The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXXVI: Poor Frank’s Merry ChristmasBy Ray Adams email@example.com
Spirits were high at the local bridge buffs’ annual Christmas party. Everyone was having a great time, enjoying the pot luck plates along with some nice sparkling refreshments. Still, when it came to bridge, Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were well ahead of the other players.
The winner of the festive event would be determined by the outcome of the following board:
Dealer: South North South West North East Vulnerable: None ♠ Q9 1♠ Pass 2♥ Pass ♥ KJ8742 3♠ Pass 4♠ Pass ♦ A8 5♣ Pass 5♦ Pass ♣ 762 6♠ All pass. West (Archie) East ♠ 43 ♠ 82 ♥ 109 ♥ AQ65 ♦ KQJ107 ♦ 95432 ♣ KJ109 ♣ Q4 South (Poor Frank) ♠ AKJ10765 ♥ 3 ♦ 6 ♣ A853
In the auction, 5♣ and 5♦ were cuebids. Poor Frank must have assumed North had the ace of hearts when he bid the small slam. Lucky Archie led the king of diamonds. Poor Frank only took about two seconds to study the hand before playing low from dummy. Lucky Archie had to be told that he had won the first trick. Without thinking it over, he continued a diamond. Poor Frank thankfully tossed his singleton heart on dummy’s ace.
Declarer led the king of hearts, covered by the ace and ruffed high, as Lucky Archie’s nine dropped. Poor Frank returned to dummy with the nine of spades and led the jack of hearts, covered by the queen and also ruffed high. He smiled broadly when his rival’s ten of hearts fell on this trick. Another spade to the queen picked up the outstanding trumps. Poor Frank’s three small clubs disappeared on dummy’s eight, seven, and four of hearts, while East’s face turned a bright shade of red.
“What were you thinking of?” East screamed at Lucky Archie. “I had the ace and queen of hearts. If you had led anything but a diamond at trick two, he can’t make it.”
“I thought I was onto something,” the Lucky One replied.
“You were,” Poor Frank said. “You found a nice way to wish me Merry Christmas.”
Dear Readers: Yes, Lucky Archie certainly did wish Poor Frank a Merry Christmas. But was it 100% Archie’s fault? What do you think? I welcome your comments. Best wishes & Merry Christmas, Ray Adams.