The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXIX: The L of It

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXIX: The L of It

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Just the other night at the local duplicate club, Poor Frank and Lucky Archie both had to make a decision at trick one of a tough contract that would determine that evening’s winner.

When Poor Frank declared 3NT, West led the ten of diamonds, covered by the jack and won by East’s king. East wasted no time cashing the ace of diamonds and returning a diamond, which established two additional diamond tricks for West. When Poor Frank tried to come to hand with a spade, West won the ace and cashed the diamonds for a quick down one.

Lucky Archie also declared the same contract and received the same lead. However, when Archie called for a card from dummy, he began to cough violently and no one was sure which card he had indicated. The director was called and tried to make sense of the situation.

Archie’s right hand opponent, a Miss Sansouci, said, “I heard elle, as in French for she.”

His left hand opponent, a Mr. Sanchez, said, “I heard el as in el toro.”

His partner said, “I heard L as in what the L.”

The director, known throughout the local bridge community as possessing the wisdom of King Solomon, then made his ruling. “Well, queen has no L sound in it. Neither does jack, six, or three. I believe our Archibald called ‘small’.” And so, dummy’s three was played.

Thus, West’s ten won the trick and East won the next two diamond tricks, but then had no diamond to return. So, when West took the ace of spades, diamonds had not been established. This fact, combined with the king of hearts being in the slot, allowed Lucky Archie to quickly line up nine tricks in front of him. The result of Archie making 3NT and Poor Frank going down was enough to propel the Lucky One into that evening’s winner circle.

Poor Frank could hardly believe it. Had Archie really called for a small card from dummy? Had he been that astute to see that such a play would block the suit?

“I sincerely doubt that he knew what he was doing,” Poor Frank said to Janet later that evening.

“I’m sure you’re right, darling,”she said. “I guess we’ll just call it the time Archie beat the L out of you.”

They both laughed at that, but not for very long.

 

 

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVIII: Ducky Archie

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVIII: Ducky Archie

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Lucky Archie earned himself a new nickname just the other night at the local duplicate club.

 

Poor Frank arrived in six diamonds on the auction given above and West led the ten of spades, taken in dummy by the ace. Poor Frank must have been horrified as he studied the dummy. He had a sure loser in the ace of hearts and there was no way he could bring in clubs without losing at least one trick. It was not a very good slam to say the least. But then, his right hand opponent was Lucky Archie and perhaps he could take advantage of that fact.

As it turns out, Lucky Archie had been playing a great deal with Red Dyeman as of late. Red was more or less happy with the results this pair kept getting – they usually beat Poor Frank by a point or two for first place – but was not satisfied with the Lucky One’s defense. “You need to remember, second hand low, Archie,” was Red’s favorite admonishment to his partner. Lucky Archie did have a tendency to play honor cards on nothing in the second seat. Usually, Archie paid no attention to Red’s advice, but he had recently lost to Poor Frank simply because he had had banged down an ace in second position. Thus, Archie was still smarting from Red’s harsh words.

Poor Frank tried a ruse at trick two, knowing what had passed between Red and Archie. He led a small heart from dummy. The Lucky One ducked, playing second hand low and not thinking of the entire hand. Had he done so, he would have realized the ace of hearts and his sure club trick would have set the hand.   Poor Frank played the queen. When this held, Poor Frank wasted no time cashing the king of spades to sluff dummy’s king of hearts. He now drew trumps and advanced the jack of clubs. The Lucky One covered with the queen and Poor Frank was soon chalking up plus 1370 for a top board and a good enough result to propel him into that evening’s top spot.

“Can you believe he actually ducked?” Poor Frank said to Janet later as he showed her the crucial hand.

“It’s beyond belief, darling. How can anyone make a play like that and call themselves a good bridge player?”

“Well, I’m telling everyone I can about it,” Poor Frank said. “Maybe they’ll change their view of him. Finally!”

“Well, we can only hope so,” Janet said. “Perhaps, they’ll start calling him Ducky Archie. Now that would be a nickname we could live with.”

