South made strange spluttering noises when he saw dummy on this deal. Obviously a slam in either black suit looked an excellent bet, and yet here he was languishing in game. As a result, he was not as careful as he should have been.

North opened One Heart, South forced with Three Clubs, and North rebid his hearts. Now South showed his spades and rebid them over North's next move of Three No-trumps. However, this ended the auction and West led #Q against Four Spades. Declarer ruffed the diamond continuation and drew two rounds of trumps with the king and ace.

When the 4-1 break appeared, South decided to test the clubs but West ruffed the first round. It was tempting for him to play a trump at this point and rely on East being able to stop clubs twice, but he remembered declarer's acute displeasure on seeing dummy. Instead, he made the shrewd return of a third diamond, giving South a useless ruff and discard. Now, whatever declarer tried, the hand was out of control and he could no longer establish and run his clubs.

Once both opponents had followed to 4K, South should have tested the clubs. If he plays 2A at this point, the defenders can do nothing. If West ruffs and plays a third diamond, declarer ruffs in dummy, draws trumps, and gives up a club trick.

The play is also necessary if South declines to ruff at trick two, but this might unnecessarily cost overtricks.

Game all; dealer North


4K 10 8

!A J 10 7 6 3

#K 8

27 4

West East

49 6 5 2 43

!Q 9 5 4 !K 8 2

#Q J 10 9 4 #A 7 6 3 2

2none 2J 10 9 2


4A Q J 7 4



2A K Q 8 6 5 3