Today’s deal reminds me of Cy the Cynic’s observation that it’s amazing what somebody can accomplish when he should be doing
North and South had an accident in the bidding. The rot set in with North’s jump to four spades, which suggested stronger support than he held. South wasn’t blameless; his last bid was speculative. Moreover, North-South could have stopped at a small slam if they had been using a Blackwood variation that would have let South learn whether North had the queen of trumps.
Against seven spades, West led a heart, and South viewed dummy with despair.
At a suit contract, declarer normally draws trumps so he can safely cash his side-suit winners. South could have tried that, hoping for a doubleton Q-J or a singleton honor with West. But instead of hoping for that miracle, South tried something else.
South took the ace of hearts, ruffed a heart and cashed the A-Q of diamonds. Still not touching trumps, he led a third diamond to dummy’s king. When East-West followed, South ruffed a heart, led a club to the ace, ruffed a heart, took the king of clubs and ruffed a club in dummy.
With three tricks to go, dummy had a heart and K-9 of trumps, and declarer had A-10 of trumps and a club. East had his three trumps. When dummy led a heart, the defenders’ “sure” trump trick vanished. No matter what East did, South would take the rest.
Yes, a club opening lead beats seven spades.