If you are playing in no-trumps and have a suit of K,x,x on the table facing J,x,x in the South hand in the suit that is led, it seems automatic to play low from dummy and so guarantee at least one trick in the suit. Or is it? Andrew Robson deviated on this deal and made a very dangerous, but successful, decision.

After two passes, North opened 1!, South responded 14, and West decided to take action with a double. North rebid 3! and Andrew's bid of 3NT ended the auction. West led 24.

What would have happened if declarer had played low from dummy? East wins with 2Q and clears the suit; when neither red suit co-operates, it is necessary to go for the spades. West gets in with the ace and has enough tricks to defeat the contract.

Instead, Robson went up with dummy's king at trick one. True, if the clubs had lain differently, he would have made no tricks in the suit, but the king won and the suit was blocked for the defence. Declarer played on spades, West took the second round and the defenders cashed 2Q.

It was not all over yet. After taking his other spade and testing the diamonds unsuccessfully, South led a low heart. When West showed out, it was easy enough to duck into East's hand and the forced heart return provided the ninth trick.

Would it have been better for East to have unblocked with his 2Q at trick one? No, for declarer plays on spades and diamonds and East never gets in for a punishing club return.