This was the penultimate deal in the Manchester Congress Pairs.
Rodney Lighton (South) and John Currie (North) played Michael Byrne (West) and Kay Preddy (East). These two pairs had been leading the competition from an early stage with Michael and Kay having a small lead going into the final round.
Rodney reached three notrump on the above deal, a contract that looks fairly precarious. Michael led a heart to the jack and queen, Rodney played a club to the jack and the spade ten to the queen and ace followed by a second spade which Michael ducked. Rodney now erred by playing the club king. Michael could have won this and returned a club to beat the contract, but he ducked again. Declarer now cashed the top diamonds and exited with a club. Michael won and cashed his club winner before returning a heart. At this point declarer held the ace and ten of heart and two spades. He won the heart (his eighth trick) and, happy to make his contract, cashed the heart ace. However, he should have played a spade after winning the heart ten which would have given him an overtirck and an extra twelve matchpoints. This would have been enough to win the pairs event and leave Kay and Michael as winners of the Mixed Pairs (the only major Manchester event that Michael has not won).