Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

USA versus Turkey in a Round 4 match

I was to say the least exhausted after staying up most of the night on Friday watching all the matches on BBO.  Can you spell “masochist”?

So I knew that I was only going to be able to watch one round on Saturday night.  I just am not very good at sleeping during the day.  I was pleased that BBO was going to be showing an American match.

In the Open room Meckwell are facing Ismail Kandemir and Suleyman Kolata.  There convention card is posted at

They are playing 2/1 with strong notrump and five card majors. They lead third and fifth against suits and second and fourth against notrump.  2◊ shows 5-5 in the majors, weak.

In the closed room we have Hakan Goksu and  Eymen Bedir playing Hamman and Compton.  They are playing a forcing club based system with an 11-15 notrump opening.

If you are interested there is quite a nice Turkish bridge site at

Unfortunately there were a lot of flattish boards but somehow something always happens.  The first action board was Board 20.

2001 Turkey Open Pairs Kandemir – Aslan

  ♠ AKJ4  
  ♥ 63  
  ◊ 543  
Rodwell ♣ AK42 Meckstroth
♠ 72   ♠ Q653
♥ A2   ♥ Q1085
◊ AKQ9862   ◊ J
♣ 63   ♣ Q1095
  ♠ 1098  
  ♥ KJ974  
  ◊ 107  
  ♣ J87  

With everyone vulnerable and West dealer, Rodwell opened a gambling 3NT.  Apparently Meckwell can have an outside card to go along with their solid suit.  Kandemir doubled to show a good balanced hand. With all those nice soft cards in the side suits Meckstroth was content to play there and the doubled ended the auction.  After starting a spade Kandemir switched to a heart at trick 2 setting up the fifth trick for the defence and that was that. 


Goksu Compton Bedir Hamman
1◊ 1♠ pass 2♠
2◊ all pass    

In the open room where Goksu could not open gambling 3NT with an outside ace he started with 1◊.  Hamman and Compton pushed them to 3◊  which has the same winners (and losers) as 3NT but this was not doubled so Turkey picked up 3 imps. 

In some matches though much stranger things happened.  Would you believe 20 imps?  Here was the auction in the Argentina – China Hong Kong match.  (I leave the names out to provide some privacy for the perpetrators).

West (China) North(Arg) East (China) South (Arg)
3NT DBL pass 4H
pass pass DBL pass
pass RDBL all pass  

It shows that you need to have your defences ready for bids such as gambling 3NT.  Obviously North-South were not on the same wavelength here.   Was the redouble for rescue?  Even if it was there really wasn’t anywhere to go although anything would be better than this fiasco.  At the other table they had the more or less normal result of 3NT doubled down 1.

The next board, 21 has some points of interest.

North South Vulnerable Dealer North

  ♠ 9  
  ♥ KJ873  
  ◊ 10764  
Rodwell ♣ K95 Meckstroth
♠ KJ1085   ♠ 743
♥ 964   ♥ Q10
◊ K95   ◊ QJ8
♣ 64   ♣ AQ1073
  ♠ A52  
  ♥ AQ62  
  ◊ A52  
  ♣ J82  

In the open room with the Meckwell style of bidding Meckstroth opened a hand which in my circles would be called a piece of dodo (while maybe not phrased that way).

Rodwell Kandemir Meckstroth Kolata
    1◊ DBL
1♥ 3♥* pass 4♥
all pass      

Do you like Kolata’s taleout double?  Not me.  I checked just to make sure but a 1NT overcall would show 15-18.  Okay maybe a double diamond stopper would be better but in my books this hand could be a textbook example of a 1NT hand.  Once long ago people had shape to make a takeout double.  Rodwell’s 1♥ overcall wasn’t alerted but I assume it showed spades. 

Kandemir’s 3♥ was alerted.  I don’t know what it showed but let’s assume it was preemptive.  Look at Kolata’s hand now and decide if you want to bid on.  I love the aces but I only have three hearts, no ruffing values and the  ♠Q is looking weak.   I don’t think this hand has anything extra.  I would not bid on, especially after looking at all the hands.  4♥ had essentially no play and worse then that that Kandemir went three down. 

Meckstroth lead the ♠3 and Kandmir put in the ♠Q.  It seems to me that this is not the right play. The trick doesn’t really help you and you don’t really want West on lead at trick 2.  The rest was over quickly. Two clubs and a club ruff and two diamonds in the endgame.

