By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated November 20, 1997 12:00 AM
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Oprah Winfrey opened up her checkbook yesterday and wrote out a big one. She donated $10 million to A Better Chance, an organization that places gifted minority students in some of the nation’s top public and private high schools. The gift, which drew a standing ovation for the Big O, was unexpectedly made at the group’s awards luncheon in New York.