1♠ P P X
2 3♣ 3 P

As mentioned previously, at first glance this hand looks rather simple. Draw the trumps, dislodge the ♠A and then run all our spade winners. The problem with this overview is that it fails to acknowledge the potential entry problems that we may have and it also allows the opponents to win diamond tricks if North has been exhausted of trumps by the time we get rid of the ♠A. Assuming East continues diamonds at trick 2 (why wouldn’t they?) we are forced to ruff in hand. Let’s say we next draw the trumps in 3 rounds and then play our spades. All West has to do is win the ♠A and either continue diamonds or switch to clubs, either leads to our demise. We will lose 1 spade, 3 diamonds and 2 clubs this way. This is a careless way to play the hand because we remove all trumps from North (when drawing them) before removing the ♠A, so when in with the ♠A West can just cash minor suit tricks. What we need to do instead is re-order our plan. We need to first get rid of the ♠A from West before drawing all of the trumps.

So, lose the opening diamond trick and ruff the second diamond in hand. Next cash a top heart from the table and a small heart back to hand just in case the hearts are breaking 2-2 (this solves all of our problems!). As it happens though, the hearts are 3-1 so we need to leave West with their last trump whilst we remove the ♠A. Play a spade to the ♠Q on the table and West wins the ♠A. They can then switch to clubs, so the opponents can take their 2 tricks there, but after this we are in control. Whatever East-West play next we can ruff/win, draw the final trump in hand and then cash all of our spade tricks. We lose just 1 spade, 1 diamond and 2 clubs to make 3 on the nose.

There is, however, a defence that defeats 3 but it is very hard for East-West to pull off. They need to lead diamonds at tricks 1 and 2 (forcing us to ruff in North) and then duck the first round of spades. West then wins the second round of spades but this importantly removes all of the spades from the table, which gives us entry problems to North. Next West needs to switch to clubs for the defence to get their 2 tricks there, before finally playing a third diamond. This third diamond again forces us to ruff in North and we can now no longer draw all of the trumps and enjoy our spade tricks as we have insufficient trumps left with North, and West still has the 10 in hand. We can try to cross-ruff diamonds and clubs now, but this comes up short as eventually West comes to their 10 as a setting trick. A card-perfect defence to find though, so unlikely to be found!