Both vulnerable. North deals.


xA K Q 10 8

uK 8

v10 6

wA Q J 2


x9 6 5 xJ 7 4 3 2

u9 4 2 uA 3

vA K 7 5 3 vJ 9 2

w10 8 wK 7 3



uQ J 10 7 6 5

vQ 8 4

w9 6 5 4

The bidding:


1x Pass 1NT Pass

3w Pass 3u Pass

4u Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Ace of v (ace from A K)

Ask anyone to name the strongest American pair (perhaps the world’s best) and there would be an instant reply — Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell, or Meckwell as they have become known. They have been playing together for more than 40 years, and have won almost every U.S. and international pair and team title, most more than once. While their intricate bidding system helps, one of their outstanding traits is implicit trust in partner’s play of the cards. Here’s an example from the final of a major KO team event.

With four boards to play, Meckwell’s team was trailing by 16 imps. The same contract was reached at both tables and the opening lead was the same. At both East followed with the deuce. At the other table, West continued with the king of diamonds, and there was no way to defeat the contract. Eventually, declarer discarded his three losing clubs on dummy’s top spades and scored 10 tricks.

At the other table, Meckstroth shifted to the ten of clubs at trick two, and though declarer was able to discard his two losing diamonds, the defenders could not be prevented from scoring a club ruff for the setting trick. That was 12 imps to Meckwell who now trailed by only 4 imps. They eventually won the match on the last board.

2012 Tribune Media Services

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