The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXIV: The Lonely Queen of Diamonds
By Ray Adams
A funny thing happened to Poor Frank on the way to first place just the other night at the local duplicate club. And, of course, it involved none other than Lucky Archie. This was the hand in question:
Poor Frank arrived in an excellent 6♦ contract after the auction shown above. Lucky Archie cashed the ace of clubs and continued with the jack of that suit, taken by Poor Frank’s king.
If readers study this hand, they will see that six diamonds is cold with the queen of diamonds dropping doubleton. After drawing two rounds of trumps, declarer can establish the spade suit with one ruff, draw the last trump and claim. This line would work even if spades split 4-2, as declarer could enter his hand again with the ace of hearts and later with a heart ruff to then pick up the last trump.
But when Poor Frank led the three of diamonds at trick three, Lucky Archie’s queen popped up, won by dummy’s ace. Poor Frank now changed his original plan. He saw he could make twelve tricks on a high cross ruff consisting of one club, two hearts, two spades, and a total of seven trumps.
Accordingly, Poor Frank cashed the ace of hearts, the ace and king of spades, and ruffed a spade in dummy. He then cashed the king of hearts and ruffed a small heart with the six. To his total horror, Lucky Archie overruffed with the seven.
Poor Frank felt like a balloon that had been punctured by a sharp tack.
“You fooled me,” he said to his rival.
“I only wish I had, Frankie baby,” Archie said. “But the thing is, I had the small diamond mixed in with my hearts. Luckily, I found it just in time.”
When the results were announced, the room soon filled up with the sounds of bridge buffs congratulating Lucky Archie on his come-from-behind victory and the grinding of Poor Frank’s teeth.