Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXI: A Lapse in Concentration
By Ray Adams
Whenever bridge buffs get together to discuss their favorite game, you will always hear the word “concentration” used. And most will agree that a lapse in concentration will lead to a bad board. That’s exactly what happened to Poor Frank just the other night at the local duplicate club. Only the lapse wasn’t his! This was the hand in question:
When this board was played, Lucky Archie was so busy talking about the previous hand on which he had bid and made a grand slam, that he failed to notice the ace of diamonds among his other cards. Therefore, he passed a hand he would normally have opened. When the bidding got back to him, it was already at the 3♠ level and he wisely chose to pass.
West led the ten of hearts against Poor Frank’s spade game. This went to the king and the Lucky One’s ace. Archie smartly switched to the jack of clubs, headed by the queen and ace. West then returned a club to knock out Poor Frank’s king.
Declarer drew trumps in three rounds and led a diamond off dummy. Lucky Archie immediately rose with his ace and the defense cashed a club for down one. This seemed like a normal result, but when the traveler was opened, it turned out that all other North/Souths had made the contract. Apparently East had always opened 1D and this induced a diamond lead which immediately set up declarer’s king and allowed a club to be sluffed from dummy before it was too late. This result, plus the grand slam, allowed Lucky Archie to win that evening’s laurels.
Poor Frank turned to his rival and said, “You have to do a better job of concentrating, Archie, if you want me to stay a top player.”
Archie gave Frank a silly grin, uncertain if he was being praised or ridiculed.