By Ray Adams
Poor Frank took advantage of a questionable lead by Lucky Archie to tap dance into the winner’s circle just the other night at the local duplicate club. This was the hand that did it:
In the auction, 2♥ was a transfer to spades and East’s double of this bid was lead-directing. When Poor Frank freely bid 2♠ after the double, it showed at least three spades by partnership agreement. Thus, it was easy for North to then bid 4♠ without revealing more information about his hand.
Lucky Archie led a heart, the suit his partner had requested him to lead, but his choice was the ten. This went to the queen, ace, and three. East exited with a diamond to dummy’s queen. Declarer led a low spade, playing the king when East ducked. This held and Poor Frank then exited with a trump to Lucky Archie’s queen. Dummy won the diamond exit with the king.
Poor Frank now led a small club. East decided it was pointless to ruff with the ace and threw a small heart. Poor Frank won the ace and cashed the ace and jack of diamonds, throwing two clubs from dummy. He then exited a spade to East’s ace. Poor East now saw that perhaps it would have been better to have ruffed the club while he still had a safe diamond exit. East was down to all hearts and tried the eight. Poor Frank quickly inserted the nine. When this held, he sluffed a club from dummy and cashed the good king of hearts, tossing dummy’s last club. Ten tricks were now there and this resulted in a top board for Poor Frank and catapulted him into first place that evening.
“Archie, you dolt,” East yelled at his partner. “Why did you lead the ten of hearts?”
“You told me to lead a heart,” Archie said, defending himself.
“Yes, but from three to an honor, lead low,” East shouted.
“If the ten is an honor, then why doesn’t it count for a point?”
The argument continued for about five minutes, with neither partner giving even an inch of ground. It was all music to Poor Frank’s ears and he smiled at the nonstop bickering while the rest of the local bridge buffs congratulated him on his victory.
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie would like to thank Bruce Ruskin of Salida, California, for bringing this interesting hand to their attention.