"They may say you can't do it; but remember, that doesn't always work." -- Casey Stengel

South took the queen of hearts and led the ace and queen of clubs. West refused to win; and South next led a diamond for a finesse with dummy's queen. East produced the king and returned a heart to South's ace.

South then led another diamond. If diamonds split 3-2, he'd have four diamonds, two clubs, two hearts and two spades; but when West threw a spade, South could take only eight tricks before West got in to run the hearts. Down one.

"Unmakable," South shrugged.

"Cold as ice," said North.

"A dinner says you can't make it," South snorted.

"After you take the ace and queen of clubs," North smiled, "lead a diamond to the ace and return the jack of clubs, pitching the ace of hearts. Whether or not the defense continues hearts, you can reach dummy to run the rest of the clubs."

Doing what people say you can't do is truly one of life's great pleasures.


You hold: S A K 10 9 H A Q D 8 6 5 3 2 C A Q. Dealer, at your right, opens one club. You double, and your partner bids one heart. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner might have zilch but might also have as many as eight points. Since your hand is worth 20 points, game is possible. A bid of 1NT, one spade or two diamonds is acceptable. The idea is that you must bid again to show extra strength -- but not too high, lest partner's hand be weak.

Both sides vulnerable


S 7 5

H J 10 7


C J 10 9 3 2


S Q 6 3 2

H K 9 8 6 4

D 7

C K 7 6


S J 8 4

H 5 3 2

D K 10 9 4

C 8 5 4


S A K 10 9


D 8 6 5 3 2


South West North East

1 D Pass 2 D Pass

3 NT All Pass

Opening lead -- H 6

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate