The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LIX: A Perfect Double
By Ray Adams
Lucky Archie made a perfect double just the other night at the local duplicate club against – who else? – Poor Frank. This is how it all played out:
In the auction, 1NT showed 15 – 17 high card points and 2♥ was a transfer to spades. When Lucky Archie tossed the double card on the table, he did it so forcefully that it would surely have broken had it not been laminated. Even so, it still showed signs of bending. Poor Frank took note of this body language and assumed that his rival must hold all the missing trumps. This influenced the way he played the hand.
He won the opening queen of diamonds lead with the king, played another diamond to the ace, then ruffed a diamond in dummy. He cashed dummy’s king of hearts, played a heart to his ace and ruffed a heart in the dummy. His rival followed helplessly every time. Next came the queen of clubs followed by the ace and king, with Lucky Archie once again following.
At trick ten, Poor Frank led a small spade from his hand. Lucky Archie was fixed. If he played the ten, dummy’s jack would win the game-going trick, while if he cashed his top trumps, the jack would then have to prevail on the very last trick. Either way, Poor Frank had made his doubled game and would soon be claiming that evening’s laurels.
“Whatever possessed you to double?” East asked his partner.
“I had 15 points and four of the top five trumps,” Archie said. “I expected to set him two, maybe three tricks. It just isn’t fair.”
“Well, you have that right,” East said. “It certainly isn’t fair to your partner. The next time you double make sure you have three extra tricks. You always seem to lose a couple in the play.”
For once, Poor Frank was able to sit back and smile as he contemplated how he would tell this little story to Janet.