The two-way finesse is a concept that club players have great difficulty with and this deal features a high stakes one. The auction was horrible. South opened a strong 1NT and North punted 6NT. What should have happened was that North should have invited slam rather than guessing to bid it. Simplistically, North should bid 4N and not 6NT. Even better would be to show the heart suit by transferring and then bidding 4NT as in 1N-2D-2H-4N. This is exactly analogous to 1N-2D-2H-3N but just stronger. I realise many play this as some form of Blackwood but you really should set hearts first for that auction. Thus, 1N-3H-3N-4N should be RKC since 3H shows 6+ hearts and is forcing to game or better. Sophisticated players may set hearts in other ways but it is important that you have a way of setting hearts in your bidding system. Anyway, having reached 6N, poor old West is on lead. While I have some sympathy for leading the ace of spades when the opponents are bidding badly, it gives the contract too often to be a comfortable strategy.
The heart lead is also scary so the search for a quiet lead settles on the minors and was the 8C at the table. Declarer heaves a silent sigh of relief at escaping the spade lead and can see seven minor and five hearts tricks if he correctly guesses the two way heart finesse. For whatever reason, he tries ace and another heart and is immediately dead in the water. The important thing to realise is that this is a two-way finesse only if the hearts are 3-2. If the hearts are 4-1, there is only one side at which it can be picked up by finessing after a high honour has been cashed. That is, the defensive length has to be behind the declarer’s long holding if you want to cash a high honour and finesse (and it is the best way). So declarer should cash the king and run the ten of hearts and claim twelve tricks. The key point is that two-way finesses are often just one way finesses when you consider a possible 4-1 split since most of the time only one 4-1 split can be catered for.