The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part C: Logic of the Archie
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club. As it turned out, they were neck and neck going into the final board of the night, one which they played against each other:
Readers may easily think there is a misprint in the auction given above. “How,” they will surely say, “could anyone have opened that South hand one heart?” And they would be right – in theory – but for reasons unknown, Lucky Archie did just that. Poor Frank doubled and North got excited and bid 4NT, sensing a slam. East could have saved Poor Frank by bidding five clubs at this point, but East chose to pass. South showed one ace, the king of trumps being counted as an ace, with the five diamond bid. Poor Frank doubled the final contract, and East could have still prevailed by bidding six clubs at this point, but when East passed, five hearts doubled became the final contract.
The play did not take long. Poor Frank cashed a spade and shifted to a club. East won the king and the club continuation was ruffed. South drew trumps and later lost a diamond for down one, plus 200 to Poor Frank. This was a cold zero for Frank as most EW pairs bid and made five or six clubs and one pair even defended six hearts doubled for plus 500. The result on this board allowed Lucky Archie to pogo stick over Poor Frank and win first place laurels that evening.
After the hand was over, Poor Frank looked at Lucky Archie’s holding.
“How could you open one heart on this dubious collection?” he said.
“Well, Frankie baby, with my distribution, this was a very powerful hand.”
“Well, even if I concede that – which I will never do – why didn’t you open one spade? After all, spades are the same length and a higher ranking suit,” Frank said.
“Oh, Frank, don’t be silly,” Archie said. “I mean use some bridge sense. Who would ever open a five to the nine suit?”
Poor Frank was astounded by Archie’s logic. He later asked a top player from another city about the hand.
“Well,” this bridge expert said, “after all that you described, I guess South really had an opening one heart hand.”
Dear Readers, One thing I’ve learned about bridge players is that they like to read. Obviously, all of you who come to this blog enjoy reading about bridge. I also suspect that you are avid readers of many other types of writing. I would like to announce that I have recently self-published a book of fiction that is based on my experiences in the Cold War period and later visits to the place where I once worked for the U.S. Army. This book is called Berlin Blues and is now available at the Amazon.com Kindl store and the Barnes and Nobles Nook store. I decided potential readers might enjoy knowing more about the book before purchasing it so I posted a site on this blogsite to describe it further. There is a description of each chapter and an excerpt from each chapter on this site so the reader can get better acquainted with the book. I invite you all to visit this site which will be easy since you are already on the bridge blog website. Berlin Blues is every bit as entertaining as you have found this blog to be. All my best wishes to you and happy times in the bridge world, Ray Adams