By Ray Adams
Poor Frank had a very bad bridge dream just the other night.
The dream Poor Frank asked for the meaning of the bids before he made his opening lead. 2♦ was explained as a three suited hand with no five card major, but possibly a five card minor. 2NT asked for the short suit, and 3♣ showed club shortness. Lucky Archie obviously panicked when his partner bid 5♣ and tried to pull it to 5♦, but North persisted with 6♣ and that became the final contract.
Poor Frank knew a major suit lead was called for, but which one? After a while he decided to lead the one in which he actually held something. So the king of hearts hit the table. Lucky Archie made short work of the hand. He won the ace of hearts, ruffed a heart, drew trumps in three rounds, sluffing spades, then played the ace, king, and queen of diamonds. When this suit split 3-3, he tossed the last spade from dummy and claimed seven.
In the dream, Poor Frank’s partner showed him the ace and king of spades which obviously would have cashed and set the contract. The dream Poor Frank then ground his teeth so violently that it woke the real Poor Frank up. His entire body was palpitating and his heart was racing. Only by declaring in his void, could the dream Lucky Archie have made this strange contract. Poor Frank knew this was one of the worst dreams he had ever had, and it was hours before he could go back to sleep.
The next time Poor Frank played Lucky Archie, it was the last round of the evening and most likely the first place finisher would be the player who did the best on this set boards. On the first hand, Poor Frank picked up: When Lucky Archie put down the 2♦ bid card, Poor Frank started shaking. Then North bid 2NT and Lucky Archie bid 3♣. By this time Poor Frank had turned pale and was sweating profusely. He had to excuse himself and go to the men’s room to throw up. When he returned, Lucky Archie was playing 6♣. Poor Frank said to himself, “No, I’ve seen this movie before,” and led a spade.
Unfortunately, this was reality and not a dream. This time Lucky Archie had the ace of spades and the jack of hearts. He soon claimed seven and Poor Frank made ten mistakes on the last two boards to allow his rival to finish first as he dropped all the way to fourth place. As bad as the dream had been, the reality had been much worse.