Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXXX: Jack Leeder’s Eccentric Bid
By Ray Adams
Jack Leeder made an eccentric bid the other night at the local duplicate club while playing with Poor Frank. But instead of causing Frank any trouble, it led to an incredibly good result.
After Jack’s two spade bid, Poor Frank took a shot at 3NT and Lucky Archie led the nine of clubs. Poor Frank was shocked to see Jack’s meager and ratty four card spade suit, but said nothing as the dummy was laid down. Poor Frank hated to give comfort to the enemy, especially when the enemy was none other than Lucky Archie.
Declarer won the club in hand and ran off three more clubs. East and South both threw a diamond, and Lucky Archie parted with the eight of hearts. Next came a spade to the king. This held, and West won the subsequent spade lead with the queen. The spade exit went to East’s ace. East now got out with the king of diamonds to Poor Frank’s ace.
Poor Frank had been busy counting out the hand and he knew Lucky Archie had started with six hearts, three spades, three clubs, and one diamond. He now led the two of hearts. Lucky Archie, defending well for a change, followed with the four. But Poor Frank was up to playing dummy’s three of hearts and endplaying his rival. He soon claimed nine tricks in the form of two hearts, two spades, four clubs, and the ace of diamonds.
Lucky Archie was not happy.
“If you return a heart,” he yelled at East, “we can set this contract a bunch.”
“Which one would you prefer me to lead?” East said. “A heart-spade or a heart-diamond? Because I wasn’t dealt a heart-heart on this hand!”
It was all Poor Frank could do to keep from laughing out loud and he knew what a delicious story this would make when he discussed the hands later with Janet.
But Lucky Archie wasn’t done yet. “And what was that two spade bid all about?” he asked Jack Leeder. “Four to a jack. My dead grandmother bids better than that.”
“It may look strange to you, Archie, but trust me, I would never have done it without the three of hearts,” Jack said.
And finally, Archie was speechless.