The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXVII: Different Views
By Ray Adams
Just the other night at the local duplicate club, board # 7 proved to be a swing board for many of the club’s top players.
When Lucky Archie held the South cards, he arrived in 6NT as seen in the top auction. West led the ten of clubs and the Lucky One had no trouble making twelve tricks when he discovered that West held the king of hearts. The queen of hearts added to the ace of hearts, the ace of spades, three clubs, and six diamonds added up to a small slam. This proved to be a top board.
Red Dyeman also got to 6NT on the same auction. However, West made the super aggressive lead of the six of spades and now Red had no chance and had to cash his eleven top tricks for down one. This was the bottom result on the board. Most of the club played in 3NT, making 11 or 12 tricks depending on the opening lead.
Jack Leeder, however, tried for a diamond slam using the sequence given in the bottom auction above. The three diamond bid was forcing and slamish and the pair soon arrived in six diamonds. East led the jack of hearts. This established Jack’s twelfth trick and he soon claimed plus 1370 for a fine result. As he put his cards back in the board, he said, “Luckily I didn’t get a spade lead. I can’t make it then.”
Of course, our hero, Poor Frank, was also in six diamonds,and did get a spade lead. Let’s see what happened to him. East’s three of spades went to the ace and West’s jack, as West gave East a very encouraging signal. Poor Frank drew one round of trumps with the ace and cashed the ace and king of clubs. He then led a diamond to dummy’s jack and threw a spade on dummy’s queen of clubs.
Next he gave up a spade to West’s king. West tried to cash another spade, but Poor Frank ruffed, led a trump to dummy’s king and cashed the thirteenth spade, tossing his losing heart. Poor Frank had proven Jack Leeder’s analysis to be wrong, but due to Lucky Archie’s excellent result, he still finished second that evening.
Later, when he discussed that evening’s boards with Janet, he said, “I think I was in the best contract, and they made the best lead, but it still wasn’t good enough.”
“Darling, it was the best,” Janet said. “And when we all go up to that great bridge game in the sky, surely the Great Shuffler will want you by his side and Lucky Archie will be stuck somewhere in bridge purgatory.”
Poor Frank laughed. “Now that’s an afterlife I can live with,” he said.