The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXII: He Should Have Led a Trump
By Ray Adams
The action was hot just the other night at the local duplicate club. Going into the last board, Lucky Archie had a substantial lead, but there was still hope for Poor Frank.
In the auction, three diamonds was forcing and slamish, and five diamonds showed three aces, the king of diamonds being counted as one ace. Seven diamonds was perhaps an overbid on Poor Frank’s part, but he decided it was “do or die” and if he lost to his rival, well at least he would go down swinging.
Archie led the ten of hearts to the jack, queen, and Poor Frank’s ace. Declarer drew trumps in three rounds, then ran the top spades, tossing a losing club on dummy’s last spade. He then cashed the ace of clubs and ruffed a club, raising his eyebrows when Red Dyeman’s king dropped.
Poor Frank then ran all his remaining trumps. As he led the last one, Lucky Archie had the queen of clubs and the nine and eight of hearts remaining. Dummy was left with the nine of clubs and the king and seven of hearts, while Red’s cards had become insignificant.
Lucky Archie was caught in a squeeze and whichever card he threw, Poor Frank would soon claim the rest of the tricks. Bidding and making seven diamonds was a top for Poor Frank and allowed him to jump past his rival into first place.
“Nice lead, Archie,” Red said after the hand was over. “You managed to transfer the heart threat to your hand so you could be squeezed.”
“What’s wrong with leading the top of a sequence?” Lucky Archie said.
“A trump lead is automatic against a grand slam,” Red said.
“Yes,” Lucky Archie said, “It’s just that I didn’t know if I should lead the higher or lower card from my void.”
“You should have heard them, Janet,” Poor Frank said to his friend later that evening. “They were as funny as a comedy team.”
“Hmm,” Janet said, “Archie and Red. Yes, it might work, but only if the crowd consisted of bridge players who hated Lucky Archie.”
“Well,” Poor Frank said, “then they should have a lot of success.”