Maybe i'm missing something, but if Heart's did start 6/3 and RHO discarded 2 hearts (on the run of the diamonds) you can just keep an extra spade in hand, and play spades. At most you'll lose 3 hearts and the SA.
The continuations I prefer are:
3D = Shortage ask.
3H/3S = Natural, good 5c suit.
3NT = To Play. No interest in either minor.
4m = Suit setting slam try.
Having 3D available as a shortage ask is the main thing that makes this method playable.
As usual a great article.
You point that East's could've done better with he spade pips is a fair one but isn't the fact that East switched to trumps an even a stronger indication that he must have values in Clubs?
The trump switch is certainly appealing ...
If 3H is actually an invite (which it shouldn't be) then you should accept. Well placed Ks, nice trump spots and a good 5c suit more than make up for the potentially wasted Kd, especially when you might have raised very aggressively in a competitive auction.
Here's a counterpoint:
If our hypothetical expert is so experienced that they rarely need to break tempo in a common auction like 3M-Pass, why do they suddenly need 15 seconds to think when holding a strong hand that is just short of a raise to game?
Surely they would ...
Thanks for clearing up my sloppy description Steve.
An extension of case (2) is that when West turns up with 5 spades (and presumably 5134 or 5044 shape) East will show out on the second spade. Now the contract can be guaranteed by crossing in Diamonds and taking a heart ...
That was the presumed 4144 in my scenario.
After 4 rounds of clubs and the As, Ks, Qs East will show out, leaving you in dummy. At that point, West is presumed to be either 4144 or 4234 so you have time to fall back on the double heart finesse ...