Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXII: Double Dummy Double
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club. The following hand proved to be crucial to that evening’s winner:
After East opened the auction with a pre-emptive 4♣ bid, Poor Frank took a chance and bid the 4♠ game. This was promptly doubled by Lucky Archie who led a small club. Frank was happy to see such a useful dummy and he surmised that the Lucky One had all the missing trumps.
He won the lead with dummy’s ace and immediately led a heart to the four, nine, and Archie’s queen. Back came a club, ruffed by Poor Frank. Declarer now advanced a small trump, inserting the nine when West played low. East showed out, tossing a club. Poor Frank now cashed the king of trumps and returned to hand with the ace of hearts. His ace, queen, and jack extracted Archie’s last spades. When declarer led a heart to dummy’s king, East’s jack fell and the ten of hearts took the tenth and game-going trick for Poor Frank.
East was visibly upset, turning as red as an Acapulco sunset and doing serious damage to his private score sheet as he penned in the result.
“Whatever possessed you to double him?” East asked his partner. “Do you think he would have finessed your ten if you had kept your big mouth shut?”
“Well, it looked like I had at least three tricks and I counted on you for one,” the Lucky One replied.
Poor Frank asked to see his rival’s hand and studied it for about five seconds.
“Your double was good, Archie,” he said. “But when you were in with the queen of hearts, you needed to switch to the ten of diamonds. Your partner would win the queen and return a diamond for you to cash two more.”
“You see, Archie,” East said. “If you’re going to double, you need to defend better.”
Poor Frank chuckled to himself. He knew that even if Archie had found this double dummy defense, East would have tried to cash a club instead of returning a diamond and the contract still would have been made. The only difference in that case is that Archie would not have borne the brunt of the guilt.