As North did not bother with
Stayman, there is a tendency to lead a major in this situation. So, let us
assume that you lead your 4th best Heart, if only because itís the
stronger suit. Dummy goes down and this is what you see:
We know that this is not how
you would defend 3NT but this is what happened when the hand was played.
won the opening lead, the Heart Seven was returned to Declarerís Queen and
Westís King, and the third round of the suit knocked out Declarerís Heart
stopper, setting up a third Heart winner for the defense. Next Declarer played
on Diamonds. East won the Ace and, being out of Hearts, shifted to a Spade, won
by Declarer. Thanks to the 4-1 Diamond break there was still a Diamond to be
lost, but eventually Declarer was able to rustle up his 9th trick in
the suit. Poor West never did score that third Heart trick, and the defense had
to make do with two Hearts and two Diamonds.
That was inaccurate defense, as
West how would you have done better?
Yes, of course, you would have
ducked the second round of Hearts!
With no quick entry, West must
keep the Heart suit as the line of communication between the E-W hands. So West
must duck the second trick, letting Declarer have her Heart trick early and
leaving East in a position to lead Hearts again when he gets in with the ♦A.
Now the defense scores three Heart tricks and two Diamonds, and thatís down one.