The Adventures of Poor Frank, XXXIII

A Tangled Web


 by Ray Adams

    Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were engaged in another dog fight for first place just the other night at the local duplicate club.  The tension in the air must have caused Poor Frank to overbid on the following hand:HAND XXXIIIBID XXXIII

In the auction, 5 showed two controls and no queen of hearts.  Poor Frank must have been counting on running North’s clubs to make the small slam.  If so, he was undoubtedly disappointed to find his partner laying down only four of them in the dummy.

West led the nine of spades to Archie’s ace.  The Lucky One returned the suit and Poor Frank won his king.  Declarer realized he had seriously overbid this hand, but the dummy did have good controls in the minors and the key to the hand still lay in the club suit.  If West had the queen and East the doubleton ten and eight or either the singleton ten or eight, Poor Frank might well waltz home if he divined the position.

He drew trumps and advanced the jack of clubs, covered by the queen.  Lucky Archie played the ten on this trick.  Poor Frank had never known Lucky Archie to play a deceptive card.  Therefore he reasoned the ten had to be a singleton.  He returned to hand ruffing a spade and led another club.  West played low and Frank inserted dummy’s seven  When Lucky Archie produced the eight, Poor Frank saw his entire bridge career flash before his eyes.  He realized that by simply playing the king of clubs he could have made the slam.

Still, Poor Frank was always the gentleman and he said to his rival, “That was a great play, Archie.  Have you been reading a book on deception?”

“What do you mean, Frank?” Archie replied.  “I was just showing my partner a doubleton club.”

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