This deal from the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams illustrates the well-worn bromide that “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” That’s especially true when Zia Mahmood is playing a contract. Zia was South.
West started with the ♦A, not best for the defense, but the contract still seemed doomed. After all, Zia could discard one loser on the ♦K, but he still had to lose a trump trick and two hearts.
At least it seemed that way.
Zia sized up the situation quickly and accurately, however. He ruffed the ♦A, cashed the top two trumps, uncovering the bad split. He then led to the ♠K, discarded a heart from hand on the ♦K and ruffed another diamond. The ♠A, a spade ruff and another diamond ruff left this ending:
Zia played the ♠8 and the magic prevailed. There was no way to prevent the last trump in dummy from scoring a trick. If West ruffed in, Zia could discard a heart from dummy. He would lose only one heart from that point. As it was, the ♣8 scored and the ♥A was Zia’s 11th trick. In the replay, North-South stopped in 3♣, making only 10 tricks for plus 130.
The full deal: