The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CVIII: Lucky Archie’s Beautiful Slam
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank had every reason to complain the other night at the local duplicate club. This time there could be no doubt that luck was clearly the only explanation for his losing.
When this board was bid at Poor Frank’s table, North had the six of hearts mixed in with his diamonds. This explains why North opened one diamond instead of one heart. Later in the auction, five clubs showed one ace, the king of hearts being counted as an ace.
Poor Frank led the king of clubs, declarer winning the ace. At trick two, Lucky Archie led a small diamond, Poor Frank ducking and dummy’s king winning. Next came the ace of hearts and a heart to the ten, picking up all the trumps. Lucky Archie led another diamond and the best Poor Frank could do was to win his ace. But declarer now had a parking space for his losing spade and he claimed the remainder of the tricks on a crossruff, making six hearts for a top board. This result was enough to propel Lucky Archie into first place and demote Poor Frank all the way to third place.
As it turned out, everyone else who was in six hearts was down one on this hand. This is because North was declaring and East had always found the king of spades lead. Now it was easy for the defense to come to two tricks and set the contract. When Poor Frank discovered this, he sought out his rival just to tell him how lucky he had been to make six hearts on this hand.
“Frankie baby,” the Lucky One replied, “please don’t blame me for your bad lead. As you can see, even the novices in our club found the right lead.”