The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXVIII: Too Many Ladies
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank was having a great night at the local duplicate club, but unfortunately for him, Lucky Archie was keeping pace and the winner would be determined by the following fateful board.
Dealer: South North South West North East Vulnerable: None ♠ AJ6 1♣ Pass 1♥ Pass ♥ AJ104 1♠ Pass 4♣ Pass ♦ J9 6♣ All pass. ♣ AK62 West East (Lucky Archie) ♠ 85 ♠ Q1042 ♥ 632 ♥ Q985 ♦ 875432 ♦ Q10 ♣ 95 ♣ Q104 South (Poor Frank) ♠ K973 ♥ K7 ♦ AK6 ♣ J873
West led the eight of diamonds to the jack, queen, and ace. Poor Frank now drew two rounds of trumps, shaking his head sadly when the queen did not drop. He led dummy’s last diamond, covered by the ten and king. Declarer then ruffed a diamond in dummy. Lucky Archie looked at this trick long and hard, finally throwing a small spade.
Poor Frank led dummy’s last club, forcing his rival to win the trick. The Lucky One pondered for a long time before exiting with the nine of hearts, ducked to dummy’s ten. Poor Frank was greatly surprised by Archie’s behavior. It was highly unusual for him to put much thought into his efforts at the bridge table and Poor Frank realized that it could only be because he held all the key cards. It also seemed like his rival had started with a 4-4-2-3 pattern, and if this was correct, then he could be squeezed.
Poor Frank led a heart to his king and played his last trump, the squeeze card, sluffing a spade from dummy. Lucky Archie had no good answer, but also threw a spade. Declarer crossed to the ace of spades and cashed the ace of hearts. When the queen did not drop, he advanced the jack of spades. This drew Lucky Archie’s queen, his ten having fallen on the ace. Thus, Poor Frank’s ♠ K9 took the last two tricks as he claimed this small slam and that evening’s laurels.
“Well, Archie, I guess you just had too many ladies for one man,” Poor Frank said, smiling broadly at his stunned rival.