North opened 1♥, opponents passing throughout, and I responded 1NT. North, for reasons known only to him (perhaps induced by three people mocking him two hands earlier for being a wimp), blasted 3NT.
My LHO made the opening lead of a small spade. I tried the 10, won by RHO with his King. a spade back was floated, LHO playing low, and I won the Ace anyway.
Now a heart to the Jack and Ace (RHO contributing nothing interesting), and then LHO played the Ace and Jack of clubs.
I won the second club with the King, which may well have been a mistake, but this was matchpoints and a remote club-diamond squeeze seemed possible.
I then played a heart toward dummy, LHO sticking in (for reasons known only to LHO) the 8, forcing me to cover as RHO showed out. (Damn -- missed my chance for the deep hook!)
Of course, this now left me with three options (because of the bizarre split of the heart 8-9).
First, I could cash out for down one, which probably scores horribly when NO ONE will be in 3NT (I thought).
Second, I could eliminate diamonds and spades, ending in hand, and play a club to LHO if LHO started with 3-5-2-3 pattern with the A-J-10 in clubs.
Third, I could eliminate the diamonds and spades, ending in hand, and play a diamond to LHO if LHO started with 3-5-3-2 pattern with the Q-x-x or Q-J-x in diamonds. Interestingly, the diamond 10-x-x in hand might even grow up tio three tricks if LHO desperately tries a double jettison.
(If LHO started with 4-5-2-2 pattern, I am just SOL. If 4-5-1-3, I have a chance of a club throw-in, but then I will know this when I play the second top diamond.)
So, now you think. There seems to be a restricted choice inference from the spade lead. LHO started with a spade rather than a diamond. This seems to suggest that LHO has a diamond card. If it does not show up on the second top diamond, then it seems to be H-x-x. Of course, it could be J-x-x, which does me know good. But, I do not yet know who has the spade Jack yet. So, if LHO has x-x-x in spades, then restricted choice suggests that LHO has the J-x-x or Q-x-x in diamonds, as LHO seems to be making a passive lead, If LHO started with J-x-x in spades, and if the lead was intended to be passive, then LHO also tends to have Q-x-x in diamonds, also for restricted choice reasons. Of course, if LHO is making an attacking lead and would attack from Q-x-x, then having the J-x-x would suggest J-x-x in diamonds (bad) or nothing in diamonds.
The diamond-spade lead-related restricted choice problem was giving me a headache. Of course, I then thought for a minute that LHO would jettison the Queen from Q-x-x in diamonds if they saw the position, but this person split the 8-9 in hearts, so...
Next, I considered the club switch. That also has restricted choice possibilities. A-J tight, A-10 tight, or A-J-10? Seems like Ace and an honor has a mild restricted choice tendency to Ace-honor tight. ranted, from A-J-x this might also be an early jettison (yeah right), but that would be a quite wild play.
So, which line do you go with?