Today’s is one of the more curious deals I’ve kibitzed on Bridge Base Online during the pandemic. Starting with the late Edgar Kaplan many years ago, expert commentators have lamented that modern bidding tends to “lose” the club suit in competitive bidding tussles and that the diamond suit may well be next to disappear from prominence.
But for this deal with lively distribution, the spade suit was the one that got lost: despite East-West being able to take all thirteen tricks with spades as the trump suit, the strain was never bid at either table of an experts’ match!
Table One: over East’s opening bid, South made a fairly accurate statement of his hand’s resources by leaping directly to the heart game – and played right there.
Down at least one for the loss of two spades, one diamond and one club,maybe even an extra trick if the defenders negotiate a club ruff for East, right? Next!
Whoa back there! Just as the spade suit was lost in the bidding, East-West’s spade tricks also disappeared after East won the diamond lead, cashed the club ace and made a highly optimistic (as in “dubious”) diamond return.
With West unable to find a trump of any sort, never mind one big enough to overruff South’s play of the ace, the defenders became spectators to South drawing trumps and dumping his spade losers on diamond winners. Table Two: an auction cut from a entirely different cut of cloth as South doubled East’s one diamond opening and three passes followed! Down one for North-South to record a measly +100!
Spades? “We don’t bid no stinkin’ spades”!