The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XV: Lucky Archie Finds the Right Stuff


The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XV: Lucky Archie Finds the Right Stuff

By Ray Adams

It was another exciting evening at the local duplicate club. Lucky Archie was playing with a bridge professional from San Francisco and doing quite well. But if he wanted to finish first – and he did – he still had to beat Poor Frank on the last board of the evening.

Dealer: South                                                 North                           South     West     North     East
Vulnerable: EW                                              ♠ K9865                       1♠          Pass       4         Pass
                                                                            QJ4                           4♠        All pass.
                                                                            ♣ K954
                                                            West (Archie)  East (S.F. Pro)
                                                            ♠ 73                 ♠ 2
                                                            95                 K10872
                                                            K10742        A985
                                                            ♣ J762            ♣ AQ10
                                                                        South (Poor Frank)
                                                                        ♠ AQJ104
                                                                        ♣ 83

In the auction, 4 was a splinter bid showing an opening hand, four card support for spades, and shortness in diamonds. Lucky Archie led the 9 to dummy’s queen, East’s king and declarer’s ace. The kibitzers, three deep around the table, edged closer to see what Poor Frank would do next.
Most declarers had drawn trumps and led a diamond from dummy. When the Easts had risen with the ace, they had later ruffed out West’s king and discarded a heart from dummy on the J. Thus, they all made 4♠, losing only one diamond and two clubs.
Poor Frank tried the same trick, crossing to dummy with a trump at trick two and then leading a diamond. The pro did not take the bait. He ducked and Lucky Archie topped Frank’s queen with the king.
As Poor Frank waited patiently for Lucky Archie to lead to the next trick, he made his plan. He would win the heart exit, draw the last trump, ruff a diamond in dummy, back to hand with a trump and ruff his last diamond in dummy. He would then throw East in the lead with a heart and the pro would have to concede the tenth trick with either a club return or a ruff and a sluff.
But when Poor Frank looked down at the table and saw that Lucky Archie had actually led the ♣2, his stomach did a flip flop. Now he could not prevent the loss of two clubs, one diamond, and a heart. Down one meant Lucky Archie had easily won that evening.
Poor Frank, gracious as always, complimented his rival on the club shift.
“It was nothing, Frankie baby,” Lucky Archie said. “When I saw my partner’s two of spades I knew he wanted a club.”
The kibitzers shook their heads in amusement, but still congratulated Lucky Archie on his outstanding thinking. As everyone filed out, Poor Frank sat all alone, holding his head in his hands until some kind soul told him it was time to go home.

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2 Responses to The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XV: Lucky Archie Finds the Right Stuff

  1. thebighenry says:

    Poor Frank only pulled one round of trump before leading his singleton diamond? Which allowed Lucky (Stupid?) Archie to surmise that the pro’s spade deuce was a signal rather than a singleton?

    Am I missing something, Ray?


    • poorfrank says:

      You’re not missing anything, Henry. The one who is missing something is Lucky Archie who wouldn’t know a signal if it jumped off the card table and hit him in the face. Thanks for the question and best wishes, Ray


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