The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XLIII: Lucky Archie’s Fantastic Lead
By Ray Adams
The local duplicate club was abuzz just the other night over Lucky Archie’s fantastic lead. Needless to say, it occurred against Poor Frank. This was the fateful hand:
Poor Frank arrived in an excellent 6♣ contract as did most of the rest of the field. Everyone else received the normal lead of the queen of spades. The South declarers won in dummy and started drawing trumps, noticing the 4-0 split. But after drawing three rounds of clubs, they forced an entry to hand with a high diamond and drew the last trump to claim the small slam. It seemed like quite a straightforward hand, but nothing is simple when Poor Frank and Lucky Archie are involved.
When Lucky Archie had to lead against Poor Frank, he also selected the queen of spades, but before he could remove it from his hand, another card accidentally fell from the others and into full view on the table. It was the three of diamonds.
Poor Frank won in hand and started trumps. But when he tried to return to hand via a diamond, Lucky Archie won the ace and gave his partner a ruff to set Poor Frank, making Poor Frank the only declarer in the room with a negative result on this board.
This allowed Lucky Archie to pass Poor Frank and win that evening’s laurels. After the game, a herd of bridge buffs stampeded over to where he was sitting to congratulate him on his sterling victory and outstanding lead.
“It was no time to be mundane,” Lucky Archie told his fans. “I knew something fantastic was called for and luckily, I was up for it.”
Poor Frank groaned when he heard this. He now hoped the local bridge buffs would refrain from calling his rival “Fantastic Archie.”