A few years ago in a swiss pairs club event I was partnering one of the club's top players. He had the ability to analyse things in seconds, always several steps ahead of his opponents .....not to mention me of course ! His sharp rapier like mind enabled him to play difficult contracts at breakneck speed steering them home securing one top after another.
As it happened we both rated our chances to pick up this trophy for a third time, and early round results certainly went our way. Not surprisingly we ended up on table 1 to play the last round. The only other contenders for the trophy were our table opponents, who we felt confident about beating.
However, the cards did not favour us at all with our opponents getting all the points. So tight defence became our priority and the result of this match depended very much on how well they bid and played the cards. Then came the trophy deciding board......with our opponents both picking up two very good hands. The bidding quickly reached 7NT..... a contract that was certainly not be reached on every table. However, making all 13 tricks came down to picking up the missing queen of clubs, with a two-way finesse available.
Declarer delayed the club suit right to the very end in an attempt to get a complete count on the other suits. With no unusual suit splits to help him, it ultimately came down to a guess. He held K109 with AJx in dummy.
So after much thought, he played the 10 towards dummy. Playing in tempo I played low whereupon he called for the jack. Partner it seemed couldn't stop his eyes lighting up with glee , and this giveaway was clearly picked up by the alert declarer. Within a nano-second he changed the call to the Ace.......well before dummy's hand had reached for a card. Then of course came the killing finesse of my partner's queen. So declarer ended up with a thumping mega top for this board, utterly assured of a last round victory, and of course the trophy.
And so there you have it.... how to lose out on a sought after piece of silverware IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE !