~A 3NT Defensive Problem

                               S T74
                               H QT975
                               D 642
                               C A4

West East
S Q86                                                        S 9532
H AK6                                                        H 842
D QJT9                                                       D 83
C 753                                                         C QJT9
                                S AKJ
                                H J3
                                D AK75
                                C K862

Bidding Commentary: South opens 1D and North bids 1H. Due to holding 19 HCP and no better bid to describe the hand, South jumps to 2NT (18-19 HCP). Any bid by North at this point is a game force. New Minor Forcing (NMF)is still on, so North bids 2C to ask about 3-card heart support. South denies three hearts by bidding 3NT.
Lead and Defense Commentary: West leads the Q of diamonds, taken by declarer’s K. Declarer leads the J of hearts. It appears that Declarer needs to set up the heart suit for three tricks. West must duck the first heart, assuming that South has only two hearts (If South has three hearts, the defense is hopeless–plus, the contract would be 4H). If West overtakes the J of hearts and leads anything, South can regain the lead and knock out the other high heart, then get to dummy with the A of clubs. By ducking the J of hearts, South can win only one heart trick and will be set 1-2 tricks.
Play Commentary: Declarer takes the obvious tact. Was the defense up to the task?

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