Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge


While playing at a sectional tournament in Victoria, I noticed this interesting deal.

Open Pairs. 1st session. Board 3.

South dealer. East-West vulnerable.

As East you held A103 K106 J1083 1076

This was the auction. 

West North East South
1 1 1NT Pass
2NT  Pass 3NT  All Pass

The lead was the 2  How would you declare 3NT ?  













At the table. Heart two, Declarer played five, North won with the ace, six. Heart seven, ten, queen and eight. South cleared hearts and East won with the king, discarded a spade from dummy.

Declarer took a reasonable shot, played South to hold the diamond ace, exited the diamond three. Alas North had that card and defeated the contract.

Did you find the line to make 3NT?

If you think about it, South could not have the diamond ace and the heart queen, he would have raised to two hearts.

What did the South hand looked like? Most likely shape was 4333. If he had more shape he may have found a bid.

What about the North hand? Give him KJxx AJxxx Axx x, if he had the club queen, he would have 15 high card points and may have made a takeout double instead. 

You had nine clubs missing four cards, the odds of them breaking 2-2 is about 40% and breaking 3-1 is about 50%.

Once you came to this conclusion, the rest is easy.


At trick 3, on the heart king discard the diamond king from dummy.

Trick 4, take the club finesse and run the clubs. North had to find five discards.

The first four discards should be rather painless. This is the position with the last club to be played. 


Dealer: South

Vul: E-W






















On the club 4, North is caught in a Strip Squeeze-A combing elements of squeeze and endplay.

North has choices of losing options.

-Discard the spade jack, gives up two spade tricks right away.

-Discard a heart winner, he be throw in with the diamond ace, endplay in the spades.

-Discard the diamond ace, gives up three diamond tricks.

Amazing, a hand that played itself! Do we call this the Solo line?


Jeff LehmanSeptember 29th, 2011 at 4:43 am

Very neat hand. Thanks for sharing.

The reading on who owns the DA (or, to a somewhat lesser extent, the SK) seems appropriate, and so the need for declarer to play on clubs and not a pointed suit, to pressure the overcaller, does seem indicated.

… But I am not so sure about either the club distribution or the ownership of the CQ. We know that hearts are 5-3, but, might North possibly have doubled 1C if he were short in clubs and had at least four spades? I am not at all sure about this, but I think a case could be made for playing clubs from the top. We know that North would overcall if 3=5=3=2 (and ownership of the CQ seems immaterial to the opponents’ auction), whereas North might have doubled (or bid Michaels) if 4=5=3=1.

Very few hands with a strip squeeze (unlike some other squeezes) ever “played itself”. Declarer still usually has to read the end position and could be foiled by some clever discarding by the opponents. This one, however, as you pointed out, does seem to be the exception.

David Memphis MOJO SmithOctober 1st, 2011 at 12:51 am

Great hand.

MichaelOctober 1st, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Hey Jeff,

While it is ture that was a guess as to which hand had the club queen and how the suit would break.

If you take the % line, 3-1 break more likely then 2-2 break then South odds on to have the queen.

Enjoying your blogs too.

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