The early play: The ♠ Q is led.
Recommended line: Win the lead in hand, preserving the ♠ K as an entry on table for later use.
Draw trumps, and duck a round of clubs. You do need to lose a club anyway, and the early duck often allows you to play the long suit with greater fluidity further down the line.
If they play another spade, win on table, and play the ♣ A and another club, ruffing.
Assuming a relatively unfavourable 4-1 break in clubs, they still hold a controlling card in the suit. Your next move is to cross in diamonds, followed by another club ruff (which brings down their last card).
You now cross back in diamonds, and cash two good clubs (unfortunately, the second of these has to be trumped, so it does not actually earn you a trick).
You make two spades, six hearts, two diamonds and two clubs.
The long suit can produce the crucial trick if you exercise patience – and ensure you can reach the gold.
● Robert Sheehan and Jonathan Cansino have a really bad session. Naturally, each thinks it is the other’s fault. Finally Sheehan hands Cansino a tiny piece of blank paper and says: “Here Jonathan, write down everything you know about bridge.”
Cansino replies: “Well, it’s a bigger piece of paper than I would have given you.”