The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLIII: A Foolproof Double
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank had Lucky Archie right where he wanted him the other night at the local duplicate club. Or did he?
Lucky Archie made a grave mistake on the hand when he had the three of clubs in with his spades. This caused him to open 1♠ instead of 1♦. After Lucky Archie responded 2♦ to North’s 2♣ bid, North was impressed by the diamond fit, but decided 5♦ might be too high, while 4♠ even with only queen doubleton support, was probably just right.
Poor Frank, looking at the ace/king of clubs doubleton and six spades to the jack, now thought he had a foolproof double. North might have pulled this to 5♦, but instead decided to shoot it out. When four spades doubled became the final contract, Poor Frank could not have been more pleased. He knew the Lucky One was finally going to be severely penalized for being such a fool. Poor Frank smiled as he fantasized about the high score he was going to receive from this board.
West led a club and Poor Frank wasted no time in cashing his top two clubs. He was extremely happy as he returned the jack of diamonds. Archie won this in dummy and led a small trump, inserting the nine when Poor Frank followed low. This held and it was Lucky Archie’s turn to smile.
When Poor Frank saw West follow to this, he smiled to himself and thought, “Why that oaf only has a four card suit. What a dunce. He’s going to go for at least a toll free number.”
However, declarer then cashed two more diamonds, noticing West’s failure to ruff the third diamond. He then played first the king and then the ace of hearts, followed by a heart ruff in the dummy as Poor Frank was forced to underruff. The Lucky One counted his tricks: he had seven of them lined up neatly in front of him. When he led a diamond from dummy, Poor Frank was forced to ruff for the defense’s third trick, but now Poor Frank had nothing but trumps left. When he led one, Lucky Archie took the marked finesse of the jack by playing his ten and soon claimed this improbable doubled contract.
Later, when he discussed the hands with Janet, Poor Frank said, “I thought the double was foolproof, but I must be the fool.”
“Don’t talk like that, darling,” Janet said, “You’re no fool and Lucky Archie is a super fool. Next time you need to make a super foolproof double.”
“Super,” Poor Frank said.