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Nobody can confidently name the world's best player. It's also hard to pick the best bridge book, but I'd nominate "Right Through the Pack" by Robert Darvas and Norman de V. Hart, a brilliant fantasy in which each of the 52 cards presents a memorable deal.

In "Fatal Change of Plan," the jack of spades tells how South took the king of hearts and saw nine tricks with a winning diamond finesse -- better than playing West for both the king and jack of spades. So South led a spade to the ace, planning to return the queen of diamonds.

"My man instantly dropped the king on the ace," the jack of spades said. "South's surprise turned to pleasure, for he now saw a way of avoiding the hazard of the diamond finesse."

South took the A-K of clubs and let the nine of spades ride. Down he went.

"Right Through the Pack" appeared in 1947: They don't write 'em like that any more. $17.95 postpaid from Baron-Barclay, 800-274-2221. Ask for a free catalog of books and products.

You hold: A Q 10 8 6 9 8 Q J 8 Q 4 2. Your partner opens one heart, you bid one spade, he rebids two hearts and you try 2NT. Partner next bids three clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Partner's rebid of two hearts showed minimum values, and his three clubs suggests six hearts and four clubs. Your correct bid is three hearts. With A 10 8 6 4, Q 5, A 8 7, J 10 6 you could jump to four hearts, but you mustn't persist to 3NT.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

A Q 10 8 6
9 8
Q J 8
Q 4 2
7 3
A J 6 5 3 2
6 3
10 7 3
K J 5
Q 4
K 4 2
J 9 8 6 5
9 4 2
K 10 7
A 10 9 7 5
South West North East
1 Pass1 Pass
1 NTPass3 NTAll Pass
Opening lead -- 5

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