Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Watching, Commenting and Blogging The World Championships

I am so busy watching and commenting on the matches I hardly have time for anything else.  I thought I could do some live blogging but it is just not possible when I comment.   I think the most interesting match I saw was the last one USA II versus Norway.  Now I could watch Meckwell all day and Brogeland and Lindqvist would be high up on my list too.  So segment 6 began with Meckwell sitting Eat West and Lindbrog? sitting North-South.


I love their convention  card Lindbrog system.  It has their picture in color on it and a flag and everything.  If I play in Philadelphia next year I will do one just like that.    They play a natural 2/1 system with five card majors and strong notrump but the word “light” keeps appearing on the card as in light opening bids, light preempts etc.  We shall see an example of how aggressive they can be in a minute.

Meckwell’s card doesn’t have any pretty pictures of flags.  Lots on it though as they play their own brand of Precision which now includes a strongish notrump.  After five rounds Norway was in first place with 111 VP and USA 2 was in seventh with 91 VP.  But we all knew that it was an important match to both teams.

The first board has a lesson for all of us and it isn’t about bidding, playing or defending. 


Board 17. Dealer North. None Vulnerable.

  ♠ 8
♥ 743 
♦ J1087
♣ KQJ65
♠ 107632
♥ 8652
♦ K652
♣ —
Bridge deal ♠ 954
♥ QJ
♦ A43
♣ A10984
  ♠ AKQJ
♥ AK109
♦ Q9
♣ 732


In the Open Room Meckstroth started the bidding with 1♦.  Brogeland doubled and North Lindqvist bid 2♣.  Brogeland might have bid again but he didn’t like his doubleton diamond queen.  As one of the commentators observed you can’t really get too worried about an opening bid of the nebulous diamond.  Meckstroth has said they are like Macdonalds, a million served.    Two clubs lost the obvious five tricks and made 90.  This seems to be a rather poor result.  North-South have 26 HCP and can make 3NT.  Strangely in the Closed Room Hamman and Mahmood reached 2♦.  As it turns out the 4-2 doesn’t play that badly and you can make this contract.  But Hamman unaccountably went down when he had it made.  Hamman has one of the best temperments in the game but perhaps just this once he was a bit annoyed at missing the 3NT game.  That cost him 4 imps.

Board 19 brought another one of the larger swings in the match.


Board 19. Dealer South. E-W Vulnerable.

  ♠ 6
♥ AJ872 
♦ QJ43
♣ 654
♠ 7
♥ KQ643
♦ A107
♣ Q1072
Bridge deal ♠ AK108532
♥ 105
♦ 82
♣ A9
  ♠ QJ94
♥ 9
♦ K965
♣ KJ83

In the Open Room this was the auction

Rodwell Lindqvist Meckstroth Brogeland
1H pass 1S DBL
‘pass 3D 4S ?


Brogeland doubled.  He had a trump stack, his partner had some values and he had apparently vowed before the match to look for opportunities to double Meckwell if he knew that suits weren’t breaking.  I admit it was harder in the Closed Room.  The auction started the same but West didn’t pass the double, he bid 2C and Hamman then only bid 2D.  Still I think the double is reasonable.  Despite some discussion at our table about the fact that free bids aren’t what they used to be I can’t see why North would bid 2D opposite a passed partner without some cards, not just shape.  The contract went down 2 so the double was worth 7 imps.

This was a low scoring match and the bridge was pretty good.  I know Ray plans to blog a seven club hand which was quite fascinating.  I have one more story to tell.  How low can you go?  This is the story of an aggressive player, Brogeland.  His hand was

♠ 1054
♥ 87
♦ 10962
♣ 9754

You may have noticed that he has zero high card points.  Perhaps the spot cards when all added together might count as about 1.  He found a pass and Rodwell opened 1♣ strong and artificial (nobody vulnerable).  Lindqvist bid 1♦ which apparently showed spades.  Meckstroth passed showing 0-5. Considering his modest values Brogeland bid just 1♠.   Rodwell now bid 2♥ and Lindqvist bid 3♦.  Meckstroth bid 3♥.  It was Brogeland’s turn to bid.

Now you or I would have seen a balanced zero count but he saw three trumps to an honor and a diamond fit with a diamond honor too.  He raised spades.  In the end he found himself in 4♠ which had very little play and did go down.  They did arrive in the same contract at the other table but Hamman pretty well bid it by himself.

Both teams played very well with good tough bridge.  It was exciting to watch and the match ended in a tie 24-22 imps to Norway but 15-15 in VP and their respective standings remained the same.

I do want to make one comment about Canada Master Point Press Women.  I know they have had a very poor start to the week but I also know that there is a lot of bridge left.  So go get them.

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