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IT USED to be fashionable, with 4-4-4-1 hands, to open the bidding in the suit "below the singleton", but nowadays, when the singleton is in clubs, it is more usual to start with One Heart. Following this idea, South ended in Four Hearts rather than Four Spades which might have been easier.

South opened One Heart and West overcalled with Three Diamonds and North, under pressure, bid Three Heart after which South went on to game. West led a trump against Four Hearts and it was clear to declarer that there was no future in trying to ruff three diamonds on the table and therefore that the spade suit had to be developed. Accordingly, he drew a second round of trumps, cashed the king of clubs, and crossed to dummy with a third trump.

Next came the eight of spades which was run round the king. West switched to the ten of diamonds and the queen lost to the ace. After ruffing a diamond in dummy and cashing the ace of clubs for a diamond discard, another spade saw East winning and forcing with a club to leave declarer a trick short.

When South led a diamond from hand, he could have discarded a club from dummy to leave West on lead. Now he cannot play a diamond without establishing declarer's jack and is reduced to leading a club. This gives dummy the extra entry needed to organise two trick in spades.