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Gazumped !
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The early hands can often set the trend for a knockout match. Making or defeating a close vulnerable game can provide just that extra dash of psychological momentum. 

On the second board of the Bermuda Bowl quarterfinals, David Bakhshi found himself as declarer in a tight 3NT against Helgemo-Helness.

North
AJ53
J76
1062
K42
South
K104
Q92
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Trick 1 went 3 to the A. Unblock or not ?

 

North
AJ53
J76
1062
K42
South
K104
Q92
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Hands with multiple finessing possibilities often come up in 3NT contracts. The best approach usually is to keep the entries as fluid as possible. 

One way of attempting to assess the unblock that would involve working out where we'd like to be when we first get on play. Diamonds seem the most attractive suit for building tricks and we'd like to get started early on them from the North hand.

An alternate way is to count the various maneuvers we might attempt on this hand and note where we'd like to be located for those.

North : Diamond to the nine, Diamond to the queen, Spade finesse through East, club finesse, Entry to deep spade winner when W has Qx (After K, x-Q-A,10), 

South: Spade finesse through West, Entry to deep diamond winner when E has Kx (After -9-J,-K-A, -10)

It seems quite clear that we'd like to be in the North hand.

Can anything go wrong with the Q unblock ?

North
AJ53
J76
1062
K42
South
K104
Q92
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Yes. East may have false-carded from AKx(x) of hearts and we might have just thrown away a trick.

False-card ? No one false cards so early.

The trend in high-level bridge is that almost everyone cards honestly in early play. Partnerships appear to be more interested in avoiding a big defensive disaster than in trying to weave a deceptive web.  

Declarer didn't trust these Norwegians, oops Monacans, and elected to play low. East returned the 4.

North
AJ53
J7
1062
K42
South
K104
Q9
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
?

What now ?

North
AJ53
J7
1062
K42
South
K104
Q9
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

If the lead was from a four-card heart suit, the defense can control the hand we win the trick in. This looks unlikely considering their convention card which details 3rd/5th leads and the 4 return (the lowest outstanding heart) at trick two.

East appears to be the one with 4 hearts with West having led a three-card suit. Since West will be obliged to win the K and return the suit, Q seems like the right play.

Declarer played the Q. West won and returned the 8 as East followed with the 5.

North
AJ53
1062
K42
South
K104
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
?

Which suit should we attack first ?

North
AJ53
1062
K42
South
K104
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

It is usually right to go with the suit that has the potential to generate the most new tricks. A simplistic example would be to attack the QJ10x suit opposite xxx (two potential new tricks) rather than AKxx opp xxx (one potential new trick).

While Bas Drijver (in the same situation in a different match) played a spade to the ten, declarer's choice of a diamond to the nine seems right to me. 

The trick lost to the King (good news) and West returned the 8 to the queen. Declarer cashed another diamond and they split 3-3.

North
AJ53
K42
South
K104
3
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
?

Which suit next ?

North
AJ53
K42
South
K104
3
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

We have one heart, three diamonds, two clubs, and two spades for eight top tricks. In isolation the best play for the ninth trick might be to combine our chances : Cash the AK and if the Q does not appear, take a club finesse. 

Deeper examination reveals that the defense has cashed three tricks so far. If we can arrange to lose a spade trick to the safe hand without the heart winner, we'd have nine tricks before they have five. The combining chance play would risk setting up the additional setting trick for them.

Declarer might have cashed the thirteenth diamond but elected instead to finesse into the West hand. 

Crossing to the spade ace, he played a spade to the ten, preparing to claim.

And......

He got gazumped !

You can choose between googling gazumped and reviewing the full hand here 

Helness
Q2
K1083
K87
Q1083
Gold
AJ53
J76
1062
K42
Helgemo
9876
A54
J54
765
Bakhshi
K104
Q92
AQ93
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
12
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
6
A
2
2
0
1
4
Q
K
7
0
0
2
8
J
5
9
1
1
2
2
4
9
K
0
1
3
8
6
5
Q
3
2
3
A
7
10
J
3
3
3
4
2
A
7
1
4
3
3
6
10
Q
0
4
4
10
8 tricks claimed
N/S -100
9

 

"False-card ? No one false cards so early." Ahem. Ahem.

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