Over the years I have come to love every card in the pack. Each one at some point in time has played a significant part in either seeing me home as declarer, or securing a stunning defence. One of my favourite bridge books is Right Through The Pack by R. Darvas & N. De vere Hart.......where a similar sentiment has been exquisitely and beautifully expressed.
But out of all the cards it is the 10 which I have come to love the most. Whenever it nestles alongside another honour it becomes a far more powerful card.......a " strong 10 " so to speak. Why, it was only a few weeks ago my partner opened 1NT on a wretched 12 count and found himself as declarer in 3NT. The contract was hopeless for many reasons, but one of them was his 4 card heart holding Qxxx opposite my Kx. Once his RHO got in, he found an inspired heart switch from his J98, and with his partner sitting there with A1076 , the defenders took three heart tricks with ease. But several boards later a near identical hand cropped up where I was declarer in 3NT having opened INT on a more robust 12 count, with four hearts to the Q107x. So with Kx of hearts in dummy, it was my turn now to take 3 tricks in this suit...... to make 3NT + 1. So although my RHO opponent popped up with the same J98, his partner's holding of Axxx offered sod all resistance to an attack on this suit. The presence of the 10 and 7 in my 4 card heart holding made a stunning 2 trick difference.
The reason of course is easy to see. Whenever 10's appear in long suits that contain a higher honour it often creates a finessing position for your side ......not your opponents. And that is why I cherish and caress my 10's with such loving affection.