About one hand in 60,000 contains a ten-card suit. If you play 24 hands a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year, expect to pick up a ten-card suit about once a decade.
On Friday 163 Norths playing in the morning Common Game picked up ten solid diamonds and three singletons. In Westwood, 11 of 12 Norths declared 5♦, 5♦X, 6♦, or 6♦X. Ten of them took 12 tricks. With the North hand hidden, only one East found the spade shift to hold North to 11 tricks (but they were in 5♦X).
I was the final North to pick up those ten diamonds. Lefty opened 1♣, partner bid 2♣ (majors), and righty bid 2♠ (apparently natural). All I wanted to know was how many aces partner held, so I leapt to 4NT (plain old Blackwood?!—what else could it be?). Partner bid 5♦ (one ace). Imagine his shock and dismay when I passed!
With my hand exposed as dummy, East won her partner’s club lead and shifted to a spade. I was briefly pleased that I’d stopped in just the right contract, until I saw that it was a cold bottom! —Tim Hill