The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXVII: A Goose and a Duck

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXVII: A Goose and a Duck

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Another fateful hand decided the fate of Poor Frank and Lucky Archie the other night at the local duplicate club.

 

Poor Frank arrived in the par four spade contract and Archie led the jack of diamonds. Poor Frank won dummy’s ace and drew trumps in two rounds, ending in hand. He then led the five of clubs. Lucky Archie shook his head and sneered at Poor Frank’s feeble attempt to get him to rise with the ace.

So, dummy’s queen took the trick.

But now Poor Frank took advantage of Lucky Archie’s duck and quickly cashed the king and queen of diamonds, then played his king of clubs. The Lucky One was now truly endplayed, having to either give Poor Frank a ruff and a sluff or break the heart suit for declarer. Poor Frank soon claimed his game contract for a nice above average board that allowed him to slide ahead of the Lucky One and into first place.

Red Dyeman, sitting East, was beside himself. “Archie, you dolt,” he said. “All you have to do is win your ace of clubs and exit a club or a diamond and declarer has to go down.”

“I thought Frank wanted me to play the ace and that’s why I didn’t,” Archie said, defending himself.

Janet laughed later when Poor Frank told her this story.

“How delicious,” she said. “Let’s call this story ‘The Goose and the Duck.’ I love it. Sometimes life just doesn’t get any better.”

“Actually sharing stories like this with you does make it just a little better,” Poor Frank smiled.

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXVI: Wrong Play Archie

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXVI: Wrong Play Archie

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club.   The two were neck and neck and whoever did better on the last board would win.

Poor Frank took a shot at the nine trick game rather than the eleven tricks needed in 5 when North showed a less than sterling hand. West led the four of hearts and this went to dummy’s five. Lucky Archie must have been in love with his queen of hearts, for – instead of playing this card – he inserted the six of hearts instead. Poor Frank won his ten and knew he had to make something of clubs to come to nine tricks.

Declarer crossed to dummy’s jack of diamonds and led a club, playing the jack when Archie followed low. This lost to West’s king.   Due to Archie’s play at trick one, West was certain that Poor Frank had started with the king, queen, and ten of hearts, while East had been dealt the six and two. Therefore, West decided to clear the hearts, relying of the ace of spades as a later entry to the last two good hearts. As readers can see, this ploy would have failed if that had been declarer’s holding, as another club finesse would have produced more than enough tricks for the offense.

So West cashed the ace of hearts, dropping Poor Frank’s king and then continued a heart. West was shocked when Lucky Archie won this trick with the queen, although not as shocked as Poor Frank. The Lucky One then put the jack of spades of the table. West won the ace and cashed two hearts for down two and a top board for Lucky Archie.

It turned out that many Souths were in 3NT with the lead of a small heart. But at every other table, the East player had put in the queen of hearts, undoubtedly the correct book play. But this now gave declarer an extra heart stopper and clubs were soon established, allowing the other declarers to made ten tricks in their NT contracts. Two declarers were down one in 5♦ and one made 4♦. So Poor Frank got a big goose egg on this board and Lucky Archie won that evening’s laurels.

Later, when Frank was discussing the hands with Janet, he said, “Why do I have to sit miserably and listen to everyone calling Archie brilliant when he makes plays like that?”

“You’re right, darling,” Janet said. “If they really believe that nonsense, why don’t they call him Brilliant Archie?”

 

 

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXV: Poor Frank’s Agony

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXV: Poor Frank’s Agony

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Readers will recall that Jack Leeder recently went from ecstasy to agony to ecstasy and finally back to agony. Not long after that incident, a similar fate befell Poor Frank.

The bidding requires some explanation. After Poor Frank pre-empted, Lucky Archie chose to take a shot at 3NT, perhaps relying on his legendary luck for a spade stopper. When the 3NT call was passed around to Poor Frank, he could not believe his good fortune. Lucky Archie was going for at least 800 and he, Poor Frank, would once again grace the winner’s circle. So he doubled to make certain his partner led a spade. The double scared Lucky Archie, who made an SOS redouble. However, North thought his partner was only trying for a higher score and passed. Poor Frank was practically drooling. He knew he would soon be writing plus 1600 in his column.

