East overtook with the queen but South played low and ducked the continuation of the king. A third spade drove out the ace but declarer ran the club suit, discarding a heart from dummy. West threw a two hearts and a diamond but East two diamonds and a heart. A diamond to the ace was followed by a heart to the king. The game was just home when West could not produce the heart ace, N-S +400.
North wisely elected to employ Stayman since he held a ruffing value. If a a 4-4 heart fit existed, the major suit game would likely be a superior contract. South denied a fourcard major and the nine trick game was reached.
North was known to hold at least one four-card major but this information did not deter West from leading the jack of spades that proved to be the most effective beginning. Admittedly, a diamond lead would have done no harm on this layout but a lead from jack empty-fourth in an unbid suit versus NT, in my experience, will rarely be an effective choice.
3NT would be reached at all tables and it is very difficult to envision how any declarer would be able to score more than nine tricks.
Author: Dave Willis - visit his website at www.insidebridge.ca
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