Berkowitz and Meckstroth at Atlanta

(Featured on Sorry Partner 14 December 2023.) At the Atlanta ACBL bridge Nationals, on December 1, 2023, Farley Mawyer and I played seven boards against David Berkowitz and Jeff Meckstroth in the Keohane swiss, with Michael Berkowitz kibitzing his dad. On the pictured Board 19, as South I opened 1D, Berkowitz 1H, Farley 2H, Meckstroth 3D, alerted as a limit raise, usually three pieces. After considering 3N, I passed, Berkowitz 3H, Farley 4C, I 5D, down 1. In between hands they vigorously discussed their system. I heard them say that in their system 3D is actually a mixed raise. I called the Director, thinking that with correct information we might for example have bid and made 3N. While the Director was off consulting, Meckstroth left and Berkowitz pointed out that 3N goes down 2 (as it did at the other table). So there was no change. Michael went to find Meckstroth. When they returned, Berkowitz told him that the Director had changed the result to 3N-2, which Meckstroth seemed to believe until Berkowitz told him he was joking.

Larry Cohen said, “That’s a very typical David story.”

P.S. When we sat down at the table with David Berkowitz, I asked him whom he was playing with. “Some guy. It said on ACBL this morning that he has zero Masterpoints.” “Some new client?” No, it was Meckstroth, whose posted total went back to zero when he hit 100,000.