The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXXII: Vision Problems
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank was certain that Lucky Archie was having vision problems when the following hand came up at their local club:
In the auction, North’s two diamond bid was a Michael’s cuebid, ostensibly showing five spades and five hearts. Lucky Archie’s jump to three spades is impossible to explain, although Poor Frank later came up with a sensible explanation.
At any rate, Poor Frank chose to make the passive lead of the ten of clubs. This went to declarer’s ace. Archie now led a heart to the ace and ruffed a heart. He then led a diamond to the queen and cashed the ace of diamonds. This was followed by another heart ruff. He then cashed the king and queen of clubs, sluffing a heart and a diamond from dummy as both defenders followed. He then ruffed a diamond in dummy.
Somehow, Archie had taken the first nine tricks and the ace of trumps was still sitting in the dummy. This allowed him to make this outrageous contract and claim the victory laurels for that evening’s game. Poor Frank could not believe it, especially when he stole a glance at Archie’s hand.
“That Lucky Archie must need glasses,” Poor Frank said to Janet later that evening as they discussed the hand’s from the recent session. “I am certain he thought his clubs were spades. There’s no other explanation for his three spade bid.”
“Perhaps you’re right, darling,” Janet said, “but consider this: maybe you need to have your vision checked also. After all you seemed not to see the double card in your bidding box. And you also seemed to have overlooked the fact that you held the king, queen, ten, and a small spade. If you double and lead the king of spades, please explain to me now how Archie is going to win.”
Poor Frank looked chagrined.
“You’re right, of course,” he said. “I was so afraid of giving something away that I chose the wrong lead. And, of course, I should have doubled. Although with the same lead, Archie would have wrapped it.”
“A zero is a zero, dear,” Janet said. “But don’t worry, you’re still my hero,” and she reached over and squeezed his hand.
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie would like to thank Ralph Jungwirth of Modesto, California, for giving them a chance to play this interesting hand.