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At the 1998 Spring Nationals in Reno, I got to play two fun hands against Meckwell in the Open Pairs II. One board was a near-top, and the next board was a tie for bottom. Here's the tie for bottom.

Wirt
SK9
HJ43
DKQ109764
CA

Me
SAT8753
H92
DA5
CJ83
Wirt
1D
3D
Pass
All Pass
Rodwell
Pass
Pass
Pass

Me
1S
Pass
3S?

Meckstroth
2H
3H
Dbl


Meckstroth leads the top two hearts, Rodwell following with the 5 and 7 (udca). Now Meckstroth continues with the HQ, Rodwell thinking a moment before pitching the D3. After ruffing in hand, how do you plan on tackling trumps? Do you know why Meckstroth played a third round of hearts instead of making the killing club switch?

Here is the complete deal.


Dlr: North            Wirt           
Vul: E-WK9
J43
MeckstrothKQ109764Rodwell
QJ62A4
AKQ865107
8SouthJ32
64SA108753KQ109752
H92
DA5
CJ83


Since Meckstroth had a lot of hearts and probably some club stuff, I decided not to lead a spade to the nine, but to lead a spade to the king, intending to finesse through Rodwell (unless he showed up with a stiff honor). This works when spades are 3-2 (ha) or when Rodwell does has a stiff honor. Well, Rodwell showed out and I was royally screwed. -300 was a horrific result.

In retrospect, it looks like Meckstroth was trying to find Rodwell with the S8 or S10, to ensure two trump tricks for the defense. Oh well. I gave this hand to Billy Miller and he immediately got it right. It just goes to show.... =)

This was the good board.

Dlr: West            Wirt           
Vul: NoneQ5
9854
MeckstrothAJ932Rodwell
K1086465J2
AQ1K10762
108MeQ654
KJ97SA97382
HJ3
DK7
CAQ1043


Meckstroth
1
2
Wirt
Pass
Pass
Rodwell
1NT*
2
Me
Pass
All Pass


Against 2 Wirt led the 9. This was covered by the ten, jack and ace. Meckstroth then led the Q and overtook it with the king in dummy. When he tried to cash the 10, I ruffed and he overruffed. Then he tried the 10...jack, queen, king. I returned a diamond to Wirt's ace. When Wirt played the 8, I discarded a club as Meckstroth ruffed. Now came a spade toward the jack. Wirt won the Q and returned a spade to my ace. I exited with a spade, leaving Meckstroth on lead with this funny ending:

Meckstroth
KJ97
Me
AQ104


Meckstroth led the jack. I took my queen and played back the 4. A progressive endplay. =) I've never seen one before or since.