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Last November, thousands of players flocked to the Orlando World Center Marriott -- a deservedly popular site -- for the American Contract Bridge League's Fall Championships. The table count for the 10 days approached 15,000.

On the tournament's second day, Gail Nye of Palm City, Fla., combined a good bid with good defense. As East, Nye heard her partner overcall in diamonds and North cue-bid, suggesting a good hand with heart support.

Nye had many options including a leap to five diamonds. Instead, she chose to prepare a defense against an impending North-South heart contract by bidding four clubs.

Sure enough, North-South landed at five hearts, but West was guided by Nye's bid and led a club. Nye ruffed and next underled her ace of diamonds. West took the king, cashed the ace of spades and led another club, and Nye ruffed for the second undertrick.

East-West's result of plus 200 points was worth a top score. Most Souths won at least 10 tricks at hearts.

You hold: K 9 7 A 10 8 7 3 Q K Q J 4. You open one heart, and your partner bids two diamonds. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: A bid of three clubs would be a "high reverse," suggesting more strength. I'd try two hearts -- to rebid the five-card suit is permissible -- but I'd accept a bid of 2NT. Many experts would choose that action, treating the hand as balanced since the singleton diamond is the queen.

North dealer.

N-S vulnerable.

Q 10
K J 5 4
A 10 7 5 3 2
A 5
Q 9
K 10 9 8 6 3
9 8 6
J 8 6 4 3 2
6 2
A J 5 4 2
K 9 7
A 10 8 7 3
K Q J 4
North East South West
PassPass1 2
455All Pass
Opening lead -- Choose it

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