 

 

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVII: Different Views

 

 

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVII: Different Views

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Just the other night at the local duplicate club, board # 7 proved to be a swing board for many of the club’s top players.

When Lucky Archie held the South cards, he arrived in 6NT as seen in the top auction. West led the ten of clubs and the Lucky One had no trouble making twelve tricks when he discovered that West held the king of hearts. The queen of hearts added to the ace of hearts, the ace of spades, three clubs, and six diamonds added up to a small slam. This proved to be a top board.

Red Dyeman also got to 6NT on the same auction. However, West made the super aggressive lead of the six of spades and now Red had no chance and had to cash his eleven top tricks for down one. This was the bottom result on the board. Most of the club played in 3NT, making 11 or 12 tricks depending on the opening lead.

Jack Leeder, however, tried for a diamond slam using the sequence given in the bottom auction above. The three diamond bid was forcing and slamish and the pair soon arrived in six diamonds. East led the jack of hearts. This established Jack’s twelfth trick and he soon claimed plus 1370 for a fine result. As he put his cards back in the board, he said, “Luckily I didn’t get a spade lead. I can’t make it then.”

Of course, our hero, Poor Frank, was also in six diamonds,and did get a spade lead. Let’s see what happened to him. East’s three of spades went to the ace and West’s jack, as West gave East a very encouraging signal. Poor Frank drew one round of trumps with the ace and cashed the ace and king of clubs. He then led a diamond to dummy’s jack and threw a spade on dummy’s queen of clubs.

Next he gave up a spade to West’s king. West tried to cash another spade, but Poor Frank ruffed, led a trump to dummy’s king and cashed the thirteenth spade, tossing his losing heart. Poor Frank had proven Jack Leeder’s analysis to be wrong, but due to Lucky Archie’s excellent result, he still finished second that evening.

Later, when he discussed that evening’s boards with Janet, he said, “I think I was in the best contract, and they made the best lead, but it still wasn’t good enough.”

“Darling, it was the best,” Janet said. “And when we all go up to that great bridge game in the sky, surely the Great Shuffler will want you by his side and Lucky Archie will be stuck somewhere in bridge purgatory.”

Poor Frank laughed. “Now that’s an afterlife I can live with,” he said.

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVI: No More Mr. Finesse

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVI: No More Mr. Finesse

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Lucky Archie had been having a very bad week. It seemed to him like none of his attempted finesses had worked the entire seven days. This hurt Archie to the core, since the finesse was without a doubt his favorite bridge play. So, before playing that evening, he had vowed to not finesse at all the entire evening.

On the third board of the night,Lucky Archie arrived in six spades. In the auction, four diamonds was a cuebid in support of spades showing shortness in diamonds. The six heart bid represented two aces and a useful void, obviously in diamonds. Poor Frank led the king of diamonds, ruffed in dummy. Lucky Archie immediately called for the nine of spades. East followed low, and the Lucky One almost did himself, but then he remembered his promise.

“Well,” he muttered, “I might as well lose this way as the other.”   And he banged the ace of spades down on the table. His eyes got big when Poor Frank’s king fluttered down like a sick butterfly.

“I was right,” he said out loud. “No finesses tonight.”

He then led the queen of hearts. Poor Frank played low. Lucky Archie’s hands were shaking and he started to sweat. It was totally against his nature not to finesse! But he had made a holy oath, so he called for the ace of hearts. East’s king flopped on the table like a hooked fish pulled into a boat.

“No more Mr. Finesse,” Lucky Archie said. “Who needs finesses when you play like me?”

Poor Frank thought about excusing himself so he could go to the restroom and throw up, but simply sat there and grimaced as Lucky Archie came to hand with the king of clubs, drew the last outstanding trumps and claimed thirteen tricks for a super top board.

“What gets me,” Poor Frank said to Janet later, “is how he crows over his incredibly lucky plays. I tell you, it’s hard to take.”

“I understand, darling,” Janet said, “but think on this. As long as he confines himself to lucky plays, your health is not in jeopardy. You’re too used to all his terrible and lucky mistakes. But if he ever made a skillful play, it might shock you so much that you would have a severe heart attack.”

