The partnership most feared? by Phillip Alder
Ask any American bridge player to name the most feared partnership in the country, and you are virtually certain to receive the answer Jeff Mecstroth and Eric Rodwell.
Ludington Daily News – Jul 6, 1993
Ask any American bridge player to name the most feared partnership in the country, and you are virtually certain to receive the answer Jeff Mecstroth and Eric Rodwell. If the wind is behind them, they are virtually unbeatable. They have won all three world titles: the Bermuda Bowl (1981), the Open Pairs (1986) and the Team Olympiad (1988).
Last January they finished second in The Sunday Times/Macallan Pairs Championship in London. Rodwell made what was arguably the best play of the event.
East’s opening bid showed a weak two-bid in either major.
South doubled to show opening count. North’s second double was for takeout. South might have passed, probably collecting a 500-point penalty, but he opted to try for the vulnerable game.
West led the spade eight, East ducking to force declarer to win with the Jack. Now Rodwell made an interesting play: he led the diamond jack. He was trying to drive out East’s entry before the spade suit was established.
West trying to save his partner’s entry, won with the ace and led a second spade. Rodwell ducked, won the third spade and led another diamond, preparing to duck if West produced the queen. However, when West played low, dummy’s king won the trick. Now it looked normal to lead a third diamond in the hope that West would have to win with the queen.
You can see that this line wouldn’t have worked. But Rodwell gave himself one extra chance. He cashed the ace and king of hearts first. When the queen appeared, Rodwell had nine tricks.
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