The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXII: A Clever Play
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 the last hand as the two rivals were locked in a dead tie after twenty six boards.
Dealer: South North South West North East Vulnerable: EW ♠ A4 1♥ 1♠ 3♥ 4♠ ♥ KJ7 5♥ All pass. ♦ K854 ♣ 653 West East ♠ KQJ75 ♠ 109863 ♥ 1065 ♥ 2 ♦ 76 ♦ QJ10 ♣ AQ4 ♣ J1092 South (Poor Frank) ♠ 2 ♥ AQ9843 ♦ A92 ♣ K87
Poor Frank took the push to 5♥ and West led the ♠K. Poor Frank studied the dummy for several moments before making the strange-looking play of ducking. West continued with a spade and declarer tossed a diamond on this. He then cashed the ace and king of diamonds and ruffed a diamond with the queen of trumps. This established dummy’s remaining diamonds and it was now easy for Poor Frank to draw the trumps ending in dummy. He cashed the diamonds and sluffed two clubs on them, conceding a club to claim his contract.
Most declarers were not as clever as Poor Frank. They drew two rounds of trumps and tried to set up the diamonds, but when East took the third round, a club through allowed the defenders to cash three tricks in that suit.
Thus, it appeared as though Poor Frank would easily win that evening’s event. Unfortunately for him, the EW players at Lucky Archie’s table were too aggressive. They bid all the way to 5♠, which was quickly doubled and set two tricks, allowing Archie to score +500 to Poor Frank’s +450 and once again walk off with the laurels.
As Lucky Archie passed Poor Frank on the way out, he said loud enough for everyone in the club to hear, “You’ll have to learn to play a lot better than you do to beat me, Frankie Baby.”
Poor Frank’s reply was inaudible due to the noises he created gnashing his teeth. But perhaps that was just as well.