The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LV: Lucky Archie and the King of Clubs
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club. The evening’s fateful hand turned out to be one in which Lucky Archie missorted his cards.
Lucky Archie mistook the king of spades for the king of clubs and this explains why he opened 1♣ instead of 1♠. The pair then arrived in a 5♣ contract after North made a slam try that Archie rejected.
Red Dyeman led the nine of spades to the two, jack, and queen. Lucky Archie smirked rather rudely when he won this helpful lead. He then led a club to the ace and a small club back. Declarer’s eyes bugged out when Poor Frank played the king, the card Lucky Archie had thought he held. He then noticed he actually had the king of spades.
Poor Frank tried a diamond and West won the ace, but dummy’s ten took the spade return as Poor Frank was now out of trumps. Lucky Archie soon claimed his vulnerable game, causing Poor Frank’s stomach to churn in a most uncomfortable manner. He realized that if Lucky Archie had known he held the king of spades, not the king of clubs, he would have taken the club finesse. Poor Frank would have won, returned a diamond to Red and ruffed the spade return for down one.
Instead, Poor Frank’s stomach was in agony, his blood pressure was off the charts and his psyche was trying to deal with the fact that Lucky Archie had bested him once again because of a stupid mistake. Frank sought out Janet after the game to seek help in alleviating his misery.
“It’s all right, darling,” she said. “Most declarers were in 3NT making four on that board and some were in 4♠, making also. So it turns out that minus 600 was a cold top for you. And what’s more, you came in first tonight!”
“That’s wonderful,” Poor Frank said weakly, “but do you have any antacid tablets?”