However, there was one slight flaw in Poor Frank’s plan. West had no spade to lead. After some thought, Poor Frank’s partner put the ten of hearts down on the table. This ran to declarer’s queen. Lucky Archie now knocked out the ace of diamonds, thankful that it was not Poor Frank who held this card.

Lucky Archie next ran the three diamond tricks, then cashed the ace and queen of clubs, Poor Frank dropping the ten and jack on these cards. For once in his bridge career, Lucky Archie had been counting. He knew Poor Frank had started with seven spades and he had seen three diamonds, one heart, and two clubs. Therefore, West had to have the remaining clubs. The Lucky One now led the four of clubs and played dummy’s eight when West followed with the seven. This took the trick as Poor Frank tossed his ace of spades. Declarer soon claimed nine tricks with two hearts, three diamonds, and four clubs.

“That’s 3NT, doubled and redoubled, making,” he said with an obnoxious grin to his rival. Poor Frank looked like he wanted to rip his cards in two and said nothing.

“Now I know how Jack Leeder felt,” he said to Janet later as the two discussed the hands.

“Don’t worry, darling,” she said, “he may have caused you agony this time, but there’ll be times when you’ll enjoy the ecstasy of making him look like the idiot he is.”

“You’re right, dearest,” Poor Frank said. “Only an idiot would bid 3NT on three spades to the nine after his right hand opponent pre-empted in spades. But does that mean the Great Shuffler smiles on idiots?”

“I think it only means the Great One has a great sense of humor,” Janet said.

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXIV: The Mystery of the Ten of Diamonds

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXIV: The Mystery of the Ten of Diamonds

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

 

Poor Frank was on the verge of winning just the other night at the local duplicate club, when Lucky Archie had a chance to pass him on the last board of the evening.

 

Lucky Archie opened a weak two heart bid and 2NT asked for an outside feature. Three spades revealed that Archie had the king of spades and this was all Red Dyeman needed to hear. He knew Archie needed a good board to beat Poor Frank and he took a shot at the grand slam.

Poor Frank led the king of diamonds, taken by dummy’s ace. Declarer then drew trumps in four rounds, ending in hand. Meanwhile, Poor Frank sluffed two clubs and two diamonds.

The Lucky One realized he was a trick or two short, so he negotiated the club finesse, playing a low club and inserting dummy’s queen when Poor Frank played low. When the queen held, a smile played around Lucky Archie’s lips. He now knew he had the contract made. He cashed the ace of clubs and ruffed a club. Poor Frank threw the jack of diamonds on this card.

Lucky Archie now led his last trump, hoping to catch his rival in a squeeze. Poor Frank certainly seemed like a man caught in a vise. A look of agony crossed his face as he tossed the queen of diamonds on the table.

“Not discarding any spades, are we, Frankie baby,” the Lucky One said with a sneer. Poor Frank refused to answer or even make eye contact, instead staring silently at his remaining cards. Declarer crossed to dummy with the queen of spades, then returned to the king of spades as East let go the jack on this lead.

Lucky Archie smirked as he led his last spade. Poor Frank played the five in tempo, but Lucky Archie thought he noticed a slight tremor in his rival’s hand as he placed this card on the table. Lucky Archie confidently called for the nine of spades. But then East produced the ten and cashed a club to set this contract two tricks. Poor Frank had won that evening’s laurels and Lucky Archie was too stunned to say anything. Poor Frank stared at the last card in his hand as though it were a holy relic. It was the ten of diamonds.

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXIII: A Sneaky 6NT

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXIII: A Sneaky 6NT

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Just the other night at the local duplicate club, Poor Frank got some retribution for all the wrongs he had suffered at the hands of Lucky Archie over the years.

