This was the deal that won the prize for the best played hand in the 1996 Lederer Memorial Trophy. It was an unusual brilliancy, for declarer started off on the wrong foot but found a sparkling recovery.

After two passes, North opened One Club, East overcalled with One Diamond and South (Zia Mahmood) bid one Spade. Both West and North supported their partners" suits and, after making a try for game with Three Diamonds, Zia subsided when North could only bid Three Spades.

West led #5 and after winning with his king, East switched to 28. Declarer won in hand and slipped up when he led SQ to the king and ace. Next he took a successful finesse of !J and led a second trump. When West showed out, Zia muttered the Pakistani equivalent of "Tut, tut," and set out to recover.

He put in the seven from table and, after winning with the ten, East led another club to dummy's king. It looked as though declarer would end up a trick short, but two more rounds of trumps left West in trouble. He had to keep all his hearts and the winning club so had to discard #6. Zia cashed !K, dropping East's queen, and ran !8 successfully.

Finally declarer got off lead with a club. West won and led #Q and now it was East's problem. If he overtook, South's #J would become a winner; if he left his partner on lead, the !A would be brought back to life.