AT the European Open Championships in Poznan, Fulvio Fantoni, the No 1 ranked player in the world, was playing in the Italian Teams Championships. 1NT was 12-14, and after discovering a heart fit, all five keycards, extra controls in the black suits but not the queen of hearts, Fantoni settled in a small slam. Kowalski led a diamond.
Could declarer avoid losing a heart and a diamond? The lead went to the nine, king and ace. Next came a heart to the king and a losing heart finesse. Kowalski exited with his last heart and Romanski discarded the jack of spades rather than the club that would reveal that he had five of them. Fantoni played one more heart, throwing a small diamond from dummy.
Romanski also threw a diamond, but to no avail. Declarer completed his picture of the layout by playing two rounds of spades. When East showed out, discarding a club, Fulvio knew everything. He led a diamond to the queen and the king of spades, discarding a club from dummy. This was the four- card ending:
Fantoni played his last trump, discarding dummy's diamond, and East surrendered.