By Ray Adams
Poor Frank badly needed a good result on the last board just the other night at the local duplicate club. Unfortunately, he found himself at the mercy of his arch rival when the following cards were dealt:
In the auction, 5♣ showed one or four aces, the king of trumps being counted as an ace. As readers study the hand, it will come as no surprise to them that Lucky Archie was the only one to bid slam on the South hand. Poor Frank sensed this was the case and led the jack of spades with more than a little trepidation.
Archie won the ace of trumps and quickly banged down the king and queen, extracting Poor Frank’s remaining spades. He then slammed down the high clubs without even pausing to think. The fall of East’s singleton jack allowed him to sluff a diamond from the dummy. Poor Frank simply shook his head. It seemed to him as though the Lucky One had no plan whatsoever.
Archie now led a diamond and Poor Frank took his jack. He exited a heart, the suit in which his partner had signaled. Dummy’s ace took the trick and Archie ruffed a heart, then ruffed the ten of diamonds as Poor Frank had to follow with his ace. Declarer now claimed, as his king of diamonds had become high and he had somehow made this incredibly low percentage slam. Poor Frank could feel his stomach begin to churn and wondered what it might be like to be hard of hearing. At least at moments like these, he could turn off his hearing aid and not have to listen to the other bridge buffs congratulating Lucky Archie.