The cards were hot the other evening at the local duplicate club. The winner of that evening’s event would be determined by the outcome of the following fateful hand:Dealer: West North West North East South Vulnerable: None ♠ A96 1♣ Pass 1NT Pass ♥ AJ98 Pass Dbl. Pass 2♦ ♦ 98 Pass Pass Dbl. All pass. ♣ K875 West East ♠ J432 ♠ 1085 (Lucky Archie) ♥ Q1076 ♥ K42 ♦ AK ♦Q1076 ♣ A102 ♣ Q94 South (Poor Frank) ♠ KQ7 ♥53 ♦ J5432 ♣ J63
Poor Frank hardly wanted to get involved in this auction, but when his partner made a balancing double, he was forced to bid his raunchy five card diamond suit. Lucky Archie doubled with the force of Zeus throwing down a thunder bolt from the top of Mount Olympus.
West led a spade to dummy’s ace and a diamond was ducked to West’s king. A second spade was won by declarer and another diamond ducked to the ace. West persisted with a spade, again won by declarer. A heart went to dummy’s eight and Archie’s king. The club return was won by West’s ace. This defender now led the thirteenth spade, as dummy and Lucky Archie sluffed clubs and Poor Frank ruffed. Poor Frank led his last heart, inserting dummy’s jack when West followed with the seven. When this won, declarer cashed the king of clubs and the ace of hearts, pitching his last club. The lead was now in the dummy and Poor Frank had seven tricks lined up neatly in front of him. He led a club and Lucky Archie had to play from his ♦ Q10 holding in front of Poor Frank’s ♦ J5. Poor Frank had made two diamonds doubled on a nifty coup en passant. This allowed him to beat Lucky Archie for that evening’s honors.
This time, as the players shuffled out of the studio, it was Lucky Archie’s turn to mutter to himself as Poor Frank said, “C’est la vie,” to his rival.