At the other table East opened an 11-15 notrump and ended up in 2♠ making which seems like a normal result. 5 imps to the USA.

The next board was all about defence. 

East-West Vulnerable.

  ♠ AJ7643  
  ♥ Q7  
  ◊ K5  
Rodwell ♣1075 Meckstroth
♠ KQ2   ♠ 1085
♥ K43   ♥ AJ1085
◊ Q7   ◊ 1083
♣ KQJ63   ♣ 92
  ♠ 9  
  ♥ 962  
  ◊ AJ9642  
  ♣ A84  

Rodwell opened 1NT and Kandemir overcalled 2◊ which showed a majo when Meckstroth competed with 2♥ he passed it out.   2♠ would probably make on the lie of the cards.  That being said Turkey faltered could beat 2♥.

The opening lead was the ♠ 9.  Looking at this dummy. Kandemir must expect that 2♥ will make unless there are spade ruffs.  There are unlikely to be any heart losers, one spade loser, two diamonds and no more than one club.  The switch to the ◊K is a matchpoint play as far as I am concerned.  This hand should be one down not making. 

Goksu Compton Bedir Hamman
    pass pass
1♣ 1♠ pass 2◊
pass pass 2♥ pass
pass 2♠ pass 3◊
all pass      

What happened at the other table?  Here too there was a partscore battle and here too the defence let some tricks get away.  At this table Hamman ended up playing 3◊ after Goksu opened a strong club.  He lead the ♣K and rose when Hamman led a heart towards dummy.  Now he has to play a trump.  He can cash clubs first but that’s all.  Hamman has to make a heart ruff in dummy.  If the defence leads trump he has no play. 

Can Goksu figure this out?   I think so. Clearly from the auction Hamman doesn’t have two spades.  Why would he lead a heart at trick two?  I leave the rest as an exercise to the reader.  So there was 6 imps to the USA for the double partscore swing.  The USA now lead 12imps-3.


Board 24 was an example of an aggressive style which doesn’t always work.  When you are great defenders sometimes like Meckwell, sometimes you should just defend.  They don’t do much wrong but I do think Meckstroth got a bit carried away on this deal.  By the way, lest anyone think I anyone think that I don’t think that Jeff is the greatest here is a link to his entry on Wikipedia where you can get a list of some of his accomplishments

and of course his book Win the Bermuda Bowl With Me

Noone Vulnerable Dealer West

  ♠ AK92  
  ♥ 1086  
  ◊ Q76  
Rodwell ♣ Q109 Meckstroth
♠ Q85   ♠ 106
♥ 9743   ♥ AKQ52
◊ 92   ◊ AJ10
♣ J653   ♣ A74
  ♠ J743  
  ♥ J  
  ◊ K8543  
  ♣ K82  
Rodwell Kandemir Meckstroth Kolata
pass pass 1♣ pass
1◊ pass 1♥ pass
2♥ pass pass DBL
pass 2♠ 3♥ pass
pass 3♠ 4♥ all pass

After Meckstroth’s strong club opening and Rodwell’s negative 1◊ response Meckwell were prepared to play 2♥.  I kind of like Koalata’s gutsy double.  At least this time he had the right shape for it.  Mekstroth doesn’t really have a whole bunch extra but his cards are very prime and he has no spade cards so he competed with 3♥.  But when Kandmir plowed on with 3♠, what’s up with 4♥?  I think Meckstroth had told his whole story.  3♠ is not going to make.  The final result was a loss of 6 imps.

On Board 25 Turks got to a good. aggressive and making 3NT against Meckwell which was not reached by Compton and Hamman. The 6 imp win put the Turks into the lead for the first time in the match.  15-12

On Board 27 the US struck back. 

♠ K9
♥ 1087
◊ Q982
♣ Q986

Kolata passed and Rodwell opened 1♠ and Kandemir doubled.  Mekstroth bid 2♠ a weak raise.  I like that bid. When Kolata doubled to show interest in competeing Rodwell who had six spades bit 3♠ and bought it there.  AT the other table where Meckstroth’s hand passed in a similar auction North-South were allowed to play 2♣.  As it turns out 2♣ can be defeated but it is a tricky defence and it was not found by Turkey well 3♠ is cold on the lie of the cards. 6 imps to the USA.  The USA had regained the lead 18-15.

Board 28 was one that will not be in Compton’s memoirs. 

Continued in part 2

Leave a comment

Your comment