Bridge: Slam by swindle

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The Independent Culture
THERE is only one thing more satisfying than making a slam by means of an intricate end play, and that is making a slam via an outright swindle.

This deal is an excellent example.

Game all; dealer South


A 9 4

K 10 5


K Q J 8 4 2


Q J 5

J 7 4

Q J 7 6 2

10 9


7 3

Q 9 6 3

A 9 5 3

7 5 3


K 10 8 6 2

A 8 2

K 10 4

A 6

Playing five card majors, South opened One Spade and, having only recently taken up RKCB (Roman Koy Card Blackwood), North could not resist employing his new toy. The response of Five Clubs showed none or three key cards, counting the king of spades (the implicitly agreed trump suit) as an ace and now, although North could have probed further by asking whether South held the queen of spades, he plunged directly to Six Spades.

West led the ten of clubs and declarer's prospects looked anything but bright. The only real chance lay in finding the queen-jack of spades doubleton but, after winning in hand, two top trumps left the queen outstanding. Showing no sign of concern, South started on the clubs. On the third round of suit he discarded - not one of his losing diamonds, but a heart.

Convinced he had identified the chink in declarer's armour, West ruffed and triumphantly switched to a heart. Now it was all over - declarer won in dummy and all three of his losing diamonds went away on dummy's clubs.

Yes, West had a genuine problem, but I am sorry to report that his partner was not very sympathetic.