The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXV: Sort of an Error
By Ray Adams
Lucky Archie made a common error just the other night at the local bridge club, but the result was an uncommon one for Poor Frank. This was the hand in question:
Lucky Archie had the four of clubs mixed in with his spades and this caused him to open one spade instead of one diamond. The Lucky One soon found himself at the helm in a 6NT contract. As readers can see, a spade lead would have sunk him as he was missing the two top honors in that suit. However, Poor Frank was reluctant to lead declarer’s first suit and perhaps establish four tricks for his rival, so he chose the four of hearts instead. This went to the six, seven, and queen.
Lucky Archie rubbed his lucky rabbit’s foot when he saw the dummy and realized he had escaped an immediate down one. His next reaction was to run dummy’s clubs and toss as many spades as he could. Poor Frank was void in clubs and had to come up with six discards. He had no trouble tossing three small spades, a diamond, and a heart, but the sixth discard caused him much anguish. He realized he could not possibly guard all three remaining suits and he tossed the ace of spades. Lucky Archie’s eyes nearly popped out when he saw this card, but the reality was that this spectacular discard did not help him at all. The king was still out and there was no evidence that either red suit had been unguarded.
Archie tried cashing the ace and king of hearts, tossing his last spade and a diamond. He was ready to concede down one, but decided instead to try the ten of hearts. Maybe someone had tossed the jack and he had just missed it. No, Poor Frank won this trick, but now had to lead a diamond into declarer’s tenace and allow Archie to make this improbable contract. Poor Frank grimaced when East showed him the king of spades. The Lucky One was soon scoring up plus 990 for a top result that propelled him into first place that evening, barely beating out Poor Frank and his partner.
As the bridge players filed out of the studio, Poor Frank complained to anyone who would listen about how he was all out of sorts due to a missort.