The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XXXVII: Bad Start to the New YearBy Ray Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
Poor Frank was greeted by several cries of “Happy New Year!” as he walked into the local duplicate club for the first time in 2015. He hoped to keep his New Year’s resolution to not lose to Lucky Archie. Poor Frank expected to get beaten by good plays, but he absolutely could not stand losing because of the Lucky One’s idiotic plays. This new year started off no differently than any of the old ones. It still came down to one key hand involving the two rivals:
Dealer: South North South West North East Vulnerable: All ♠ K654 1♠ Pass 2NT Pass ♥ K86 6♠ all pass. ♦ AK102 ♣ 62 West (Archie) East ♠ J9 ♠ 3 ♥ AQ5 ♥ 2 ♦ J965 ♦ 8743 ♣ AK73 ♣ QJ109854 South (Poor Frank) ♠ AQ10872 ♥ J109743 ♦ Q ♣ void
In the auction, 2NT was a forcing raise in spades, showing four trumps and an opening hand. Poor Frank, knowing his partner had values and four trumps, bid what he thought he could make. Poor Frank could not know that everyone else had made six on the hand, whether they were in four, five, or six spades, when West led the ace of clubs.
But Lucky Archie thought for a moment and banged down the ace of hearts. Poor Frank felt a touch of dizziness when he saw this card. East followed with the deuce, and any normal player would now have tried to cash the ace of clubs. But Lucky Archie continued with the queen, covered by the king and ruffed by East with his singleton trump. When Poor Frank later noticed that his rival held the ace and king of clubs, he was convinced that Lucky Archie was a total lunatic. Still, he had managed to find the only lead and continuation to beat the contract.
Lucky Archie smirked at Poor Frank, saying, “You just can’t beat good defense, Frankie baby.”
Poor Frank began to scream. The noise woke him and after a few terrible moments, he realized it had all been a very bad dream. Even so, he was quite shaken. He began to fear that he would not be able to keep his number one resolution in the new year.