By Ray Adams
The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXIII: Lucky Archie Pulls the Wrong Card
Poor Frank knew he was going to win the club championship the other night at the local duplicate club. He had Lucky Archie right where he wanted him on the following hand.
Dealer: South North South West North East Vulnerable: All ♠ 98 1♥ Pass 3♥ Pass ♥ AK85 4♥ All pass. ♦ K986 ♣ 973 West (Poor Frank) East ♠ K32 ♠ J10764 ♥ 106 ♥ 42 ♦ A7543 ♦ 102 ♣ AQ4 ♣ K865 South (Lucky Archie) ♠ AQ5 ♥ QJ973 ♦ QJ ♣ J102
Poor Frank decided to pass his good hand and await developments. It did not take his rival long to bid a thin game after North’s limit raise in hearts. Poor Frank led the spade deuce. This went to the three, ten, and declarer’s ace!
Lucky Archie drew trumps in two rounds and advanced the queen of diamonds. Poor Frank took the ace and realized that the play at trick one marked East with the ♠ QJ10. Therefore, he underled his king, knowing East would win the trick and send a club through to spell doom to this cheeky contract.
But a funny thing happened when Poor Frank did this. Lucky Archie won his queen, cashed the jack of diamonds, and went to dummy with a trump to sluff two clubs on the high diamonds. He soon claimed an overtrick. This was a top result for the Lucky One and somehow he had leapfrogged over his rival to claim that evening’s event.
Poor Frank was extremely impressed by his rival’s great play in the spade suit and he asked him about it.
“Oh, it was nothing,” Lucky Archie replied with the silly grin that Poor Frank hated so much. “I just had the queen of spades mixed in with my clubs at the start of the hand.”
There was a loud snapping noise and the entire room looked to see that the pencil in Poor Frank’s mouth had been bitten in half.