The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXCIV: Two Bad Slams, Part I

The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXCIV: Two Bad Slams, Part I

By Ray Adams

Lucky Archie got in a bad slam just the other night at the local duplicate due to a sorting problem.


The trouble started when Lucky Archie had the five of clubs in with his spades. When he showed a probable void in the auction, North took a delayed preference to spades and Archie bid the spade slam.

When West led the nine of diamonds, the Lucky One saw his mistake and realized he had propelled himself into a nasty 4-2 fit at the six level. He won the opening lead with his ace and began drawing trumps, hoping someone had three to the jack and ten. But it was not to be, and after three rounds, West remained with the high trump. Archie now hoped to get some value out of his last trump and cashed the ace of hearts, then went to dummy with a diamond, noticing that East was out. He ruffed a small heart, glee appearing on his face when West’s king dropped after this opponent had previously followed with the queen on the previous heart lead.

He now played a club to the ace and cashed the queen of clubs. Next came the jack of hearts on which declarer tossed his losing club. Although West ruffed this, this opponent had nothing left but diamonds and Archie’s diamonds were all high, allowing him to claim this improbable slam.

Both opponents and several kibitzers complimented Lucky Archie on making this amazing slam.

“It was nothing,” he said, “Many players miss the value of a 4-2 fit, but experts like me are constantly using this overlooked fit to score high boards.”

This was the kind of comment that – had he heard it – would have sickened Poor Frank, but our hero was South on this hand at another table, soldiering away in another bad slam.

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