The Adventures of Poor Frank X

When the Best Becomes the Worst

By Ray Adams


 Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club.  The winner of the evening’s laurels would be determined by the outcome of the following fateful slam.  FrankX

When Poor Frank played this hand at 6♠, West led a trump.  Declarer won dummy’s ace and decided to set up diamonds because it appeared to be the stronger of the two long side suits.

Poor Frank cashed the ♦K, then led a trump to his king.  When he subsequently played the ♦A, West threw a heart and Poor Frank was in shock.  He managed to salvage the hand by leading his sole club to the ace and ruffing a club.  He crossed to a high heart and ruffed another club, noticing that, although this suit did not split evenly, it did at least break 4-2.  He went to the ♥K and led one more club, tossing a diamond.  West won the king and had to lead a heart, ruffed by dummy’s jack.  The ♠Q drew the last trump and dummy was now high.  It was +1430 for Poor Frank, not a bad result at all.

Poor Frank was undoubtedly preparing his victory speech when Lucky Archie bid and played the hand.  Archie’s partner, undoubtedly looking for a top board, bid the hand up to 7♠.  Declarer received the same trump lead as his rival, but Lucky Archie won in hand and decided to set up dummy’s club suit.

The ♣Q went to the ace and a club was ruffed small.  A heart to the king allowed declarer to ruff another club high.  He then crossed to the ♥A and ruffed a club with his last trump.

A diamond went to dummy’s king and Lucky Archie drew the outstanding trumps.  Dummy was now high and Lucky Archie had earned a super +2210 score.  And he had not even cashed his ace of diamonds!

As the players filed out of the studio, most of them were congratulating Lucky Archie, that night’s winner.  Poor Frank, on the other hand could be heard talking to himself:  “I chose the best suit and he took the worst suit.  But the best became the worst, and worst of all, he got the best of me.”

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