit cards so that he could be stripped and endplayed.