Poor Frank recently had the experience of knowing what it was like to play just like Lucky Archie. It all happened on the following board:dealer: South Vulnerable: None North South West North East ♠ 1065 1♥ 2♦ 3♣ 3♦ ♥ A106 3♠ 5♦ 5♥ Pass ♦ void 6♥ All pass. ♣ AJ1098 West East (Lucky Archie) ♠ KJ97 ♠ 4 ♥ 53 ♥ 8742 ♦ KQJ8642 ♦ 10973 ♣ void ♣ Q432 South (Poor Frank) ♠ AQ832 ♥ KQJ9 ♦ A5 ♣ K5
It was the last board of the night and Poor Frank was very tired. When he sorted his hand, he saw a cool 19 points, consisting of 5 hearts, 4 spades, 1 diamond, and 3 clubs. This helps explain his unusual bidding, which was consistent with this type of hand rather than the one he really held.
West led the king of diamonds, ruffed in dummy. Poor Frank suddenly grimaced as he noticed that he had missorted his hand and actually held five spades, four hearts, two diamonds, and two clubs. His spirits sank when he saw that that they had missed the 5-3 spade fit and were playing in the inferior 4-3 heart fit.
Declarer drew trumps in four rounds, sluffing two spades from dummy. He led the four of clubs to dummy’s jack. Lucky Archie pounced on this with the queen to put a diamond on the table. But Poor Frank won the ace, cashed the ace of spades, and overtook the king of clubs with dummy’s ace to claim this incredible small slam.
“Archie, you dolt,” West yelled across the table. “If you don’t take your queen right away, he can’t make it.”
“All I know is that you bid up to five diamonds and didn’t even take one trick. I took mine,” Archie replied.
Poor Frank should have smiled at their exchange. He had won that evening’s laurels and bested his rival. But instead, he held his face in his hands as tears formed. He realized he had won only because he had done the same type of unbelievable thing that Lucky Archie always did. And then he had been just as lucky.