Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Nostalgia, Squeezes and A Bidding Problem

I have been very busy over the last few days.  I have discovered that squeezes can give you headaches, the kind that can only be solved by an application of aspirin and some judicious shoulder rubbing by a cooperative husband.  I have been working on editing a new edition of Clyde E. Love, Bridge Squeezes Complete.  You may ask “Why Linda?”  Anyone who knows me knows that I am the opposite of an editor.  I am an editee.  Everyone else has to go through my writing and point out that I said East instead of West etc.  Unfortunately everyone else was busy and besides I am known in the family as the squeeze maester. 

I am impressed with the fact that in those days before Deep Finesse Mr. Love made no errors that I have encountered yet (well maybe one) in his analysis of squeezes.  And I have finally completely understood how a criss cross squeeze works.  I think I should even be able to get it right at the table if I were ever so lucky as to encounter one.  I will share with you.  A criss-cross is a regular kind of simple squeeze (one opponent two threats) but the only entry to each threat is in the opposite hand.  So you end up with something that will eventually look like

A Q2  opposite Q2 A

That part I knew before but now I now how to look for it by checking the entry situation.  Most of you aren’t particularly interested in this knowledge but right now it is my work life.

Besides Love I am preparing some deals for Beginner Intermediate Lounge which is having an event with some great experts and me too.  Check for details.  I am taking many of the deals from our books but I am analyzing them myself and naturally I find things that the author has not described.  I am looking forward to seeing what the students find.  I am doing this while listening to very old music.  I have decided that more than anything music and memory go together.  I associate songs with events, people and times more than anything else.  Some are great like Moon River by Audrey Hepburn.  I was a young girl and I remember loving the movie Breakfast at Tiffanys and walking home with my girlfriend, Glenna Sobel singing that song. 

Sylvia gave me a hand to bid which I am sure came from our recent Ottawa games.  I don’t remember it which is good because I don’t know what we did or who bid what so I am not biased.  Here is the hand:

S Axxx
H —
D KJxxx
C Axxx


You deal and open 1D.  Partner responds 1S.  How do you continue?  Some of you may think it is obvious to bid 2S but the risk is that partner might not try for game on a hand where they have a good fit.  After all something like this hand is enough for game.  Would partner try after a 2S bid?

S K10xxx
H xxx
D Qxxx
C xx

Oddly enough Ray gave me almost the same problem yesterday and I said then as I say now I would bid 2S at matchpoints and at imps not vulnerable but I might be tempted to be more aggressive at imps vulnerable.  What do you think?

Sylvia told me that Martin Cayley bid 2C when given the problem.  We both think a) Martin is a great bridge player and b) 2C is an interesting bid.  But I am still not sure it is the right one.  For one thing partner might pass on a hand with better clubs than diamonds and no fit for either minor.  Secondly I am not sure what to do over 3C or even 2S.   But if partner cooperates by bidding 2D I could bid 2S and then I would have more or less patterned out.  Partner should work out I have four spades and am doing something a little warped.

I have also been thinking about the idea of a bridge musical.  I was playing the music from “Chess” which I remember seeing in London with Ray a long time ago.  How would a bridge musical go?  Ray and I had fun with this yesterday.  One plot involved a wealthy novice who decides to try to win a world championships and another involves a woman who fights her way to the top in bed.  Remember the line about the 3 reasons bridge experts play with you: Skill, Money or Sex.  You get the picture.  Anyway we did have do some fractured songs to go along with these themes.  It was a lot of fun.

1 Comment

MichaelSeptember 7th, 2009 at 9:29 am

Bridge Squeezes Complete is a great book! I definitely found it interesting when reading it though as it took me a chapter and half to make any sense of it, and then something clicked and it became quite clear to me. I still don’t use the same letters (B2 or B1 or R), but the concepts and practices were a lot of fun. And while I certainly don’t see all the squeezes at the table (nor see many squeeze defenses when defending), it did cure me of the old bad habit of keeping an extra “just in case” trump that prevents your squeeze from working.

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