The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXX: An Unkind Cut
By Ray Adams
Most bridge buffs like bidding gadgets, and Poor Frank is no exception. O f course, any convention designed to give information to partner can also inform the opponents as Poor Frank recently found out.
In the auction, Poor Frank’s 2♠ bid showed ten cards in hearts and an unnamed minor. North’s double was card showing and all other bids were natural, although Lucky Archie’s final call of 6♠ was more than a trifle aggressive.
Poor Frank led the nine of diamonds, taken by dummy’s ace. Declarer ruffed a diamond, then led the king of spades. Poor Frank took his ace and exited with another diamond, again ruffed by declarer. The Lucky One then drew trumps in two more rounds. It was now clear that Lucky Archie could make his small slam if only he could bring in the club suit with no loss. The normal way to play a 6-3 fit would be to bang down the ace and king and hope for a 2-2 split. However, Poor Frank’s Michael Cue Bid of 2♠ showed declarer another way.
Poor Frank had announced ten cards in the red suits and had turned up with two spades. That only left him room for one club. So Lucky Archie led a small club to dummy’s king, played the three and inserted the jack when East followed low. Poor Frank showed out and subsequently declarer played his ace, dropping East’s queen and claimed. This outstanding result allowed Lucky Archie to pass Poor Frank that evening and once again claim top honors at the club.
“I had him beat, dear,” Poor Frank said to Janet later that evening as they discussed the boards from the session. “But, for once he remembered how to count to thirteen. Who would have ever guessed?”
“Ah, that’s too bad, darling,” Janet said, “but your bid made it too easy for him. It turned out to be a two-edged sword and the one edge ended up cutting your own throat. An unkind cut to be sure, but that’s the danger you always face when you give away too much information – even to an idiot like Archie.”
Poor Frank shook his head and reached across the table and squeezed her hand.