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Caught twice by the same squeeze
Charles Goren
October 17, 1966
With the European Championship having been staged in Warsaw this year—the first time in history that it has been played in a Communist country—there is reason to hope that bridge may be making inroads behind the Iron Curtain even though it remains out of favor in Russia, which can actually lay some claim to the game's invention. Two different card games are mixed up in the theorizing that bridge is of Russian origin: biritsch, which sounds right but is not like bridge, and vint, which does bear a sufficient resemblance to whist to give strong support to a Russian claim. However, the Russians have never said bridge is their game, probably because card playing of any kind is frowned on there.
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October 17, 1966

Caught Twice By The Same Squeeze

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With the European Championship having been staged in Warsaw this year—the first time in history that it has been played in a Communist country—there is reason to hope that bridge may be making inroads behind the Iron Curtain even though it remains out of favor in Russia, which can actually lay some claim to the game's invention. Two different card games are mixed up in the theorizing that bridge is of Russian origin: biritsch, which sounds right but is not like bridge, and vint, which does bear a sufficient resemblance to whist to give strong support to a Russian claim. However, the Russians have never said bridge is their game, probably because card playing of any kind is frowned on there.

Nevertheless, there are signs that bridge is far from dead in other Communist countries. A New York group that toured Europe this summer had no difficulty in arranging a schedule of bridge matches against local players in Poland and Hungary. Poland sent a good team to compete in the World Bridge Olympiad in New York in 1964, and Hungary, which once boasted some of the best players in the world, has recently applied for membership in the European Bridge League.

Before World War II dispersed them, the stars of southeastern Europe glittered in every international tournament. Here, for example, is a deal from a 1936 team contest in which Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia were strongly represented. In the West seat was the late Robert Darvas, then one of Hungary's top players and always famous for his quickness in analyzing complex hands. South was Jan Barna, now a resident of Montreal but at that time playing for a Czech army team.

Once North had made the overoptimistic response of three diamonds to South's cue bid in clubs, getting to the small slam in no trump was inevitable. Making it was something else again.

With all the high cards marked in West's hand, the finesses in the major suits were foredoomed. Thus even if the diamond suit could be run, declarer appeared to have only 10 tricks without establishing additional ones in hearts or spades. The book rule for a squeeze is that the squeezer should have all but one of the tricks he needs, but Barna recognized this hand as an exception. He ducked the first club and won the second with the ace. He then took the winning diamond finesse and cashed the heart ace, setting up West's king. If he ran four more diamonds the position would be:

NORTH

[5 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[9 of Hearts]
[6 of Diamonds]
[9 of Clubs]

WEST

[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]

SOUTH

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