The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXVII: Lucky Archie Forgets to Ruff
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were battling for first place once again just the other night at the local duplicate club. As usual, it all came down to the last board:
Dealer: East North East South West North Vulnerable: All ♠ AQ72 Pass 1♠ 2♠ 4♠ ♥ 864 Pass 4NT Pass 5♠ ♦ A9 Pass 6♠ All pass. ♣ J964 West (Frank) East ♠ 10 ♠ 864 ♥ QJ1053 ♥ K ♦ K86542 ♦ J1073 ♣ Q ♣ 107532 South (Lucky Archie) ♠ KJ953 ♥ A972 ♦ Q ♣ AK8
In the auction, 2♠ showed at least 10 cards in hearts and an unnamed minor. 5♠ showed two aces and the queen of trumps. Poor Frank led the queen of hearts, which went to the four, king, and declarer’s ace. Lucky Archie drew two rounds of trumps and banged down the ace of clubs. Archie’s eyes got big when he saw Poor Frank’s queen fall. He crossed to dummy with a trump and led a small club, inserting the eight when East played low. This held the trick and declarer smirked at Poor Frank who was starting to look nervous.
Lucky Archie cashed the king of clubs and advanced his queen of diamonds, covered by Poor Frank’s king and won with dummy’s ace. Declarer then played the jack of clubs, sluffing a heart. Lucky Archie had done quite well up to this point, but it still looked like he was doomed to lose two heart tricks and go down. He led dummy’s nine of diamonds and, when East played the ten, a heart fell from his hand. East started to lead to the next trick and Archie said, “But isn’t it my lead? Didn’t I trump that diamond?”
The other players had to explain to declarer that he had, indeed, tossed a heart on the diamond instead of ruffing. But, as it often is, it was Archie’s lucky day. East had no heart to lead and had to give the Lucky One a ruff and a sluff to make his contract.
“What do you think, Frank,” Lucky Archie asked as he was announced the winner of that evening’s contest, “Could I have made seven if I would have ruffed that diamond?”
“Oh, I’m sure you would have made eight,” Poor Frank responded as he tore his convention card into little pieces.