Poor Frank laughed. “Yes,” he said, “perhaps you’re right. At least this way I can stay alive to play more bridge and be with you.”

 

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXV: Poor Frank Beats the Merrimac

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXV: Poor Frank Beats the Merrimac

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Readers may recall that Lucky Archie had just returned from Disneyland last week. This week he made yet another play that seemed to indicate that the magic from that kingdom had not yet rubbed off.

 

In the auction, North’s 4♠ bid was a cuebid showing the ace of spades. This was all Poor Frank needed to hear to bid the grand slam in diamonds. Readers can see that declarer has more than enough tricks: 7 diamonds, six hearts, and the ace of spades. However, the hearts need to be unblocked and the ace of spades used as a late entry to the rest of the hearts.

With a normal lead of the ten of hearts, or perhaps a trump, all thirteen tricks are easy. But Lucky Archie made another of his Disneyland leads, placing the king of spades on the table.

“If any auction called for a spade lead, it was this one,” the Lucky One said, as Poor Frank stared at this card in horror.

Most likely Lucky Archie had no idea what he had done, but his lead had actually been a Merrimac coup, cutting off Poor Frank’s late entry to the unblocked hearts. Poor Frank now had to find another way home.

Declarer won the ace of spades and ruffed a club, then cashed the remainder of his diamonds   He then played the queen of hearts and overtook the jack of hearts with dummy’s king. Dummy now had the ace of hearts, the five of spades, and the king of clubs remaining. East had the ten and nine of spade and the ace of clubs. Poor Frank had three spades to the queen. Lucky Archie was down to the jack of spades and the ten and nine of hearts.

When Poor Frank cashed the ace of hearts, East had to toss the nine of spades. Clearly the ace of clubs would have been wrong. Poor Frank had no trouble letting got a small spade and Lucky Archie followed suit. Now a spade to the queen dropped the ten and jack and Poor Frank’s eight of spades was the thirteenth trick.

“I should have won,” Frank said to Janet later that evening, “but it turns out every one else bid and made seven diamonds with a heart lead. So it was an average board and Lucky Archie beat me out by two lousy points.”

“Don’t fret, darling,” Janet said. “I’m sure no one played the hand as well as you. One day they’ll award style points and you’ll win by a landslide.”

“Meanwhile I keep getting buried in a landslide of Archie’s bad bids and lucky plays,” Poor Frank said.

“Yes,” Janet said, “but when they dig you out, I’ll always give you a big kiss.”

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXIV: A Taste of Disneyland

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXIV: A Taste of Disneyland

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

  Lucky Archie had just gotten back from a trip to Disneyland, and he was more than ready to play some hot bridge.

 

 

 

Poor Frank chose to open his hand with a four spade bid and this ended the auction. West led the ace of diamonds, Lucky Archie dropping his stiff jack. West continued with the king of diamonds, and the Lucky One began a high low signal in clubs, playing the eight of clubs on this trick. West persisted with the queen of diamonds and Lucky Archie fondled the four of clubs, knowing that his signal in this suit would get West to make the club switch and set the contract.

But as Lucky Archie played with the little eight, the ace of clubs fell from his hand and landed face up on the table. At first Archie did not notice his blunder, but when he saw his partner’s eyes get as big as ocean liners, he glanced down. To his horror, he saw the card that would down the contract lying uselessly on the table.

Archie’s heart sank like a ship struck by an iceberg as he realized that his carelessness would allow Poor Frank to make an impossible contract and beat him out for that evening’s laurels.   West now saw that a club shift was futile and continued with a diamond, hoping that his careless partner would be able to overruff dummy. So, even though Poor Frank ruffed this trick with the ten of spades, Lucky Archie overruffed with the king and set the contract.

“Most Souths made four spades on this hand,” Poor Frank said to Janet later. “They ruffed the club switch and the king of spades was in the slot. I was the only one to go down.”

“You know what I think, darling?” Janet said. “I think Archie never left the Magical Kingdom. That play is truly worthy of a fantasy world.”

“So if Lucky Archie is Goofy, does that make me Mickey Mouse?”

