Resumè on squeeze play by Victor Mollo

*      A simple squeeze takes effect when a defender cannot discard without unguarding one of two suits, thereby presenting declarer with a trick.

*      A double squeeze is a combination of two simple squeezes, one on each defender. Declarer has threats in three different suits, usually two one-card threats and one two-card threat. Each defender has to guard one of the one-card threats and, as a result, neither can keep a guard on the two-card threat. (David Bird)
A double squeeze takes effect when one suit is controlled by both defenders which also need to guard each one a second different suit. (Yvon)

*      Every squeeze demands two MENACES (or more). The first can be a one‑card menace, but the second must have at least two cards, headed by a winner. The two hands must have a link, and this must be with the two‑card menace.

*      In a POSITIONAL squeeze both menaces are in the same hand over the victim. The squeeze takes effect because the victim has to discard before the hand with the two menaces.

*      In every other type of squeeze the menaces must be divided one in declarer's hand, the other in dummy. The squeeze takes effect because the victim is OUTNUMBERED. He cannot keep in his one hand as many ACTIVE cards as declarer and dummy between them.

*      To make a squeeze effective, it is necessary to reduce the victim's hand to the point at which all his cards are ACTIVE. There must be no IDLE cards.

*      In preparing a squeeze the above is of paramount importance. The first step is to concede the inevitable losers, relying on the squeeze for ONE extra trick only. lf the defenders do not cash all their winners, declarer must FORCE them to do so before giving effect to a squeeze. This is known as RECTIFYING THE COUNT.

*      Sometimes a further step in preparing a squeeze is needed a menace position must be " re‑arranged ". This play, known as the Vienna Coup, arises when a menace is blocked by higher cards opposite (e.g., Q x opposite A x or J x x opposite A K x). The high cards are played first, " releasing " the menace card opposite to do its work.

*      In planning a squeeze declarer looks for two menaces against the same defender. Sometimes one menace is readily available, but the other is doubtful; perhaps the suit is being held by both defenders. To ISOLATE the menace, declarer endeavours‑by ruffing or ducking to exhaust the partner of the intended victim of this particular suit. Then the menace points at one defender only. Declarer hopes that it is at the defender who is already threatened in another suit.

*      As in the case of a simple finesse, the hope that the cards are well placed often guides declarer in planning a squeeze. He knows or guesses that one of the defenders guards a certain suit. The next step is based on the hope that he guards a second suit as well. It is vulnerability on two fronts which lays the victim open to a squeeze.