You are East, declarer in 3NT, against which South leads the ♠ K. How would you plan the play, and why?
Your weakest suit has been led — you count one spade, three hearts, one club and either four or five diamonds, according to the position of the
♦ K. That’s enough for your contract, provided you can make them before the defence gets in.
The vital point is to ensure that, if the ♦ K is offside and North wins with it when you finesse, he will be unable to return a spade, so you must duck twice and not release your ♠ A until forced on the third round, by which time North hopefully won’t have another spade to play. The club finesse must be avoided at all costs, as you have enough tricks without taking this added risk.
of course, if the adverse spades are divided 4-4, you will make your contract anyway, as the best the defence will be able to do is win three spades and the ♦ K before you wrap up nine tricks.