This hand was the second last board in a GNOT regional qualifier and was literally going to decide who would go to the national final in Sydney. South opened a 22-23 2NT and North checked for a four card major fit before bidding the no trump slam. West somehow found the JS lead which nobody is going to read easily! As with all slams, it behooves declarer to make a maximum effort to succeed. The QS was put up and held.
How would you continue as declarer? There are six black tricks, three heart tricks and two certain diamond tricks so you have to play diamonds for three tricks or find some sort of squeeze. There are slight entry problems although you will have two club entries to table if they split. Declarer tried the QD at trick two but this was covered by the king and ace. He then tried jack and another diamond and would win if they are 3-3 or there is a doubleton 10 which is about 52%. Was this a good line?
Leading the queen is not good. Always try to lead small cards towards high cards. The best play is small to the nine and, when that holds, it is all too easy. If the nine loses, you want to go back to table to lead a small one to the jack but when the ace-queen of clubs are cashed and there is only one entry to dummy. It seems best to unblock the acequeen of hearts and the jack of clubs and then play a small diamond to the queen and king. There is still a problem since the a priori 3-3 split is now much more likely than the 2-4 split (4-2 is no longer possible when East follows to the third diamond). However, since you will have played four rounds of clubs and three rounds of hearts, West will have discarded three spades on the clubs and declarer might smell out the diamond position. However, there is another temptation: the safety play to maximize your chance of three tricks is a first round finesse of the jack but this may lead to playing the diamonds before the clubs and not getting a hint about their distribution. That JS lead was little less than demonic!