Scary Endplay

At the LVBA virtual open bridge game with Mike Kohler today, I found myself as North in an unhopeful 3N after East showed Hearts and Spades. After two Heart tricks, two Diamonds, and a Heart, I seemed a trick short. But as I ran the Diamonds West erroneously discarded a Spade. At this point I held A9 of Spades with QJ on the board. I cashed my only Spade stopper, finessed the Club Ten to West’s Q, and held my breath. If East did not have the remaining Spades as her bid promised, West could get out with a Spade to set me a couple of tricks. But here as I hoped West had to return a Club, making my Club J the ninth trick. Jim Berry has pointed out a similar endplay of East by first cashing the Club Ace, which does not depend on any defensive error.

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