Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} J 6 4

{heart} 6 5 2

{diam} K Q

{club} A K 8 7 4

WEST

{spade} K Q 7

{heart} A 10 8 3

{diam} 6 3

{club} Q 10 9 5

EAST

{spade} 9 8 5 3 2

{heart} 9 4

{diam} 8 7 4

{club} 6 3 2

SOUTH (D)

{spade} A 10

{heart} K Q J 7

{diam} A J 10 9 5 2

{club} J

The bidding: SouthWest North East1 {diam} Pass 2 {club} Pass3 {diam} Pass 5 {diam} Pass6 {diam} All Pass Opening lead: {spade} K

Men said the beauty of the maiden Psyche eclipsed even that of Venus, the goddess of love. That drew down the wrath of the goddess, and matters got worse when Cupid, Venus's son, fell in love with Psyche.

Venus was determined to get revenge. After inflicting many trials on Psyche, Venus presented her with today's deal.

"Find the winning play at six diamonds," the goddess decreed, "and marry Cupid. Fail, and be the bride of a hideous monster."

Before you read on, decide how you'd play the slam.

Psyche, who had card sense as well as good looks, saw she could discard a spade on the A-K of clubs and lead a heart to her king. If it won, she could take the K-Q of trumps and lead another heart from dummy, succeeding if hearts broke 3-3 or if East had A-x.

But if West has A-10-x-x, Psyche thought, he'll save his hearts, and I'll lose a second heart.

Since any girl knows not to wear her hearts on her sleeve, Psyche concealed her hearts temporarily. She took the ace of spades and ran five trumps. West threw a spade and a club but, as it happened, the fifth trump fixed him. If he threw a club, dummy's clubs would be good. When he threw a heart, Psyche took the top clubs to pitch the 10 of spades and force out the ace of hearts. Her seven of hearts won her 12th trick.

"Not bad," Venus said grudgingly.

According to the myth, the story ended happily. Jupiter was persuaded to make Psyche immortal, and Venus couldn't object to a goddess for a daughter-in-law.

(c)2004, Tribune Media Services