The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXXV: A Better Fit
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank found himself in an unusual fit just the other day as he fought to finish ahead of Lucky Archie. This was the fateful hand:
Poor Frank was sitting South for the top auction given above. His 5♣ bid showed three aces, the king of trumps being counted as one ace. 6♣ showed zero kings. However, North got confused, and when Poor Frank asked after the auction was over why he was playing in clubs, his partner responded, “Well, you kept bidding them and I have good clubs.”
Naturally, Poor Frank was appalled to be playing a slam in his 3-3 fit, but he did the best he could. He won West’s singleton diamond lead with his ace and drew three rounds of trump, noting the 4-3 split. He then cashed the jack of hearts and led a heart to the board, running the rest of the high hearts. West ruffed the fourth heart – most certainly not the best defense – and had nothing left to lead but spades. Poor Frank won his queen, then cashed the ace of spades, sluffing a diamond from dummy. He soon claimed + 920.
Poor Frank had been running neck and neck with Lucky Archie and he felt certain Archie would reach 6NT and easily beat him. This board was the last of the evening for Lucky Archie and Poor Frank went over to kibitz him when he finished playing before his rival.
“Don’t worry, Frank,” Janet said. “Many pairs have bid 7NT on this hand and gone down one when the diamonds broke 5-1. So you still have a chance.”
Unfortunately for Poor Frank, Lucky Archie pulled the wrong card from his bidding box and bid 1♥ instead of 1♠ following his partner’s 1♦ opening. He soon found himself in 6♥, playing in a 4-2 fit. Although Archie argued that North should be playing the hand and even called the director for West making a lead out of turn, he was soon informed that he had, indeed, opened the heart suit.
There was no problem playing 6♥ when the suit split 4-3, and Lucky Archie soon had +980 on his side of the ledger. Although this was below average as many bridge buffs had bid and made 6NT, it was not a bottom because of the 7NT bidders. However, it was one point above Poor Frank’s score and allowed Lucky Archie to waltz into first place that evening.
“I thought you knew 4-2 fits were better than 3-3 fits, Frankie baby,” the Lucky One commented to his rival after the game was over.
This was too much for Poor Frank. He went to the pencil box and had already snapped three of them in two before Janet came over to stop him and quietly lead him out of the studio.