Both vulnerable. North deals.

Opening lead: Queen of hearts

Entries are the bread and butter of most hands. The ability to cross from hand to hand enables declarer to take advantage of finesse positions; lead toward strength; and prepare the ground for endplays. Those same assets permit the defenders to set up and run suits and to escape from an endplay. This hand features entry problems for both declarer and West. The auction was textbook.

With 11 points and a balanced hand, South invited game by rebidding two no-trump and, with 14 points and six good diamonds,North had an easy raise to game despite the singleton ace of hearts. West’s opening lead of the queen of hearts removed the only sure entry to dummy’s diamond suit. To preserve a link to the table, declarer led a low diamond at trick two, East’s jack winning.

The five of hearts was returned, and now declarer came up with another key play, holding up the king of hearts, which severed the defenders link in that suit. After discarding a spade and club from the table at tricks three and four, declarer won the heart continuation and then ran five diamond tricks, bringing North-South’s total to seven, with the ace of clubs there for the eighth.

To secure the contract, declarer needed a slice of luck — East had to have the ace of spades. When a spade to the king won, declarer was able to play another spade and come to 10 tricks. Note that, if declarer wins the second heart, the contract will be defeated. When declarer leads a spade from dummy, East can rise with the ace and play another heart, and the defenders score five tricks.