Neither side vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} 9 7 5

{heart} A 10 5

{diam} A 3 2

{club} K 5 4 2

WEST

{spade} J 3

{heart} K J 9 6 4

{diam} J 10 9

{club} A 9 7

EAST

{spade} Q

{heart} 8 7 2

{diam} K 8 7 6 5

{club} J 8 6 3

SOUTH

{spade} A K 10 8 6 4 2

{heart} Q 3

{diam} Q 4

{club} Q 10

The bidding:

North

East

South

West Pass

Pass

1 {spade}

Pass 2 {club}

Pass

2 NT

Pass 3 NT

All Pass

Opening lead: {heart} 6

The ability to execute a squeeze denotes a fine declarer, but many types of squeezes exist, and declarer must often judge which one to try.

At the ACBL Summer Championships, South was expert Mike Becker. North's bid of two clubs conventionally showed spade support, and Becker tried 2NT next because he thought his queens would be most useful at notrump.

At 3NT Becker took the queen of hearts, cashed the ace of spades and led the queen of clubs. West won and led the king of hearts to dummy's ace.

Becker needed 12 tricks for a top score. Since he was sure of 11 and had lost one, conditions were right for a squeeze. If West had the king of diamonds, Becker could take the king of clubs and run his spades. On the last spade, West would succumb since he couldn't keep the jack of hearts and guard the king of diamonds. But if East held the king of diamonds, Becker had to try something different.

Becker cashed the king of spades . . . and East helpfully signaled with a high diamond! So Becker next took the ace of diamonds and ran the spades. With three tricks left, dummy had the K-5 of clubs and 10 of hearts, and Becker had a spade, the queen of diamonds and a club.

When Becker led his last spade, West had to keep the jack of hearts so could keep only one club. Dummy threw the heart. East had to save the king of diamonds and also had to reduce to one club. It was a double squeeze: When Becker led a club to the king, the five was good.

(c)2002, Tribune Media Services