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"Magic Mirror on the wall," intoned the evil Queen, "who's the best player of them all?"

"Judging by the latest tournament results," replied the Mirror suavely, "Snow White. After all, I taught her the game myself."

"What?" screamed the Queen. "We'll see about that."

The next tournament pitted Snow White against the Queen on the final deal. At every table, South had landed at four spades. Most Souths took the first diamond and immediately led the A-K and then a low heart, preparing to ruff the fourth heart in dummy if necessary.

West threw one club on the third heart and another when East forced dummy to ruff a heart. When South led a trump next, West won, led a diamond to East and ruffed the club return. Down one.

When Snow White was South, she avoided the poisoned apple: she took the top clubs before starting the hearts. The contract was made, giving Snow White the tournament.

"Well done," the Mirror told her. "Your play reflects well on me."

You hold: J 7 5 K 7 3 A 2 8 7 5 4 2. Dealer, at your left, opens one spade. Your partner doubles, you respond two clubs and he then bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Without substantial extra strength, partner would have overcalled two hearts; to double before bidding a suit, he should have at least 17 points. Since your hand is worth about eight points, you may have a game. Bid three hearts.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable
J 7 5
K 7 3
A 2
8 7 5 4 2
A 8 3 2
Q 5
Q J 10 6 3
9 3
J 10 9 4
K 9 8 7
Q J 10 6
K Q 10 9 6
A 8 6 2
5 4
South West North East
1 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 4 All Pass

Opening lead -- Q

Copyright 1997, Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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