The strongest players possess a vision and an imagination that sets them apart from the rest of us. Occasionally, however, those qualities cause them to find plays that would provoke laughter in an average bridge club.

West and South were two of the world's top players. West chose the best lead of a trump to East's Ace. East now switched to the spade 3 and South was in trouble.

Playing the King of spades wouldn't help even if it won the trick, so he put in the 10.

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It seems obvious now for West to win the knave and cash his two Aces but he worried that declarer, marked with 4 spades and at least 6 hearts, might have a club void.

Deciding to play partner for the spade King, he won the first spade with the Ace and continued with the knave, taken by South's King.

Declarer drew trumps and now had only to lead a club to make his game, playing for West to hold the club Ace and no more spades.

But he couldn't believe that West would have defended as he did looking at a cashable Ace of clubs. Placing East with the club Ace, he tried running the diamond knave, hoping for a misdefence.

East won, cashed a spade and led a club for two down.

• This article was first published in Scotland on Sunday, June 27, 2010