The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXV: A Case of Regicide


The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXV:  A Case of Regicide

By Ray Adams

Things got very exciting just the other night at the local duplicate club.  Everyone was talking about how Lucky Archie had killed a king.  This was the hand:



West led the four of hearts against Poor Frank’s 3NT contract.  Lucky Archie won his ace and could hardly wait to put the heart nine on the table.  However, in his haste, the king of clubs dropped out of his hand.  Poor Frank eyed this card with a baleful look, getting a sick feeling that his rival had accidentally found the only play to set the contract.  He played small from dummy, hoping that Archie would shift and he would still retain his late entry to dummy’s diamonds.

Lucky Archie was only fueled by Frank’s duck, saying, “Well, Frankie baby, if you don’t want to win the trick, I must be on to something.”  He then continued with a small club.

Poor Frank now tried to set up the diamonds, but Archie managed to hold off until the third round.   This killed Poor Frank’s major source of tricks and he received a big goose egg for being the only declarer to go down.

Even though his stomach was churning, Poor Frank decided to verbally make light of it.

“Why did you decide to commit regicide?” he said to Lucky Archie.

“Regicide?”  Lucky Archie said.  “I don’t even know anybody named Reg and if I did I certainly wouldn’t compare him to a pesticide.”

Poor Frank had to laugh at the image Archie’s words created in his mind.  He saw himself spraying a bridge pesticide on his rival’s seat before Archie sat down to play.

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2 Responses to The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXV: A Case of Regicide

  1. Jordan Cohen says:

    seems like West can be endplayed after all minor suit cards are played.


    • poorfrank says:

      Hi Jordan, Thank you for pointing this out. In fact, this hand is really much more complex than it first appears to be. Let’s say Poor Frank does as you suggest. He cashes his two clubs to go with the two diamonds and the ace of clubs he has already won. Then he can cash his king of hearts and throw West in with a heart to endplay West into leading a spade if West has come down to two hearts and three spades. If he reads that West has come down to three hearts and two spades, then he will have to cash his spades to make the game. However, Lucky Archie truly did sink Frank on this hand when he returned the king of clubs. Had he not, Poor Frank would have won four diamond tricks to go with the ace of clubs and the king of hearts (assuming East returned a heart at trick two). Now he comes off the dummy with a club. If East rises with the king, declarer has ten tricks off the top. So let’s say East ducks. Now West may well come down to three hearts and three spades. As long as declarer reads this position, he has ten tricks also. Therefore, even when Poor Frank apparently did not find the squeeze and endplay, he was still fixed by Archie’s regicide. Best wishes to you and your bridge game. Sincerely, Ray Adams


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