BRIDGE

National Post (National Edition) - - DIVERSIONS - Feed­back al­ways wel­come at tweedguy@gmail.com By Paul Thurston

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”!

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