After his partner opened 1 and the duo failed to find a major suit fit, Poor Frank, with his 19 points, took a shot at 6NT. Lucky Archie made the opening lead of the jack of hearts and declarer was horrified when he saw the dummy. He was missing the ace and king of clubs!   Obviously, Archie didn’t have both of them or he would have thrown three or four double cards on the table and then smirked as he set his rival. But were they divided, with East having one and Archie the other? Poor Frank hoped so or else he had no chance. After winning dummy’s ace of hearts, he led a small club at trick two. East ducked, hoping declarer had something like a king/jack tenace.   Poor Frank played his jack and Lucky Archie won the king.

The Lucky One gave his exit little thought, tossing the ten of hearts on the table. A club was thrown from dummy as East followed and Poor Frank won his king. Declarer now ran all dummy’s diamonds, discarding a club and a small heart from hand. He then came to the ace of spades and cashed the queen of hearts, tossing dummy’s last club. East had not shown any distress in discarding up to this point, but now had to make a fatal choice: either a small spade or the ace of clubs had to go. East chose the spade, hoping Archie could stop the suit.

But it was not to be. Poor Frank now cashed the queen of spades, led a spade to dummy’s king, and the six of spades took the twelfth trick. East had to jettison his ace of clubs on this last trick, causing Lucky Archie’s eyes to bug out.

“Why didn’t you play that card when he led a club!” Archie yelled.

“Why didn’t you return a club when you won the king?” East said.

Later, when Poor Frank discussed the evening’s hands with Janet, he said, “Well, sweetheart, it is not the kind of music to which I am accustomed, but I could certainly get used to it.’

“Yes, you could, darling,” she said, “only doesn’t Archie’s whiny voice give it an off note?”

“No,” he said, “that’s the sound that makes it so sweet.”

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXII: Three Paths to Slam

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXII: Three Paths to Slam

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

  An interesting hand came up just the other night at the local duplicate club. Three of the club’s top declarers had a shot at it.

When Lucky Archie held the South hand, he bid 6♠ at his second turn. This turned out to be an easy contract. West led the queen of hearts, won in dummy. Archie then tested spades, playing the ace and a spade to the queen. When he saw the suit was breaking 4-1, he cashed the king of hearts, ruffed a heart in dummy, drew one more round of trumps and cashed clubs and diamonds. West eventually got the high trump, but it was plus 980 to the Lucky One.

Jack Leeder varied from Lucky Archie and bid 6NT at his second turn, perhaps acting on his hand’s lack of distribution. He also received the opening lead of the queen of hearts, again won by dummy’s ace. Jack now tested spades, for he saw that if this suit broke 3-2, he would have an easy twelve tricks. But it was not to be.

Jack was not discouraged. He now cashed all his clubs, tossing a small diamond on dummy’s last high club. He then cashed the ace and king of diamonds, his last high spade and then threw West in with a spade. West had to lead from his jack/nine of hearts into Jack’s king/ten. Twelve tricks were there for a nifty plus 990 to Mr. Leeder.

Poor Frank duplicated Jack Leeder’s bidding, probably for the same reason, and undoubtedly also because 990 scores more than 980. But West led the five of diamonds against Poor Frank’s 6NT, and this was taken by declarer’s ace. This lead was a much tougher one than Jack had received and Poor Frank had his work cut out for him. He also saw twelve easy tricks if spades behaved, but the king and queen of spades revealed the bad news. Poor Frank now realized he was in trouble unless West also had the queen and jack of hearts. He immediately rectified the count by giving up a diamond to East.

Back came a diamond and Poor Frank won in dummy and went after the clubs, tossing a small spade on dummy’s last high club. He noticed that West threw the queen of hearts on this card and Poor Frank allowed a small smile to play on his face. Was the situation the way he visualized it? He cashed dummy’s ace of spades. West let go of the jack, but declarer knew he still had the ten. Now came a heart to the king, declarer not taking the finesse West had encouraged. Yes, the jack dropped on this and Poor Frank soon scored up 990, a tie for top.

When he later described the hand to Janet, she said, “You should have gotten a cold top just for the way you played it. But that doesn’t happen in matchpoints. However, darling, I’ll give you some extra points.” They both smiled as she squeezed his hand.

