When Norman Kay held the West hand, with Edgar Kaplan sitting East, the same situation arose—but declarer made a grave error. After ruffing a diamond loser in dummy at the sixth trick, South also led the fourth round of hearts. But he chose to discard his last diamond instead of the 9 of clubs. Kay made the same fine discard of the ace of clubs that Root had, but this time it was effective. When Kaplan's queen held the heart trick he cashed the king of clubs and led a second club, which promoted Kay's jack of spades to the setting trick.
The caliber of play at the Team Trials was good, and in the end Rosenblum had a difficult problem deciding upon which three pairs to select for the U.S. squad. Phil Feldesman and Ira Rubin had finished third. Kaplan and Kay were fourth. Both had played on teams captained by Rosenblum, with Kaplan and Kay named as the best-performing pair for the North American team in the 1967 World Championship in Miami. But Feldesman and Rubin had played very well in the Trials. An unheard-of poll of the players, taken near the end of the Trials, helped Rosenblum decide. If you and your partner make the team, he asked each of the 10 pairs in the finals, which two pairs would you like to see as your teammates? Jordan-Robinson were a unanimous choice. Roth and Root received a majority of votes. Kaplan and Kay were named by several. Rubin and Feldesman received four votes as alternates—but none as members of the team.
Rosenblum picked them just that way. Rubin pointed out that the World Championship is not a popularity contest. But the Italians have pointed out even more sharply that team harmony is the most important asset of all. Rosenblum acted accordingly.