Monday’s column, in which Bjorn Fallenius discarded his high diamond queen to deprive declarer of an entry to his hand, reminded me of the diagramed deal. It was played in 1970 during a match between England and the Netherlands.
Sitting East and West were Jeremy Flint and Jonathan Cansino, two of England’s best-ever players.
In the auction, South made a Michaels Cue-Bid, showing at least 5-5 in the majors. The rest of the auction was natural, with North’s jump to three no-trump being unjustifiably exuberant.
West found the best lead of a trump. South took East’s king with his ace, led a spade to dummy’s king and understandably returned a spade to his ace — what turned out to be the fatal error.
(To make his contract, South had to finesse in spades. And it would not have helped East to split his honors — put in the jack or queen — because South could have led a third spade and discarded from the dummy to establish his side suit.)
South now ruffed a spade in the dummy (West threw a low club) and exited with the diamond queen to East’s king.
How did the defenders, needing three more tricks, defeat the contract?
At first glance, it looked as though the lucky trump position would let declarer make his contract. However, East cashed his spade queen and West discarded the club ace!
Now East took his club king and led another club, which promoted a trump trick for the defense.
That has to be one of the Top 10 defenses of all time.