The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part L: Who is the Lucky One?
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club. As usual, the evening’s winner depended on the outcome of one crucial board:
Poor Frank jumped to the spade game after East opened and Lucky Archie doubled on high card strength and general principles. After all, he had to teach his rival a lesson and clearly Frank was out of line on this board.
The Lucky One led the king of hearts and continued the suit, declarer ruffing. Next came the ♠K, Lucky Archie hopping up with his ace of trumps. He could see that dummy’s diamonds posed a definite threat, so he immediately placed a low club on the table. East won the ace and returned the suit to declarer’s king.
Poor Frank drew the remaining trumps and advanced the seven of diamonds, Lucky Archie playing the six. Poor Frank also played low from dummy and East won his eight. But East had no clubs left and had to exit with a high heart, ruffed by declarer. Poor Frank now led the nine of diamonds to the ten and dummy’s queen. When East’s jack dropped, a smile danced on Frank’s face and he cashed the ace of diamonds to sluff his losing club and claim his doubled contract.
“Archie, you dolt,” East yelled at his partner. “All you had to do was cover the seven of diamonds with your ten and he has to go down. Now he can’t duck a diamond to the safe hand.”
“What’s wrong with second hand low?” Lucky Archie asked. “Would you really have played the ten?”
Poor Frank was enjoying himself immensely as he listened to his bickering rivals. A happy thought crossed his mind: “Who is the lucky one now?”
Wouldn’t it have been easier for Frank to just run his Spades and squeeze Archie in diamonds and Clubs?
Hi Jordan, In answer to your question, yes, it undoubtedly would be easier for Poor Frank to execute the squeeze. After all, he only needs his left hand opponent, who just happens to be Lucky Archie, to hold three diamonds to the king and the top club. This is the same holding he needed in order to successfully play the hand the way he did. Thus, it would seem that Poor Frank missed the squeeze. Or did he? For, after all, if he had squeezed Lucky Archie, there would have been no reason for East to berate his partner. Lucky Archie would have just been a victim. But when Poor Frank played the hand the way he did, he needed Lucky Archie to make a mistake, thus eventually causing his partner to take him to task. Now, we have to ask ourselves, did Poor Frank deliberately avoid the squeeze in order to make Lucky Archie look bad? Perhaps we will never know, at least until the day when Poor Frank finally reveals all in his memoirs. I am certainly looking forward to this event and I hope all my readers are also. Sincerely, Ray Adams.