This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bread N' Butter Introduction

Now for the lead-in to the Bread N' Butter series: a look at Meckwell bidding in the recent world championship when one of them had 10 to 17 balanced, either in opening position, or directly over an opponent's opening. We will consider balanced as any 4-3-3-3/4-4-3-2/5-3-3-2, plus any hand that Meckwell treated as balanced.

The basic opening structure with balanced 10-17 for Meckwell is:

10: Pass (gasp!)
11-13: 1D (1D can also be 10-15 with unbalanced Ds, or 10-15 with 4-1-3-5/1-4-3-5)
14-16: 1NT
17: 1C (16+ if unbalanced, 17+ balanced)

However vulnerable in third and fourth seat, they play 15-17 notrumps, and then:

10-11: Pass
11+-14: 1D (1D can also be 10-15 with unbalanced Ds, or 10-15 with 4-1-3-5/1-4-3-5)
15-17: 1NT

However these high-card point counts are just estimates, as Meckwell believe that playing value overrides straight Goren point count. As they say on their cc:
All points can be adjusted in any situation

Judgement allowed in any situation

(some Americans would use judgment, but let's not rush to judge them)

Thus a Meckwell 14-16 1NT is something in the 14-16 ballpark, and does not absolutely promise that high card point count.

Meckwell tend to upgrade a lot more than they downgrade. That is, for example, a 13 count is more likely to be upgraded into a 14-16 1NT, then a 17 count downgraded into that 1NT.

They open many 11 counts. Their teammates (Hamman-Zia, Katz-Nickell) both have this on their cc's:
Avoid opening bad BAL hands 1st/2nd
Meckwell are the opposite - let's see how opening 11 counts worked for them in this year's world championships.


  • At 7:36 PM, Blogger Sartaj Hans said…

    Looking forward to your analysis. Especially around how the balanced 11 HCP hands went after opening the bidding.

  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger Bruce said…

    I wouldn't pass too many 11 counts if I could tag out and have Meckstroth or Rodwell play the hand.


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