A three-suit criss-cross squeeze

By Henry Francis

 

John Sutherlin of the United States, playing with Russ Ekeblad, found a very unusual squeeze position to score his notrump game on this deal.

 

Dealer South. All Vul

S --

H K 7 5

D Q J 10 6 5 3

C 7 5 4 3

 

S A Q 9 8 4 3 2 S 6 5

H 10 3 H J 9 8 6

D 7 2 D A K 9

C 9 2 C Q 10 8 6

 

S K J 10 7

H A Q 4 2

D 8 4

C A K J

 

West North East South

- Ekeblad - Sutherlin

- - - 1C

2S 3C Pass 3NT

All Pass

 

Sutherlin was hoping for a spade lead, but West started with a diamond. Sutherlin put up the queen, but East allowed this to hold. Sutherlin led a club, successfully finessing, then led a second diamond to drive out the king. East also did not lead a spade he returned to clubs instead. Sutherlin won and decided to go after the spades himself, leading the king. West won and shifted to a heart. Of course Sutherlin won this in hand and drove out the queen of spades. He won the heart return with the queen, leaving this position:

 

S - -

H K

D J 6

C 7 5

 

S 9 8 4 3 2 S - -

H - - H J 9

D - - D A

C - - C Q T

 

S T 7

H 4 2

D - -

C K

 

Sutherlin led the ten of spades, discarded a diamond from dummy and what could East do? If he pitched a club, declarer would cash the club king, cross to the heart king and score the last club for his ninth trick. Of course East could not discard the ace of diamonds. And if he discarded a heart, Sutherlin would lead a heart to the queen, cross back to his hand with the club king and cash the long heart for his ninth trick. A three-suit crisscross squeeze.