Most of the West players opened the bidding with one spade. North-South duly reached three no trump and could not make it when West shifted to a diamond after getting in with the club ace. But Gerber's unorthodox diamond bid kept Hamman out of no trump, and East's preemptive raise persuaded South to bid his four-card heart suit.
West's choice of a spade lead gave declarer problems in trying to diagnose the distribution but did not prevent him from making the hand. He tried to cash three rounds of spades and get rid of a losing diamond and was surprised when East ruffed. So was East when South overruffed. A club lead knocked out West's ace and a diamond shift came too late. South trumped the second diamond, crossed to dummy with a high heart and led another good spade. East could win only one more trump trick with his heart jack and Mathe made his touch-and-go game.
All this seemed merely to set the stage for the very last hand (below left) in the very last match to be completed, the important one between Jordan-Robinson and Murray-Kehela. This was, for each of them, the 340th hand of the week.
Jordan's contract of three no trump was reasonable, but fate and two of the best defenders in the world were against him. If he had made his contract, he and Robinson would have made the team. As it was...
West opened his partner's suit, and Jordan won with his ace. A spade play might have produced the contract if East had grabbed his king of spades and continued diamonds—as happened at two other tables. South would then have had time to cash his spades, get to his hand with the heart ace, then lead a heart to establish dummy's queen. West could take the king of hearts but could not lead a third diamond, and before East could do so South would have established his ninth trick, the king of clubs.
Instead, on winning the first diamond, Jordan elected to go all out for the heart suit. When he cashed the heart ace and discovered East's void, he might have made things more difficult for the defense by switching to spades, but it is doubtful if that would have helped him. Instead, when he continued hearts at the third trick, West was in with the king while he still had a second diamond to lead. Declarer could not set up his spades and his one club trick before East established his diamonds. With the fifth trick cashed by the defenders, Jordan-Robinson's hope of third place collapsed.
It would have been a good team either way. Good enough, perhaps, to beat Italy next April. The contest will be between North America and Italy. Three other teams will be in there trying—The Netherlands, and the champions of the Far East and of South America—but I don't think they will have a chance. If anybody is going to dethrone Italy, it will be the North American team that just qualified in San Francisco.