The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CVI: The Archie Factor
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank maneuvered the cards to execute a brilliant endplay just the other night at the local duplicate club. Unfortunately, he failed to take into account the Archie factor.
Poor Frank arrived in a four spade contract and West led the ace of clubs. A quick study of dummy showed declarer that he had four losers and there seemed to be no way to get rid of any of them. However, Poor Frank’s brilliant bridge mind developed a plan that he thought would lead him safely out of the woods.
West cashed a second club, then shifted to a trump, giving away nothing. Poor Frank’s plan was to strip the hand and hopefully throw in the player who had no hearts or diamonds left to present him with a ruff and sluff so he could pitch a loser.
He finished drawing trumps and cashed the ace and king of hearts, then the king and ace of diamonds, smiling to himself when he saw his rival’s queen of diamonds drop. He knew Archie must be out of diamonds and if he had the queen of hearts, then the contract was his.
Poor Frank called for a low heart from dummy and Archie played the ten. West was able to win this trick with the jack, then cash the jack of diamonds for down one.
“Let me see your hand,” Frank said to Archie as the score was tallied.
“Of course, Frank, but please don’t be so rude. Ask nicely,” the Lucky One said.
“You had the queen of hearts, didn’t you, Archie?” Poor Frank said.
“Yes, as you can see.”
“So why didn’t you play it when I led a low heart from dummy? Didn’t you want to win the trick and set me?” Poor Frank asked.
“Of course, I did, Frank,” Archie said. “But I thought you were going to ruff and it didn’t matter what I played.”
Lucky Archie smiled his toothy grin, reminding Poor Frank of his need to see a dentist if he was unable to control his recent habit of relentlessly grinding his teeth.