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James Bond sipped his martini to steady his nerves. The stakes in his match against the nefarious Doctor Notrump were 100 million pounds, and if his foe won, he'd have enough capital to launch his plan for world domination.

When West led the king of hearts against 3NT, Bond's blood froze. Doctor Notrump, East, smirked.

"Really, Mister Bond, I expected more from a man of your reputation. Surely it was not beyond the wit of the British Secret Service to reach five clubs on your cards."

Bond saw a glimmer of hope. Doctor Notrump signaled with the seven of hearts, and Bond dropped his ten! West continued with the queen: five, deuce, JACK. West then led the nine.

Doctor Notrump frowned. If West had K-Q-9, East had to take the ace, but if West had K-Q-9-8, East had to play low and take the next heart. Finally, Doctor Notrump misguessed, playing low. When Bond produced the eight, Notrump unloosed a bellow of rage -- and threw himself into a nearby fumarole.

You hold: 9 8 3 5 3 A J 4 A Q J 9 2. As in today's deal, your partner opens 1NT, and you raise to 3NT -- not the best contract since his hearts are J-10-8. Do you fault yourself for your bid?

A: Don't. Your raise to 3NT was automatic. Once a year you'll go down when you could make game in another strain, but 3NT will be the winning contract in the long run. Only a world-class pair would have the tools to reach five clubs on today's North-South cards.

South dealer.

Both sides vulnerable.

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

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