Another SSS: Stauberian Sick Squeeze
Recently, some bizarre folks at a bridge tournament were discussing bizarre bridge hands. Of course, that is “normal” in such circumstances! Anyway, I dredged up this lunacy from my intra-cranial hard drive. It was from around the time when I started playing in many bizarre National events, but I played it in a different tournament. I had to stop playing in almost all National tourneys, because there weren’t enough energy bars and drinks yet in existence to replenish the nutrients that were burned up by all of my high altitude overbidding.
After finally recovering some stamina in recent years, I’ve played in some random, though supposedly “high quality” National events to see if the bidding and play are even more random now. I wasn’t disappointed. For example, I saw that “great” players still are getting to lots of grands off one or more cashing aces. Of course, some of the contracts make anyway. [I recently congratulated one who thereby won a “prestigious” event, and noted that his bidding is on the same level as his driving — BUT that’s another story.]
However, for some reason, they usually don’t make when the trump ace is missing. [I also congratulated one of those perpetrators on winning a different “prestigious” event, even though he unluckily did have to lose the trump ace in his grand! Of course, he won IMPs anyway, because the other team’s declarer did likewise, and was doubled!!!!!] Oh well, maybe the results for that type of grand are statistical flukes. I have seen other deals in which the trump ace did not take a trick!
Naturally, any even halfway interesting bridge position only can be reached via massive insanity! Per ACBL and WBF dictates, such prior actions may not be revealed because of the “For the Good of the Game” Bridge Police who guard against such activities 24/7.
Anyway, here was the situation after approximately an infinite number of lunacies to reach this 5 card ending:
I was South, and CHO had bumbled me to yet another too high contract, all of 2NT. I needed 3 of the last 5 tricks. Well, make that more than the last 5 tricks if I could sneak in some others somewhere. It turned out that I did not need other tricks beyond #13.
It is a very unusual triple squeeze. Of course, despite their appearances in numerous bridge books, even the “common” types seldom pop up in REAL play, regardless whether they are “pop up” squeezes or not. However, this one makes most of the known types seem comparatively “common”!
On the lead of the CQ, LHO is rotating in 3 unpleasant directions, and one of them is doubly guarded by RHO! Note that discarding a low heart does not help. After leading a heart, cover the card that LHO plays, and continue such that only RHO can get the lead. That produces another heart trick.
[Note: If LHO wants to be really helpful, other discards can produce 4 or even 5 tricks for N-S! Otherwise, it is not a “triple repeater” or other type of squeeze for more than one trick. Incidentally, if you have nothing better to do, try to construct a deal in which a squeeze yields THREE TRICKS, even on the off chance that the opponents defend perfectly! It can be done, but I’ve never seen one performed in REAL play. [To conjure up an example, I used some time in an Astronomy class that diverged from astronomical levels in bidding or elsewhere. Obviously, such topics were of no interest to me.]
After I played this hand, I checked with some people who keep track of new plays, bids, etc. None of them said they ever had heard of this type. Perhaps it was a first. Perhaps it never has occurred again either. If anyone knows otherwise, please advise me.
One of the people with whom I checked was Alan Truscott, the former “NY Times” Bridge Columnist. By an odd coincidence, I was talking to someone in a hotel lobby at a Regional Tournament quite a while later, and saw a “NY Times” minding its own business on a sofa. I said, “I wonder what bridge lunacy is in ‘The Times’ today.” AND that was the deal!!!
For those who enjoy even more nausea, the deal is in “The Times” archives. Truscott actually snuck the entire play of the hand by the “For the Good of the Game” Bridge Police. However, it was too risky to show the REAL auction to 2NT. J We had concocted something that also was stupid, but maybe at least quasi-plausible. Believe it or not, LHO and RHO were supposedly “excellent” players — probably in the top couple hundred or so in the U.S.
In its infinite “wisdom”, “The Times” has espoused KAOS techniques in many of its archived diagrams. It’s not just an anti-bridge campaign. I think they are anti-Maxwell and anti-everything else Smart! I have attempted to reconstruct the entire layout from their garbled info:
You may want to use it to try to make some sense out of the following article:
Bridge Possibilities of play
If any of you epitomes of naiveté are shocked that this finaglization happens in bridge columns, please consider this. As some bridge addicts are aware, I have studied and traded “econo-lunacies” full-time for 18 years. For a few years, I also have written about some of them to give “Delete Key” practice to the recipients. Many of the debacles have cost HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS, or even TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS. However, most of the “news” media seldom or never report a lot of them. PLUS, sometimes even when they are reported, the coverage is FUBAR! If you are not familiar with that “technical abbreviation”, please Google away. I doubt that you will have much trouble finding loads of links. SNAFU and some other abbreviations, with and without “FU”, are relatives.
So — if that is the case for innumerable huge econo-lunacies, what’s the big DEAL with a bunch of “modified” bridge DEALS here and there?
Bye for now. In the meantime, remember that the opponents are there to help you, as in this example. Oh, except for the CHO (Center Hand Opponent). Keep that one in the dark as much as possible.
Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy!
bridgewinners.com & bridgeblogging.com: Al the Plumber
Twitter: @Al_the_Plumber (non-bridge lunacies, etc.)