The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part IX: Poor Frank’s Turn to SmileBy Ray Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
It was another exciting evening at the local duplicate club. Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were leading as usual, and the winner depended on the very last board.Dealer: South North South West North East Vulnerable: All ♠ KQJ3 1♠ Pass 2NT Pass ♥ AK7 3♠ Pass 4NT Pass ♦ AJ3 5♥ Pass 6♠ All pass. ♣ 862 West (Archie) East ♠ 84 ♠ 5 ♥ QJ1092 ♥843 ♦987 ♦ Q10654 ♣ K73 ♣ J1095 South (Poor Frank) ♠ A109762 ♥ 65 ♦ K2 ♣ AQ4
In the auction, 2NT was a forcing raise in spades, 3♠ showed extra values (a six card suit and two doubletons), and 5♥ showed two aces without the queen of spades. Lucky Archie led the queen of hearts, taken by dummy’s ace. Declarer drew trumps in two rounds, then immediately cashed the king of hearts. Lucky Archie was not paying much attention to this and carelessly threw his two of hearts on this trick.
Poor Frank came to hand with the king of diamonds and led a diamond to the ace, ignoring the finesse postion. When dummy’s jack was covered by East’s queen, declarer was glad of his decision. He ruffed this trick, then crossed to one of dummy’s high trumps. He led the seven of hearts, covered by East’s eight, but Poor Frank had been counting and he knew Lucky Archie had to win this trick.
He tossed his small club on this card as Archie triumphantly won his nine, smirking and saying, “You should be more careful, Frank.”
But Poor Frank’s rival now had to lead into declarer’s club tenace or else present him with a ruff and a sluff. Poor Frank soon claimed his small slam, as well as first place in that evening’s game.
“Archie, you dolt,” East yelled across the table, “If you save your two of hearts and throw the nine, you can let me win the eight. I’ll send a club through to beat the contract.”
“That’s a silly thought,” Archie replied, “A nine’s a much better card than a two.”
When Poor Frank heard Lucky Archie’s logic, he knew it was his turn to smile.