South was so delighted at having bought the contract in Five Clubs (for a save in either major would have been cheap for East-West) that, with 10 trumps to play with, he saw no possible danger of running short. As it turned out, he was proved wrong.

South opened One Club, and West overcalled with Two Clubs - a Michaels cue-bid, depicting some sort of two-suited hand. North doubled and East, confident that his side had a fit in at least one of the majors, bid Three Clubs. Further competition led to South playing in Five Clubs with East deciding to take his chances in defence.

West led !J against the club game and, after winning with dummy's ace, declarer led a trump to the ace to discover what he thought was the pinprick of a 3-0 break. He crossed to 2A and took a trump finesse, then ruffed a losing spade on the table. After coming back to hand with a heart ruff, he trumped his last losing spade. At last he saw a snag: if he ruffed another heart and drew the last trump, he would have only one club left and would not have time to establish a diamond. South therefore started on diamonds but East went in with his king and returned another diamond to score a ruff for the setting trick.

The solution to South's problems? He should have played off 4A at trick two! Then a club to the ace exposes the position as before, but now South is a tempo ahead. He can ruff a spade in dummy immediately and now has time to trump his last spade, draw trumps and establish a diamond trick.