By Ray Adams
The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CL: Archie Gets Deuced
It was an exciting time at the local duplicate club just the other night. The winner would be determined by the evening’s last board.
Poor Frank’s 4♥ bid was super aggressive, but he based it on his heart length, the anticipation of a spade lead, the need to beat Lucky Archie, and his belief that his left-hand opponent would somehow make a fatal mistake.
Lucky Archie led the deuce of spades to the four, king, and Poor Frank’s ace. Poor Frank saw he had the potential for a lot of losers: the king of trumps, two diamonds, a spade, and a club. At trick two he led the queen of hearts, quite pleased when Archie played the king. Poor Frank saw it would be mandatory to establish dummy’s clubs while he still had a dummy entry. He acted on this and played the ace of clubs and a small club, gratified to see Lucky Archie rise with the king.
The Lucky One now cashed the queen of spades and led another spade, playing his partner for four only spades. But East had five and Poor Frank ruffed this trick. He now led his nine of hearts to dummy’s ten, picking up East’s last trump in the process. He tossed a losing diamond on the queen of clubs and ruffed a club with his jack of hearts. This established dummy’s seven of clubs. And now, due to his care in watching the heart spots, Poor Frank was able to lead his carefully preserved deuce of hearts to dummy’s three. He then cashed the good club, tossing his last losing diamond. Making five for plus 450 was an ice cold top and allowed Poor Frank to slide past Lucky Archie into first place.
“Archie you dolt!” East yelled when the hand was over. “Why can’t you play the ace of diamonds and see what I give you.” He showed Archie the king and ten of diamonds.
“I thought Frank had the king of diamonds for his bid and I wanted to get to your hand.”
“If you truly wanted to get to my hand, you would have led your ten of spades to my jack instead of cashing the queen,” East countered.
“But the queen was good,” Archie whined, “and I didn’t know who had the jack.”
“It was like listening to my favorite music,” Frank said to Janet later when they met to discuss that evening’s boards.
“I can almost hear it,” Janet said, “Archie’s whiny voice singing the ‘I Got Deuced Blues.’”
They both had a good laugh over that one.