The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XII: A Good Fit

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The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XII: A Good Fit
by Ray Adams

Poor Frank’s plans for that Wednesday evening fell through, so he turned up at the local bridge club hoping to find a partner. Unfortunately for him, the only player available was Lucky Archie. Poor Frank girded his loins and prepared for an adventurous evening. Surprisingly, he and the lucky one had a very decent game and were tied with another pair going into the last board of the night:

Dealer: South                                      North (Lucky Archie)             South     West     North     East
Vulnerable: EW                                   ♠ A876                                       1             1♠         2♣          Pass
                                                                Q7                                            2♥           Pass      2♠           Pass
                                                                QJ                                             3           Pass      6          All pass.
                                                                ♣ AK1083
                                                West                  East
                                                ♠ KQJ109        ♠ 4
                                                void               ♥ J1098543
                                                8652              ♦ 974
                                                ♣ J654             ♣ Q7
                                                            South (Poor Frank)
                                                            ♠ 532
                                                           AK62
                                                            AK103
                                                            ♣ 92

Poor Frank would have liked to have more diamonds for his 3 call, but he felt he had nothing else to say. This bid obviously excited Lucky Archie and Poor Frank soon found himself in a remarkable slam contract. The sight of the dummy made him want to throw up.
West led the ♠K, taken by dummy’s ace. When East followed with the four, declarer read it as a singleton. It appeared that the best chance was to draw trumps – hoping they were 4-3 – and then do something with the clubs.
Poor Frank drew four rounds of trumps, happy to see them divide, and sluffed two spades from dummy. He next let the ♣9 ride to East’s queen. East exited with the jack of hearts which ran to dummy’s queen as West threw a spade.
Poor Frank now knew East had started with seven hearts, three diamonds, one spade, and therefore, two clubs. He had to hope East’s second club was not the jack. He cashed the A, then the K, sluffing dummy’s last spade, and played a club to dummy’s ten, holding his breath. When this card held, Poor Frank claimed this unwieldy slam for a neat +920.
“Well, Frank,” Archie crowed. “It must be nice to play with a bidder as good as me.”
“You certainly picked the right 4-2 fit,” Frank said. “Six hearts has no chance at all.”
This last statement drew a big smirk from Lucky Archie.
However, the partnership of Ace Banghor and Jack Leeder slipped past Archie and Frank by scoring +990 on this board for bidding and making 6NT. Even so, as the players slowly left the arena, Lucky Archie could be heard bragging about his great bidding to anyone who would listen.

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