The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XVI: The Lonely Two


The Adventures of PoorFrank, Part XVI: The Lonely Two
 By Ray Adams

Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club. As usual, it all came down to one fateful hand:

Dealer: North                                     North                                       North     East     South     West
Vulnerable: None                           ♠ AKQ654                                    1♠           Pass       2♥        Pass
                                                            K105                                          2♠           Pass       3♥         3
                                                            42                                              4♥           Pass      4NT      Pass
                                                            ♣ A5                                             5♦           Pass       6       All pass.
                                                West                    East (Lucky Archie)
                                                ♠ 7                        ♠ J10832      
                                                2                       Q86
                                                KQJ108753     9
                                                ♣ KJ3                   ♣ Q1076
                                                            South (Poor Frank)
                                                            ♠ 9
                                                            ♣ 9842

In the auction, 5 showed three aces, the king of trumps being counted as one ace. Clearly, Poor Frank must have thought he needed a good board. Why else push such a tenuous holding to slam?
West led the K. Poor Frank won the ace and crossed to the ♠A to return a small spade, ruffing with the three. When West threw a diamond, Poor Frank realized that either West was out of trumps or else held only the lonely two. Declarer hoped it was the latter. He led a heart to dummy’s king as West followed with the twospot, the card Poor Frank wanted to see. He then led dummy’s 10. Lucky Archie ducked smoothly and so did Poor Frank. When West threw a diamond, Poor Frank ruffed another spade, establishing that suit.
Declarer then drew the last trump, led a club to the ace and ran the spades, claiming twelve tricks consisting of six hearts, four spades, and the two minor suit aces.
“Archie, you dolt!” West yelled at his partner. “He can’t make it if you cover the ten of hearts.”
“But he might not have finessed,” Archie protested.
“Are you really so thick that you think he might not have played you for the queen when I can’t overruff the three?” West’s voice was so loud it woke up the club’s senior kibitzer who had fallen asleep in the lounge after eating the last box of cookies.
So it turned out to be Poor Frank’s turn to smile as the bridge buffs filed out of the studio that evening.

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