The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXXII: A Cool GrandBy Ray Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
Excitement was high at the local duplicate club’s monthly championship game the other night. Both Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were having big games. The ultimate winner was determined by this exciting hand;
Dealer: South North (Poor Frank) South West North East Vulnerable: None ♠ 86 1♠ Pass 2♦ Pass ♥ Q95 3♣ Pass 3♦ Pass ♦ AQJ753 4♣ Pass 5♣ Pass ♣ K4 7♣ All pass. West East ♠ QJ10 ♠ 94 ♥ J86432 ♥ 10 ♦ 10 ♦ K98642 ♣ 753 ♣ 10862 South (Lucky Archie) ♠ AK7532 ♥ AK7 ♦ void ♣ AQJ9
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were not partners as the above diagram seems to suggest. Rather, Poor Frank was sitting North and playing with Queenie Hartz, while Lucky Archie sat South and played with Red Dyeman. Par on this hand was + 980 for NS, as most players were in 6♠, making six. Poor Frank, however, managed to maneuver the hand so that he played 6NT, a good choice as East was unable to successfully attack diamonds. He merely conceded one spade and soon claimed + 990, which looked like it would stand up for the top score on this board.
However, Poor Frank had not counted on the bad bidding of his rival. The reckless auction given above occurred at Lucky Archie’s table, where the Lucky One rebid his four card club suit in preference to showing six spades as most bridge buffs would have done. This caused North to think the two suits equal and thereby take a preference to clubs with an honor in the suit. Archie’s final bid was obviously an attempt to gain a top board and beat Poor Frank for the championship.
West led the ten of diamonds, taken by dummy’s ace. Declarer cashed the ace and king of spades, then ruffed a spade with dummy’s king of clubs. He led dummy’s last trump and inserted the nine when East followed with the deuce. When this held, Declarer drew the rest of the trumps and claimed this cool grand. This top result propelled the Lucky One into first place that evening.
Poor Frank was in total despair. He cornered every player he could and lamented on how he had been beaten by a grand slam in a 4-2 fit.
Lucky Archie, on the other hand, was busy autographing convention cards and giving bidding lessons to all and sundry.