The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXI: Poor Frank’s Wonderfully Deceptive Play
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank made a wonderfully deceptive play just the other night at the local duplicate club. It all came about on the following hand:
Lucky Archie arrived in 3NT on the bidding shown. West was reluctant to give a heart trick to the Lucky One and started with a passive two of clubs lead. Declarer called for dummy’s three and Poor Frank played his queen! Lucky Archie won the king and immediately started on the diamonds. A small diamond to the queen revealed West’s void and declarer soon had five diamond tricks lined up in front of him to go with the first club trick.
Lucky Archie remembered Poor Frank’s play of the queen on the first club and this made him believe that West must have started with the ten, for who but a madman would have played queen from the queen/ten with the jack in the dummy? He therefore led a club to dummy’s nine. Poor Frank now produced the ten, saying, “Surprise, Archie!” The defenders were now able to take three heart tricks and two spades, but because of discarding problems on the diamond run, had to concede the final trick to Archie.
Poor Frank was beaming. His great deceptive play had allowed them to set his rival two tricks. This surely must be a top, he thought, as Lucky Archie might well have made ten tricks had he played the jack of clubs to fell Poor Frank’s ten. Unfortunately, this board turned out to be a cold bottom for Poor Frank and his partner as every other East/West pair had made anywhere from nine to eleven tricks in a heart contract. Thus, despite his well thought out play, Poor Frank would have to wait for another day to best his rival.