The Adventures of Poor Frank’s Friends, Part IV: A Purpose for Every Card
By Ray Adams
Jack Leeder, one of the club’s younger bridge buffs, listened attentively as Ace Banghor expounded about his latest bridge triumph.
“There is a purpose for every card,” Ace said. Jack was often put off by Ace’s obvious self-importance, but he still felt there was much to be learned from Ace and his years of experience in local duplicate wars. Ace showed Jack the following hand:
“West led the queen of diamonds to East’s ace against my 4♥ contract,” Ace said. “East continued a diamond. I won the king and threw a spade from dummy. I led the jack of clubs, covered by the queen and king and captured by East’s ace. This worthy switched to the nine of spades, covered by the queen and king and won in dummy with the ace.”
Ace paused for breath, then said, “Take a look at that eight of clubs in dummy. Don’t you think it’s there for a purpose? Of course it is. The Great Shuffler put it there so I could finesse the nine of clubs!”
“So I led the eight, and it went, six, four, and two. Now I knew I had the contract made. I ruffed a spade as West’s ten fell, cashed the ten of clubs, ruffed a diamond in dummy, and cashed the ace of trumps. When I saw East’s ten fall on this trick, I claimed the remainder on a high cross ruff. How many other declarers do you think made this contract?”
“Oh, maybe two or three,” Jack answered.
“Hah! None,” Ace said. “I was the only one in the room who saw the value of that eight of clubs. Let that be a lesson to you.”
Jack was very impressed by the fact that Ace had finessed East out of the nine of clubs, but he thought the best lesson he could take from Ace’s story was to learn a little humility and not act as obnoxious as his mentor.