“No, darling,” Janet said laughing, “you’re more like Scrooge McDuck. He hates to lose money. You hate to lose boards.”

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXIII: Poor Frank Sheds a Tear

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXIII: Poor Frank Sheds a Tear

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

   Poor Frank found himself in an unusual situation just the other night at the local duplicate club.

 

 

Poor Frank was very unhappy with his and partner’s bidding when the dummy hit the table. What was North’s 5♠ bid all about? That had forced him to pick a slam and probably he had picked the wrong one. 6 looked to be a much better contract. But here he was in 6 and West led the queen of clubs. Poor Frank won his king and hoped for a miracle in the trump suit.

A minor miracle did occur, for when he banged down his ace and king of trumps, West’s queen and jack fell. That was good, but it also meant Lucky Archie had an almost sure trick in the nine and seven of trumps. And declarer still had possible losers in spades and diamonds.

At trick four, Poor Frank led his jack of diamonds for a finesse, losing to his rival’s king. Back came a club, but Poor Frank ruffed, saving dummy’s ace. Now came a diamond to dummy’s queen. Declarer then cashed the ace of clubs, tossing a spade. He then cashed the ace and king of spades, and ruffed a spade, Lucky Archie helplessly following.

A diamond to dummy’s ace now put Poor Frank in dummy. Once again Lucky Archie had to follow. Then at trick twelve, the lead of a diamond couped Lucky Archie who had to play from his nine and seven of trumps in front of Poor Frank’s ten and eight. Yes, six hearts had been bid and made and Poor Frank was the evening’s winner.

Later that evening, as he discussed the hands with Janet, Poor Frank said, “It was bittersweet for me, sweetheart. I love to beat that creep, but it disturbs me when I have to do it his way. And by that I mean bid poorly and get lucky.” As he sat there, Poor Frank shed a tear.

“I know, darling,” Janet said, “but wait, I think there’s something in my eye.” And a second later, a lonely tear ran down Janet’s lovely face.

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXII: He Should Have Led a Trump

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXII: He Should Have Led a Trump

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

The action was hot just the other night at the local duplicate club. Going into the last board, Lucky Archie had a substantial lead, but there was still hope for Poor Frank.

In the auction, three diamonds was forcing and slamish, and five diamonds showed three aces, the king of diamonds being counted as one ace. Seven diamonds was perhaps an overbid on Poor Frank’s part, but he decided it was “do or die” and if he lost to his rival, well at least he would go down swinging.

Archie led the ten of hearts to the jack, queen, and Poor Frank’s ace. Declarer drew trumps in three rounds, then ran the top spades, tossing a losing club on dummy’s last spade. He then cashed the ace of clubs and ruffed a club, raising his eyebrows when Red Dyeman’s king dropped.

Poor Frank then ran all his remaining trumps. As he led the last one, Lucky Archie had the queen of clubs and the nine and eight of hearts remaining. Dummy was left with the nine of clubs and the king and seven of hearts, while Red’s cards had become insignificant.

Lucky Archie was caught in a squeeze and whichever card he threw, Poor Frank would soon claim the rest of the tricks. Bidding and making seven diamonds was a top for Poor Frank and allowed him to jump past his rival into first place.

“Nice lead, Archie,” Red said after the hand was over. “You managed to transfer the heart threat to your hand so you could be squeezed.”

“What’s wrong with leading the top of a sequence?” Lucky Archie said.

“A trump lead is automatic against a grand slam,” Red said.

“Yes,” Lucky Archie said, “It’s just that I didn’t know if I should lead the higher or lower card from my void.”

“You should have heard them, Janet,” Poor Frank said to his friend later that evening. “They were as funny as a comedy team.”

“Hmm,” Janet said, “Archie and Red. Yes, it might work, but only if the crowd consisted of bridge players who hated Lucky Archie.”

“Well,” Poor Frank said, “then they should have a lot of success.”

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXI: The Archie Factor

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXI: The Archie Factor

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Poor Frank was cruising towards victory just the other night at the local duplicate club. He only needed an average on the evening’s last board to beat his rival. The hand soon showed promise of fulfilling Poor Frank’s expectations.

