The authors of this conventional defense method are Mr. Jeffrey (Jeff) John Meckstroth and Mr. Eric Victor Rodwell. The name of the defense method is a combination of the first syllable of the surnames of Meck-stroth and the second syllable of the surname of Rod-well.
The first photograph is of Mr. Jeffrey John Meckstroth and the second picture is of Mr. Eric Victor Rodwell. Mr. Jeffrey (Jeff) John Meckstroth was born on May 15, 1956 in Springfield, Ohio, United States. He is presently, (2014), the all time leading masterpoint holder of the American Contract Bridge League. Mr. Eric Victor Rodwell was born May 1, 1957 in San Francisco, California, United States, and is a professional bridge player on all national and international levels. He resides presently in Clearwater Beach, Florida, United States.
Foundation of the Concept
The foundation of the concept is a defense method against a No Trump opening bid by opponents. As this defense method is employed against a No Trump opening on the one level it becomes important to be aware of the specific range of the No Trump, or at least what the partnership agreement is.
The foundation of the Meckwell convention is employed against a strong No Trump opening bid with a minimum of 14 high card points. Source is the presentation for the Intermediate / Novice Lecture, which Mr. Jeffrey John Meckstroth conducted at the Orlando Regional in Orlando, Florida, United States, in the year 2007.
Note: An exclusion of the Meckwell defense method was not emphasized for weaker No Trump opening bids, such as those with values ranging from 10 to 13 points since the partnership could adjust values. However both Mr. Jeffrey John Meckstroth and Mr. Eric Victor Rodwell employ a different set of guidelines for a defense method against a weak No Trump opening bid, with a range between 10 and 13 high card points. This defense method is also included.
Note: The state of vulnerability does not influence the employment of the Meckwell conventional defense method.
Guidelines of the Meckwell Defense Method Against an Opposing 1 No Trump with 14 plus Points
Double: Shows either a single Minor suit or both Major suits. The advancer bids 2, which is a completely artificial bid. The intervenor corrects to 2 Diamonds if Diamonds is the Minor suit, or bids one of the Major suits to show both Major suits. (Note: A variation of the double is that the double shows either the Minor suits or the Major suits.) Continuations: Pass: If the responder of the No Trump bidder bids, then the advancer has the option to pass when holding few values. The intervenor can continue to compete. 2 : Shows the single-suited holding with Diamonds. 2 : Shows both Major suits. Both suits are of or about the same value and length. The advancer corrects to Spades only if support for Spades is stronger. 2 : Shows both Major suits. However, by bidding Spades first, then the Spades are stronger in working values as compared to Hearts, the second suit. 3 : If the single-suited holding is indeed Clubs, then the intervenor raises the level of bidding to the third level. Since the intervenor knows that the advancer must respond 2, then the Club holding should contain about 3 winning tricks and working values such as AKQxx or AKJ10xx. This is owing to the fact that the advancer may hold a shortage in Clubs. 2 : Promises Clubs and and a Major suit. 2 : Promises Diamonds and a Major suit. 2 : Natural bid in Hearts. The accepted length is 5 cards with about 3 winning tricks, else a 6-card plus length. 2 : Natural bid in Spades. The accepted length is 5 cards with about 3 winning tricks, else a 6-card plus length. 2 NT: Promises both Minor suits.
Example of the Meckwell Defense Method
East A985 K106 QJ10 AK5
South KQ763 AQ974 K7 6
East South West North Meaning 1 NT The range is established as between 14-18 points. Double The Meckwell defense method showing either a single-suited holding in one of the Minor suits, or a holding with both Major suits. Pass The responder has no bid. 2 The advancer is forced to bid 2 Clubs in order for the intervenor to clarify the holding. Pass A logical pass in order to defend. If the responder has passed following the double, then the responder holds insufficient values and length to compete. 2 Shows both Major suits. Both suits are of or about the same value and length. The advancer corrects to Spades only if support for Spades is stronger. 2 This would be the less preferable rebid to show both Major suits in this particular example since they are of about the same length and strength. By bidding Spades first, then the promise is that the Spade suit is stronger in working values as compared to Hearts, the second suit.
Note: With the above auction the bid of 2 Hearts would be the more accurate bid. Although the Heart suit contains 1.5 winning tricks as opposed to the Spade suit holding only 1 winning trick, the length is the same. The logic is that since both Major suits are of equal length it is preferable to bid Hearts first in order to provide the advancer with a preference, which could occur on the two level. By showing both Major suits with a first rebid of 2 Spades, then the partnership is forced to the three level if the advancer holds better and longer Hearts.
Guidelines of the Meckwell Defense Method Against an Opposing Weak 1 No Trump with 10-13 Points
Although this defense method is not officially designated as Meckwell Against Weak No Trump, this is the essence of the following defense method, which originated with Mr. Jeff Meckstroth and Mr. Eric Rodwell.
Following a 1 No Trump opening by an opponent and determining the No Trump range lies between 10 and 13 high card points, then the guidelines for competing against the No Trump opening become different as opposed to the opening bid of a stronger No Trump.
Double: The double is unique in that it shows also a holding, which matches or strongly compares with the No Trump holding of the opponent and contains the same range of values.
East A985 K106 QJ10 K105
South QJ10 A985 K97 QJ8 2 : Promises Spades and a rounded suit, either Hearts or Clubs 2 : Promises Diamonds and an unspecified Major suit. 2 : Promises a single-suited holding in Hearts, natural. The length is either a 5-card suit with 3 winning tricks, or else a 6-card plus suit. 2 : Promises a single-suited holding in Spades, natural. The length is either a 5-card suit with 3 winning tricks, or else a 6-card plus suit. 2 NT: Shows a single-suited holding in a Minor suit. The advancer relays to Clubs.
If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.
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