While it is not necessary to achieve a meticulous count on every hand that you play (everyone gets irritated if you brood for 10 minutes about a possible overtrick in 1NT), you would have thought that South , in a vulnerable grand slam, might have made the effort. Being a lucky player (as well as a good card holder!), he had a reprieve on this deal.

Drooling over his best hand for months, South started with a conventional Two Clubs. He was still thinking about his rebid when he was pleasantly surprised to hear his partner give a positive response of Two Hearts. Throwing caution to the winds, he rushed on with Five No-trumps - a grand slam force, ostensibly agreeing hearts - and the response of Seven Clubs showed two of the three top honours in hearts, clearly the ace and king.

Never having had any intention of playing with hearts as trumps, South closed the bidding with Seven No-trumps, against which West led #9. There were 12 top tricks and the 13th could come from either a 3-2 hears break or a spade finesse.

Without wasting any time, South cashed his seven minor suit winners and 4A before testing the hearts. The 4-1 break was a nasty surprise and, although he had seen East throw some spades, he simply could not remember whether West had done so as well! After three top hearts had gone, declarer led a spade from dummy and East followed with low. Suddenly light dawned: East's last card was undoubtedly !J, so the spade finesse could never gain. And - bingo - the queen duly dropped.

We apologise for the errors in South's hand on Monday. A corrected version will appear tomorrow.