The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXCV: Two Bad Slams, Part II
By Ray Adams
Readers will recall that Lucky Archie made six spades on a 4-2 fit on this hand in last week’s column. Now they can see how Poor Frank fared.
Poor Frank reached six no trump on an auction that he may not have been proud of, but the contract did have some play. Unbeknownst to him, Lucky Archie had made six spades on this hand, so it was do or die for Poor Frank.
West led the nine of diamonds, won by dummy’s queen. Poor Frank saw he had eleven top tricks and possible extras in the club and spade suits. He went after clubs first, cashing the ace and queen and leading a club to his king, West tossing a diamond on this trick. He saw he had two possibilities left: someone could have three spades to the jack and ten or one player might be squeezed in spades and hearts if that player had four spades and the two high hearts.
Exercising good technique, Poor Frank played his fourth club to rectify the count, and throwing a heart from dummy as he allowed East to win. East immediately shot back the ten of hearts, Poor Frank winning his ace and noticing the queen fall from the West hand. Next came the remaining three top diamonds. West had already discarded two diamonds on the four club leads, so came under pressure on the fourth diamond from Poor Frank’s hand.
West could see what a discard of the king of hearts would do, so he let go a spade. Poor Frank now ran his spades from the top and claimed when his nine of spades was the last one left at trick thirteen. This was a brilliant result for Poor Frank, but was not a top, since a couple of other players in 6NT had played for the king and queen of hearts to be doubleton and – when they were – also made this slam. However, a tie for top got Poor Frank just enough points to beat Lucky Archie for that evening’s honors.
Later when he discussed the hands with Janet, he said, “I heard Lucky Archie was bragging about making a slam in a 4-2 fit.”
“He can brag all he wants, darling,” Janet said, “but let’s see him make 6NT on a squeeze the way you did. Why I bet he couldn’t even do that if he stood on his head.”
Poor Frank laughed. “No, but I would love to see him try to stand on his head. Although I have to admit, he plays most hands as if that’s exactly what he’s doing.”