Bridge are obviously mostly about skills and technique. Yet there is a mental factor you need to handle.
After long days with many boards and not the results you hoped for, it is easy to let emotions take control. You might act in affect and ignore variations you would discovered if being on alert.
I will not argue that the mighty Tor Helness had such a mental factor in the last decisive round at Copenhagen Bridge Invitational last weekend. He played the strong Swedish Rimstedt brothers. Tor and Geir were in fourth place, while the Swedes had the silver in their hands. It was water between the boats, but no more than the Norwegian pair could catch up with a huge board.
The vugraph commentator explained 3NT as strong hand with long and solid hearts. Some play this as 3-6 in Major. Geir pushed with a cue-bid and they found the nice slam.
East led the ace of diamonds and continued with the jack to the queen, king and ruff .Next Tor played ace-king of trump to find the unfavorable 4-1 distribution.
The board was over in a few seconds. We do not know with certainty, but it seems like Tor just wrapped the cards and Claimed 1 down. Tor and Geir were in a position to reach top 3 in the final standings and this was the first game of eight in the final round. It is completely understandable that Tor felt disappointed and gave up without a fight.
Could Tor have made 6♥? Maybe, or maybe not!
After discovering the 4-1 of trump, Tor could have played the nine of spades from hand to the ten in dummy followed by a diamond to ruff. Next played the jack of spades to the ace and yet another diamond to ruff in hand. Now Tor and west holds the same trump length and the position would be as follows.
King of Clubs, Clubs to the Ace and Queen of Clubs.
As you see the trick for west in trump now will disappear like dust in the rain.
I guess you also notice east chance to shine in the defense. When north play the nine of spades east could have thrown in the queen! This will kill an entry from north and Tor would not have reached the position with same length and south to play.