Both vulnerable, East deals
The auction was routine, except for East’s final pass. He might well have competed to five clubs. West must have at least five clubs for a pre-emptive raise of a vulnerable one-club opening. There was no assurance of cashing even one club trick on defense, and how expensive could the sacrifice be? Making five on this lie of the cards!
The North-South contract, however, appeared to be hopeless. East switched to a low spade at trick two, ducked to West’s queen. South won the second spade with the ace and drew trumps in two rounds. South was about to exit with his last spade, forcing the opponents to lead diamonds for him and let him out for down one, when he realized that there was a glimmer of hope. He could make his contract if either opponent held the singleton king of diamonds.
South crossed his fingers and led the ace of diamonds. Despair turned to glee when East obligingly produced the king. Declarer now exited with his last spade and was assured of his contract regardless of which opponent won the trick. East would have to give him a ruff-sluff or, should West win the spade, he could lead away from his jack of diamonds or yield a ruff-sluff. Never give up!