The other day I managed to scramble home 3NT, where other pairs were going off 1 in 4H. I quickly realised that there might be real difficulties with communications, so this contract needed great care indeed.
My LHO opponent had opened 1NT on AKx....xx....KJ9xx.... Qxx. Partner overcalled 2H vulnerable. and I went straight to 3NT.
On a diamond lead dummy came down with xx....AQ108xx.....Q10x.....Kx. My hand was a flattish QJ98......9x.........Axxx.....Axx. And so when the diamond 10 from dummy held the trick, I thought I was home and dry, providing one of the heart honours was sitting on my left. At trick 2, I decided the spade finesse of the 10 was a necessary risk I had to take, because I could not afford to open up the club suit. Again luck was with me when my LHO took the trick with the spade king, only to fire back another diamond ( RHO showing out ), which I was obliged to take with the queen in dummy. So I exited dummy with another spade, which again was taken by my LHO with the Ace. Back came a third diamond which I took in hand with my Ace. Score 3:2
Now came the moment of truth when I ran the 9 of hearts. Whoops.....RHO shot in with the jack, and correctly switched to the jack of clubs, which I took with the Ace. Then came my two established spades, discarding 2 hearts from dummy. Score 6:3 Now, for a second time I took the heart finesse on only to see the 10 lose to the King. But all my RHO could do was exit with a club to dummy's King enabling me to run off 2 heart winners to see the contract home. ( 3D, 2C, 2S, and 2H ).
Now the two questions I want to ask are :
Can the defence do better after the initial diamond lead ?
Can the contract still be made against a different defence ?
( RHO's hand was 10xxx....KJx.....x......J109xx )