The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXXIV: The Top TurkeyBy Ray Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
It was customary for the local duplicate club to have a Thanksgiving party on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving. The club always played an individual movement for the occasion and the winner was crowned that year’s Top Turkey. On this particular evening, to no one’s surprise, Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were leading the pack. The following board was crucial:
Dealer: North North North East South West Vulnerable: None ♠ 1092 1♣ 2♥ 2♠ 4♥ ♥ 876 4♠ All pass. ♦ AK ♣ KQ1095 West (Archie) East ♠ AQ4 ♠ J6 ♥ A42 ♥ KQJ1095 ♦ J8543 ♦ Q962 ♣ 84 ♣ 7 South (Poor Frank) ♠ K8753 ♥ 3 ♦ 107 ♣ AJ632
As readers can see, Poor Frank became declarer in a rugged 4♠ contract after the competitive auction shown above. Lucky Archie found himself on opening lead. He closed his eyes and tried to remember what he had recently read in a book on opening leads.
“Archie, it’s your lead,” his partner said.
“I know, I know,” the Lucky One said. He cudgeled his brain, trying to get a grip on the advice he knew would help him become this year’s Top Turkey. Suddenly a passage flashed through his mind: “A doubleton makes a good lead against a suit contract when you have trump control. It gives you an excellent chance of getting a ruff.”
Lucky Archie smiled and placed the eight of clubs on the table. Poor Frank won in dummy and passed the ten of spades, losing to his rival’s queen. The Lucky One persisted with a club. Much to his surprise, East ruffed. East then cashed a heart and Poor Frank still had to lose the ace of trumps for down one.
“Oh, Archie, that was the greatest lead ever!” East later told his partner.
“Thanks, partner,” Archie said. “I was only trying for a ruff, like the book said. I just had no idea I was trying to get you to ruff!”
“Well, congratulations, Archie,” Poor Frank said. “I definitely think your play proves you are worthy to be this year’s Top Turkey.”