 

The kibitzers yawned as Poor Frank arrived in the normal four heart contract. Even a wild bidder like Lucky Archie was put off by the vulnerability and chose not to compete to four spades. The kibitzers knew what Poor Frank and Lucky Archie did not – this four heart contract had been bid and made at every other table and this board would be as average as they come. None of the kibitzers expected anything unusual to happen at this table, but they were too bored and lazy to go anywhere else. Of course, they had forgotten the Archie factor.

Every West on this hand had led the king of spades and this had led to ten easy tricks for declarer. Lucky Archie also reached for this card, but the three of diamonds fell from his hand. Poor Frank played dummy’s queen.   Red Dyeman, sitting East, wondered if he should cover or wait until the jack was played, but then saw no advantage to holding up with a doubleton. Imagine his surprise when the king took the trick. He quickly put his last diamond on the table and Lucky Archie won his ace. The Lucky One now wondered if he should switch to the card he had originally meant to lead. However, Red was known for yelling at his partners if they failed to follow his line of defense, so Lucky Archie shrugged and put his last diamond on the table. Red ruffed this and cashed the ace of clubs to set what had appeared to be an impregnable contract.

The kibitzers looked even more stunned than Poor Frank. What exactly had happened? The head kibitzer finally asked Lucky Archie how he had found such an amazing defense.

“I simply could think of no other way to set the contract,” he modestly replied.

“I could think of no other way to set the contract,” Poor Frank said to Janet in a whiny voice as they discussed that evening’s hands. “What total horse manure. I saw the card drop out of his hand.”

“It makes you wonder,” Janet said, “if Lucky Archie would continue to get good results if he was able to keep all his cards in his hot little hand until it was time to play them.”

“Perhaps I should buy him some of that sticky stuff pro football receivers use to catch the ball,” Poor Frank said sadly.

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXX: Trouble with Kings

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXX: Trouble with Kings

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

 

A freakish layout on the last board of the evening determined who would prevail between Poor Frank and Lucky Archie just the other night at the local duplicate club.

 

On this evening, Lucky Archie’s partner talked him into playing a forcing club system. This is why North opened one club, the pair’s strong bid. After East pre-empted all the way to four spades, North re-opened the auction with a double and Lucky Archie bid five hearts. Poor Frank thought he had a good double and this ended the auction.

Poor Frank’s normal lead would have been the king of clubs, but because of partner’s four spade call, he chose the ten of spades instead. The Lucky One won dummy’s ace of spades and saw he had potential losers in every suit and absolutely no idea how to get to his hand. The problem of how to go about playing the hand also had him completely baffled.

At trick two, he marked time by leading a low spade from dummy. The Lucky One could not possibly have known how well this play would work. East won the jack, but was now endplayed at trick two. A spade lead would give declarer a ruff and a sluff, but a diamond would go into the jaws of dummy’s impressive holding. After some thought, East chose the five of diamonds.

Lucky Archie played the eight and Poor Frank studied the situation. Surely East had the queen of diamonds for this lead, otherwise, why not lead a club? Thinking this way, Poor Frank went up with the king. Dummy’s ace won the trick and Lucky Archie now had an entry to hand in the form of the queen of diamonds. He used this entry and now led the queen of hearts for a trump finesse. This worked and Lucky Archie drew trumps in two rounds, ending in dummy.

Declarer then cashed the ten of diamonds, tossing a club. He now conceded a club and claimed this doubled contract for a top result. Poor Frank hung his head in despair, knowing it could have been his name that was announced as that evening’s winner.

Later, when he discussed the hands with Janet, he said, “All I needed to do was either lead the king of clubs or withhold my king of diamonds when partner led a diamond. Now Archie has no hope and has to go down.”

“Well, darling,” Janet said, “I see you’re having trouble with kings, lately, but don’t ever forget, you’ll always be the king of my heart.”

And for the first time since Lucky Archie claimed his five hearts doubled contract, a big smile flashed across Poor Frank’s face.

Posted in bridge friends, Bridge Hands, Bridge Humor, Bridge Rivalries, Fiction, Humor, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment