Source: Defend with your life

Dealer South None Vul

8 7 4 3
6 5 4
K 8 4 2
K 10
Q J 9
A Q J
J 10 9 7
A Q 3

Opening lead J

West North East South
1
1NT 2 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass

The lead was J to the ace, partner dropping the 5. Declarer plays off three rounds of trumps, East discarding two low hearts and the 5.

To exit with a diamond will expose you to a finesse, a heart will give a trick to the king, so it has to be a club… but which?

If you play the A and another club, you will find it impossible to discard on three more rounds of trumps. A low club is no better: You will be able to discard a heart and two clubs on the spades, but will then be thrown in on the fourth round of diamonds.

To shift the burden imposed by your controls in three suits, you must exit with the Q. On the next two trumps you can throw the J and the A.

If South plays his last trump you can afford to discard another heart because you still hold the precious 3.

This type of play, the lead of Q is generally the answer when you hold too many high cards for your own good in defense.

The complete deal was:

8 7 4 3
6 5 4
K 8 4 2
K 10
Q J 9
A Q J
J 10 9 7
A Q 3

9 8 7 3 2
5 3
J 9 7 5 4 2
A K 10 6 5 2
K 10
A Q 6
8 6