The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LIII: A Cunning Ruse
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club. The winner of the event would be decided by the following exciting hand:
Poor Frank and his partner reached a very optimistic 6♥ contract. But when Lucky Archie led the queen of spades and dummy came down, Poor Frank realized he and partner had erred. Although it is difficult to make a slam missing the ace and king of trumps, stranger things have happened in the bridge world. Since no one had doubled, Poor Frank could be reasonably certain that neither opponent had both of the high cards.
East signaled with the spade eight on the opening lead as declarer took the ace. Poor Frank then tried a ruse, playing a diamond to the king and one back to the ace. When he next led the queen of diamonds, Poor Frank tried to look like a man desperately trying to sluff dummy’s last spade.
“Not this time, Frankie baby,” Lucky Archie sneered as he ruffed the diamond with his deuce. Poor Frank overruffed, then led a trump, crashing East’s king and West’s ace on this trick.
Lucky Archie’s smile froze as he realized he had been duped by his rival. Poor Frank soon claimed this unlikely slam and the +980 was just enough to propel him into first place that evening.
“He who smiles last, smiles best,” he said to Lucky Archie, who was frowning as he tried his best to explain his reasoning for ruffing with the deuce to his partner.