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXI: The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXI: The Agony and the Ecstasy

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

 

Readers will recall that in Poor Frank CLX, our hero bid and made six diamonds against Lucky Archie. His result looked to be the best that evening, but Jack Leeder found himself in a higher scoring contract.

 

Readers should note that this hand has not been rotated to make South declarer, but has been diagrammed the same way it was played, with North declarer this time.

Jack Leeder’s hand was so good, it would have been very difficult for him to stay out of slam once his partner gave him a limit raise. However, once East led the seven of diamonds, he went into throes of agony. He was missing the ace and king of trumps in a slam! How could he ever make it?

But Jack was not one to give up and he thought of a possible swindle. He won the opening lead with dummy’s king and immediately led dummy’s jack of spades. West covered with the king, Jack ducked, and East threw down the ace with a deep scowl on his face. Yes, yes, yes! Jack was in complete ecstasy. All he would have to do was ruff a heart in dummy and finesse West’s marked ten of spades. He would be the only one to make six spades in the entire room. And he would win that evening’s duplicate.

It would be about time. Jack was plenty tired of hearing about how Lucky Archie and Poor Frank were always fighting it out for first place. No one ever talked about Jack Leeder. No one ever gave Jack Leeder his due. Now he would show them he was the club’s best player.

“You need to play a card from the dummy, Jack,” his partner said.

Jack came out of his revery long enough to see that East’s three of diamonds lay on the table.

“Oh, play low,” he said.

Dummy followed his instructions and West ruffed to set the contract.

Suddenly, Jack was once again overcome by agony, knowing that he would not finish in the top two and maybe not even in the top three. As usual, the spotlight would fall on either Poor Frank or Lucky Archie and everyone would be talking about them when they exited the studio. And he would leave unnoticed, with no one even saying something like “Poor Jack” or “Lucky Jack.” No, he was just Jack Leeder, the invisible man at the table.

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLX: Bad Karma

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLX: Bad Karma

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

Poor Frank needed a good board against his rival on the last hand of the night and they drew the following cards:

 

Lucky Archie led the queen of hearts against Poor Frank’s small slam. Poor Frank could not help but notice when the dummy came down that there was a slight flaw in this contract. He was missing the ace and king of spades!   But ever the trooper, Poor Frank gave away nothing with his expression and labored on.

He won the lead in dummy and drew trumps in two rounds, ending in dummy. Next came the ace and king of clubs and two spade sluffs. He then played the king of hearts and ruffed a heart. Now all suits but trumps and spades had been eliminated. He led a low spade from hand, and Lucky Archie made the fine play of ducking. However, when Red Dyeman won his ace, he had to give declarer a ruff and a sluff. Poor Frank soon claimed his bold slam.

The normally phlegmatic Red suddenly became angry and yelled at Archie, “You dolt, why didn’t you lead a spade? Now he has no chance. No chance at all!”

“But, Red,” Archie said, “how would I ever know to choose a spade when I have the queen, jack, and ten of hearts?”

“They argued for about ten minutes,” Frank told Janet later as they discussed the evening’s boards. “I have seldom seen Red so mad. And you know what, I agree with Archie. He made a good lead and a good play when he ducked the spade.”

“Yes, darling,” Janet said, “but think of all the bad karma Archie’s accumulated over the years. Think of all the times he’s been congratulated for being an idiot. It was about time he got criticized for doing the right thing.”

“You’re right, sweetheart,” Frank said. “Maybe that’s why Archie looks so stoop-shouldered lately. It’s the weight from the invisible backpack he’s using to carry all that bad karma.”

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

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLIX: Three Kings Too Few

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLIX: Three Kings Too Few

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

A bidding misunderstanding put Lucky Archie in what appeared to be a doomed contract that would allow Poor Frank to win that evening’s duplicate.

The 2NT bid was a forcing spade raise by Red Dyeman, Lucky Archie’s partner. Although Red had only three spades, he reasoned that a forcing raise was his best bid. The 5♣ bid showed two aces and the king of spades, the pair playing 3014. When Lucky Archie asked for kings, Red replied 6♣, showing either three or zero, in this case zero, since Red had already shown the king of spades.

