Strangely enough, you have better chance to defeat the opponents 3NT when your hand is only moderately strong than when it is very strong. The trouble with having all of the defensive high cards in one hand is that you can never get your partner in to lead through strength.
Both sides vul North dealer
In today’s hand, for example, my friend Ralph Cash had enough strength in the West hand to hope for an excellent result when the opponents got up to three no trump. The task of the defenders would have been easier, however, if East had held one of the black aces or perhaps the king of hearts.
When the hand was actually played, at the Arizona Club, In Phoenix, Cash opened the five of hearts, and dummy won with the ace. Dan Westerfield, declarer led a low club from dummy and played the king from his own hand. Cash won with the ace of clubs and had to find the right line of play to defeat the redoubled contract.
It was clear that South had all of the missing picture cards for the ambitious bidding and the re-double. If West blindly continued the hearts, declarer would get to dummy with a diamond to knock out the queen of clubs. South would then have enough tricks for his contract with the diamonds and the clubs.
Two spade tricks were needed to defeat the contract, so Cash boldly laid down the ace of spades and then continued with the queen. This knocked out declarer’s king and established East’s ten of spades as the setting trick. The defenders got two clubs, two spades, and the king of hearts, to defeat the redoubled contract.