The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXXIX: Tricked by a Deuce
By Ray Adams
Just the other night at the local duplicate club, Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were once again fighting it out for first place. The winner would be decided by the outcome of the following board:
The auction needs some explaining. When Poor Frank originally sorted his hand, he had the deuce of diamonds in with his hearts. Thus, he thought he had five hearts, five clubs, two spades, and one diamond. When North took a preference to 4♥, Lucky Archie could hardly believe it. With no fewer than seven hearts and two king/queen combinations, he could not put the double card on the table fast enough.
West led the jack of diamonds, and after playing dummy’s ace, a card fell down from Poor Frank’s hand. It was the deuce of diamonds. Poor Frank’s eyes got big as he realized he was playing a doubled contract in a 4-2 fit. But he did the best he could.
At trick two, he cashed the queen of clubs and led a club to his ace. He then ruffed a club with dummy’s nine. He returned to hand with the ace of spades and ruffed another club with dummy’s ace. Poor Frank had taken the first six tricks and still had the top four hearts in his hand. He was suddenly plus 790 for a top board that allowed him to finish first that evening.
After the hand was over, Lucky Archie began to berate his partner.
“He can’t make it if you lead a trump,” he said.
“Yes, I believe you,” his partner said. “And who knows? I might well have found that lead if I had found a trump in my hand. Perhaps you shouldn’t have doubled.”
West’s words made perfect sense, since the rest of the North/South field bid and made 11 tricks in a 3NT contract on this hand. Thus, without Lucky Archie’s double, Poor Frank would have had the zero and Lucky Archie the top.
“Now you know what it feels like to be Poor Frank,” Poor Frank said to his rival.
But Lucky Archie was still in a state of shock and could only stare blankly at Poor Frank.