The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XCVIII: Poor Frank’s Brilliant Game


The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XCVIII:  Poor Frank’s Brilliant Game

By Ray Adams

Just the other night at the local duplicate club, Poor Frank bid and played a hand exceptionally well.  He had every right to expect a top result on this board.  Would he get it?  And would it be enough to beat his rival, Lucky Archie?  This was the hand in question:



On this hand, Poor Frank’s East/West opponents were playing four-card majors.  Thus, Poor Frank knew his partner could not have more than one spade and this influenced his four club bid.  West led the king of spades, then shifted to a trump when this card held the trick.  Declarer took his ace and led the queen of diamonds, taken by West with the ace.  Another trump came back.

Declarer got to dummy by ruffing a spade.  He tossed a spade on the king of diamonds, then advanced the ten of diamonds.  East refused to cover and Poor Frank tossed a spade.  The nine of diamonds drew East’s jack and this was ruffed.  Declarer’s queen of trumps picked up East’s jack, the last outstanding trump.  Poor Frank now tried the heart finesse, and when this held, he tossed his last spade on the eight of diamonds, cashed the ace of hearts, and claimed.

This looked like it would be a top board for Poor Frank and he anxiously waited to hear his name announced as that evening’s winner.  When he finished before Lucky Archie on the last round, he went to his rival’s table to see if Archie, who was also sitting South, could beat the plus 400 result.  Poor Frank sincerely doubted it.

This was the auction at Lucky Archie’s table:                                                                                                                                                                                                    XCVIIIB                     Even though Lucky Archie did not defend particularly well, he and his partner still managed to defeat this contract two tricks for plus 500.  This was enough for the Lucky One to pass Poor Frank for first place that evening.

Poor Frank was in despair.  His partner of the evening tried to console him.

“Well, Frank,” his partner said.  “If you want to be a good player and win, you’ll just have to learn how to get the opponents to double you.”

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