The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XLVI: Poor Frank’s Master Bid
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate. They were locked in a dead heat going into the last round and the winner would be determined by the outcome of the last fateful hand. Luck seemed to be with Poor Frank as this board showcased a master bid that would undoubtedly be the main jewel in the crown of his bridge career:
When East bid 4♥, Poor Frank could have competed with the pedestrian bid of 4♠ as most Souths would have done, but instead he made the masterful lead-directing bid of 5♣, anticipating that his left-hand opponent might win the auction and telling his partner what to lead. Thus, Poor Frank could only smile when West did indeed reach 6♥ doubled and North led a club. Poor Frank ruffed and cashed the ace of diamonds to set the contract one trick for plus 200. Poor Frank saw that he could have underled his ace to North’s king of diamonds to receive another ruff and been plus 500, but he was simply happy to have a positive score on this board and he sat back and waited for his name to be announced as that evening’s winner.
Readers can only imagine Poor Frank’s disappointment when he heard Lucky Archie’s name read ahead of his own. He later found out that the auction had been quite different at the other table. The Lucky One opened 2♠, West bid 3♥, North called 4♠, East bid 5♥, and Lucky Archie tried 5♠. West promptly doubled this and declarer had no trouble making eleven tricks, losing only to the ace of spades and the ace of hearts.
When Poor Frank saw Janice after the game, he tried to explain his reasoning behind his master bid to her. Unfortunately, she, like most of the other bridge buffs, was too caught up with the actual results to listen.
“I don’t know what was so great about bidding five clubs,” she said. “when five spades was the bid that won all the matchpoints.”