South ducked the jack and queen of hearts but East persisted with a third one driving driving out the ace on which dummy parted with a spade. Declarer continued with the deuce of clubs for the four, eight and queen. East switched to a low spade as partner's jack dislodged the ace but, with both minor suits breaking 3-3, nine tricks rolled home, N-S +150.
The avoidance play in clubs was necessary to prevent West from gaining the lead and cashing the thirteenth heart. This was not the best play for three club tricks but was effective on this layout. North was not inclined to continue in the auction since partner's 1NT rebid had promised a balanced 12-14 HCP. He had hopes that East might choose to balance but 1NT was swiftly passed out. Two balanced hands with a combined 24 HCP do not make game a viable proposition but the favorable breaks in the minors, in addition to a wealth of intermediates, resulted in nine tricks.
Suppose that N-S were employing a weaker range of 13-15 HCP for a 1NT opening. North would try Stayman and advance to 2NT when partner reveals four hearts. South would accept the invitation by bidding 3NT.
Author: Dave Willis - visit his website at www.insidebridge.ca
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