When you take a save against a contract that was going down, it’s said you have perpetrated a “phantom” save. On this deal from the late Sixties, the late, great Billy Seamon brought the phantom to life. Seamon was South.
East’s 4♥ was due to fail by three tricks on the lead of a diamond, but North thought they could make the vulnerable game, so he took the dive.
The opening heart lead went to East’s ace, and Seamon won the return of the ♥J with the king.
He played a diamond to the ace, ruffed a diamond, ruffed a heart, ruffed another diamond, then played the ♣K and a club to the ace. This was the position with five cards to play:
Seamon led the ♠J from dummy. East had to cover – if not, West’s ace would be driven out and the ♠K would drop the queen, making the 10 good. Seamon put the ♠K on the queen, and it was West’s turn to squirm. If he ducked, Seamon would lead toward the 10 in dummy and make the contract, losing only a heart and a spade. West won, and his only hope was that his partner had the ♠8. Seamon held that card, however, so he ducked West’s return to make his shaky “save.”
The full deal: