The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXXVII: The Legend Grows
By Ray Adams
Lucky Archie’s local legend continued to grow when he had the following fantastic result at the local duplicate.
The bidding requires some explanation. After North reversed into two spades, Lucky Archie should probably have bid some number of hearts to show his great support for partner’s opening bid suit. Instead, he bid three diamonds. Red Dyeman, his partner, later stated that he now thought Archie had a 6-5 hand in the minors and Red supported diamonds. Lucky Archie never explained his bids, but he must have forgotten Red’s opening bid. Perhaps he intended the five club bid to be a cuebid. Certainly, Red meant for his six club bid to be a cuebid, as he said after the hand was over. Poor Frank now doubled, which asked for his partner to lead dummy’s first bid suit, or hearts. Lucky Archie passed, possibly figuring his partner would clarify the situation. Red then made an SOS redouble, but Lucky Archie took this to be the real thing and passed. So the Lucky One found himself in yet another improbable contract, as he played in his 4-0 fit rather than the partnership’s 6-4 fit!
West led the ten of diamonds, won by dummy’s ace. Lucky Archie led a spade to his ace and cashed his four top clubs, sluffing hearts from dummy and leaving West with the last trump. He returned to dummy with the king of diamonds and ran the spades. He came back to hand with the queen of diamonds and cashed the jack of diamonds. He now had twelve tricks lined up in front of him. West ruffed Poor Frank’s ace of hearts at trick thirteen, but the Lucky One had done it again.
“Why did you double, Frankie?” Lucky Archie asked Poor Frank as they agreed on the score.
“I just wanted my partner to lead a heart,” was the reply.
“My advice would be to never ask a partner to lead a suit he doesn’t have,” Archie said.
“Never ask a partner to lead a suit he doesn’t have,” Poor Frank said in a whiny voice, imitating Lucky Archie later that evening as he and Janet discussed the hands.
Janet laughed and said, “Well, you can’t say he gave you bad advice, darling. Although it doesn’t seem fair that you can’t call on the impossible to beat the improbable.”
“No,” Frank said, “it appears as though I need to call on the lucky to beat the ludicrous.”