The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXVII: Lucky Archie Finds the Wrong Fit
By Ray Adams
Lucky Archie and Poor Frank were at it again just the other night at the local duplicate club. Things looked good for Poor Frank when Lucky Archie arrived in the wrong fit on the last board of the evening. Of course, when Lucky Archie is involved, appearances are seldom what they first seem to be.
Most pairs ended up in 6♠ on this hand and made six, but not Lucky Archie and his partner. Since the Lucky One never showed his three card spade support, this pair arrived in the inferior 6♥ contract. Poor Frank led the ace of diamonds, ruffed by declarer. Lucky Archie saw he was in trouble and this is what undoubtedly influenced his next play. He led a small heart and inserted dummy’s ten when Poor Frank played low. This held and the Lucky One was now on his way.
Declarer now ruffed a small diamond with the ace of hearts. He cashed the king of hearts and led a club to the ace. Both opponents followed when he cashed the board’s queen of hearts and drew the last enemy trumps. The Lucky One threw a small spade on this trick. He then ran his remaining five clubs. At first, Poor Frank was under no pressure, but on the last club he had to either jettison his king of diamonds or a spade from his king/jack holding. The dummy, which discarded behind him, remained with the ace/ten of spades and the queen of diamonds. No matter which card Poor Frank chose, his rival would make all of the tricks for a cold top board. The result was enough for Lucky Archie to jump past Poor Frank into first place as his rival plunged to a distant third.
Poor Frank may have felt bitter inside, but he failed to show it.
“You played that hand exceedingly well, Archie,” he said.
“Of course I did, Frankie Baby,” his rival said. “I am, after all, the top player in the club.”
Meanwhile, the kibitzers were having a heated argument about where this 6♥ bidding sequence ranked in club history. After about twenty minutes of debate, they decided it was the fifth worst of all time.