This is a problem from the "Card Play 101" column from the Feb 2021 ACBL Bridge Bulletin (page 44)
South holds: (S) 6 3; (H) A K 9 8 5 2; (D) A K 4; (C) 7 6. (West deals, E-W vulnerable, matchpoints)
The bidding goes
|Pass||4 H||All Pass|
West leads a low spade, and the dummy (North) comes down with:
(S) 7 5 4; (H) J 10; (D) Q J 10 9; (C) K Q 10 9
East wins trick 1 with the spade A, and returns the spade 2. West wins with the K. West leads the club A which wins. West leads a low club, won by dummy's K. The question is, how should the declarer (south) continue.
South cannot afford to lose a heart trick to the Q, so should south finesse against East, or play for the drop against west?
The column author argues that since west opened with 1S, and east has already shown the spade Ace, if East had the QH as well, east would have had six HCP and would not have passed. Further, that the defenders only have 17 HCP between them, and if East had the spade A and the H Q, West would not have opened at the one level with only 11 HCP. Therefore the proper play, says the column author, is to cash the AK of H in an effort to drop the Q, as the finesse is hopeless.
However I disagree with this reasoning. If I were west and held the QH singleton or doubleton, I would discount it and pass. If as West I held KQJxxx; xxx; x; AJx; I would open 1S, even without the HQ. Therefore, it is not exactly assured that W will hold the H Q in my view. Given this, should south finesse or play for the drop? why?