Lucky Archie, however, assumed it was three and bid the grand in spades.

When Poor Frank led the king of hearts, Lucky Archie’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. “I thought you had three more kings,” he said to Red.

“Maybe you should have cue bid,” Red replied in a gruff voice.

Lucky Archie had no idea how to play the hand, but he knew he had to take some finesses. He won the opening lead with dummy’s ace of hearts and immediately took the club finesse, which worked. He then drew trumps in two rounds, ending in dummy. He repeated the club finesse and subsequently threw a heart from dummy on the ace of clubs. Next came a low diamond, declarer inserting dummy’s queen when Poor Frank followed with the nine. This also took the trick.

“Now I see why they call you Lucky Archie,” Red was quick to comment.

Poor Frank shook his head. Would his incompetent rival best him once again on sheer luck?

The Lucky One now ran his trumps, causing Poor Frank immense psychological pain that quickly turned into actual physical torture. He saw that since dummy had the ten of hearts and the eight of diamonds that he was being squeezed. Did Archie even know what he was doing?

When Lucky Archie led the last trump, Poor Frank had to choose between the queen of hearts and the jack of diamonds. When he listlessly tossed the jack of diamonds, Lucky Archie’s eyes lit up and he discarded dummy’s ten of hearts. Now a diamond to the ace dropped Poor Frank’s king and dummy’s eight of diamonds took the thirteenth trick.

“Well done, squeeze master,” Red said, laughing out loud.

Lucky Archie turned to Poor Frank. “You can’t just toss jacks away and expect to win,” he said.

“What can I do?” Poor Frank said. “I just never seem to have any luck with knaves.”

 

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

The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part LXV: Grand Slam Farce

The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part LXV: Grand Slam Farce

By Ray Adams
frankandarchie@yahoo.com

The grand slam force is very useful in grand slam bidding. It asks partner to bid seven of the agreed suit if partner holds two of the top three honors in the suit. Otherwise, only six should be bid. It is rather important, however, that the partners have agreed on a suit.

In the auction, 2NT showed 21-22 HCP and a balanced hand. Three hearts was a transfer, and four diamonds showed a second suit and an interest in slam. Everything was understandable up to this point. Then Kowalski bid four hearts, which in his mind showed support for both diamonds and spades and was a cue bid of the ace of hearts. Nograwowicz was not certain if Kowalski actually had support for one of his suits and he rebid diamonds to confirm five of them.

Now Kowalski was certain there was a slam and bid 5NT. He intended this to be the grand slam force. However, Nograwowicz thought his partner must be 2-2 in his suits and that Kowalski was simply trying to bail. He was thoroughly confused and for once in his bridge career, did not know what to do. He then passed, making the awkward 5NT the final contract.

Kowalski was shaken when he saw the dummy. He realized all he had to do was find the queen of spades or the queen of diamonds and a small slam could be claimed. West’s ten of clubs was covered by the jack and queen, declarer winning the ace. Kowalski led the king of diamonds, then the eight, as West discarded a club, and dummy’s ace took the trick. Kowalski had seen Nograwowicz play so many hands, that he now knew what to do. He had to keep East off lead because a club lead from West was safe, while one from East would cause him much distress.

He then played a small spade to the jack when East followed low. This held and things were looking up for Kowalski. He cashed the ace of spades, seeing that this suit was splitting 3-2, then conceded a diamond to East’s queen. He soon had twelve tricks lined up in front of him. However, he was extremely depressed since he knew he had been responsible for missing an easy slam.

But Pas and Konejwicz came back to the table with good news. Their opponent had been in six spades and had not needed to keep East off lead. This declarer guessed spades wrong, losing a trick to East’s queen. Then that same declarer had played for the drop in diamonds, also giving East a trick with the queen. So Team Porcupine had actually picked up 13 imps on this hand

The porcupines went on to win this match by 8 imps and later gave Kowalski’s bid a nickname:

The Grand Slam Farce.

 

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