By Ray Adams
The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLI: A Difference in Discards
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie made different discards at a key moment in a hand just the other night at the local duplicate club. As it turned out, the card they threw away made a difference of 1530 points.
In the auction, 3NT was the so called “dinosaur” bid dating to the time of Charles Goren and showed a balanced hand with two spades and 16-18 HCP. When Lucky Archie played this hand, West led the queen of diamonds, ducked in dummy as East played the three. Having won this trick, West now shifted to the queen of clubs, won by declarer in hand.
Lucky Archie led a trump to the ten and ruffed a diamond. He then led another spade to dummy’s ace and ruffed another diamond, East’s ace dropping. This brought a big smile to the Lucky One’s face.
Declarer now drew the last enemy trump and led a club to the ace. Next came the king of diamonds and Lucky Archie laughed as he threw his losing club on this card. He then ruffed a club and led the king of hearts. Next came a small heart. When West played low, he inserted the ten. East won the queen and this was a quick down one.
When Poor Frank had his chance at the same contract, play started the same way, but after his diamond ruff dropped East’s ace and declarer then drew the last trump, play differed. Poor Frank now led the king of hearts and a heart to the ace. He tossed his last heart on the king of diamonds and led a heart. East’s queen popped up, declarer ruffed, and he later returned to dummy to toss his losing club on a heart. He soon claimed +1430. The difference in match points on this board allowed Poor Frank to slip past Lucky Archie for that evening’s laurels.
Later, when Poor Frank was discussing that evening’s hands with Janet, he said, “My favorite hand of the night was this 6♠ hand.” He then explained to her what both he and Lucky Archie had done.
“I thought Archie had a thing with the queen of hearts,” Janet said.
“So we thought,” Frank said, “but he must have upset her as she certainly deserted him on this hand.”
“Serves him right,” Janet said, “Now you, darling, certainly know how to keep a lady happy.”