Neither vulnerable. South deals.
Opening lead: Three of ♣
North-South were using Key Card Blackwood, so the five spade bid promised two key cards, among the four aces and the king of trumps, plus the queen of trumps.
Andrew Robson, England’s leading player, published a bridge tip that was featured in this space not long ago: “When a preemptive bidder leads a plain suit against a trump contract, play for the lead to be a singleton. When he leads from a broken holding in his own suit, play him for a singleton trump”. South in today’s deal took full advantage of that tip.
South rose with dummy’s ace on the opening club lead and then drew trumps in three rounds. West following to all three rounds reinforced the idea that the club lead had been a singleton. Declarer saw that he could not afford to lead the queen of clubs from his hand. East could win and lead a heart and South would not have the entries to ruff a club and then get back to his hand to enjoy the established club suit. Instead, he crossed to dummy with the ace of diamonds and led dummy’s remaining club, inserting his nine when East played low. South continued with the queen of clubs to East’s king. Dummy won the heart switch with the ace and declarer cashed the king of diamonds to shed his last heart. A heart ruff to his hand allowed him to claim the balance.