Definition: An unblocking play made in preparation for a squeeze

Reproduced from The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge

Declarer plays off a master card which establishes a high card for an opponent.  This clears the way for an automatic squeeze.  Here is an example:

Dlr: South
Vul: All

s A J
h A
d x
c ---
s K Q
h K x
d ---
c ---
s x
h Q x
d A
c ---

The menaces are correctly positioned for an automatic squeeze against East.   Hearts should be a one card menace and spades the two card menace.  Therefore the heart ace should be played before the squeeze card which is the ace of diamonds.

If the ace of diamonds is played prematurely, as in the diagram position, East can discard a heart with impunity, for South can establish the queen of hearts by crossing to the ace, but has no entry back to his hand to cash the queen.

For a nice vugraph example, try this site.  It may take a few minutes to download, but is well worth it.

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