The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXXVI: Beating the Split
By Ray Adams
fPoor Frank overcame a bad split against Lucky Archie the other night at the local duplicate club to bring home a very tough contract.
In the auction, North’s bid of 2♦ was Michael’s, showing the majors. When North bid 5♣, Lucky Archie slammed the double card down on the table in what was probably an unethical manner. Red Dyeman, his partner paused for a long time, clearly not wanting to defend five clubs doubled with his unusual 7-5 hand, but he finally passed, trusting Lucky Archie to know what he was doing.
Red led the queen of hearts to the king and ace. Poor Frank tried the king of clubs, revealing the bad split. Lucky Archie flashed him an evil grin and said, “Down, down, down, Frankie baby. Down, down, down.”
Poor Frank next tried the king of diamonds, won by Archie’s ace. The Lucky One shot back a heart, ruffed by declarer. Poor Frank now crossed to the jack of diamonds, noticing Red was out, then led the eight of diamonds to his nine. He now cashed the queen of diamonds, tossing a spade from dummy. Next came the thirteenth diamond as dummy’s penultimate spade was discarded. Lucky Archie ruffed this and put the ten of spades on the table. Poor Frank won his ace, ruffed a spade in dummy with the jack. He then led a trump to his nine and claimed the last two tricks on a high cross ruff.
Red was not happy with this result, saying, “If you’re going to double them, Archie, make sure you set them. Five hearts is only down one.”
Poor Frank was happy to report this result to Janet later that evening when they discussed the boards.
“It was so nice to make Archie eat his words,” he said. “Down, down, down, indeed.”
“Well, I must say, darling, that was one of your better played hands. You used the distribution to your advantage and made Archie pay. Did you say, ‘Up, up, up’ after the hand was over?”
“No, I felt sorry for Archie after the way Red criticized him. I said, ‘Don’t let it get you down, Archie.’”
“Oh, darling, I think you’re as great a person as you are a player.”