Other relay systems

This is a selection of relay systems:

  • Ice Relay helped Iceland to the 1991 Bermuda Bowl final.
  • Auby-Ebenius Club (parts one and two), played by Swedish pairs like Nystrom and Upmark in European and world championships. (See here for their experimental DCB methods.)
  • Alpha, an early relay system developed by French international Bertrand Romanet
  • Jean-René Vernes developed a relay system that does not use a strong-club base: La Majeure d’Abord (in French). He later published a version with some canape sequences; Alex Martelli wrote an excellent precis.
  • Super Spade in action in Bridge Magazine‘s Bidding Challenge.
  • The Ultimate Club (see these 1998 notes downloaded from the web some time ago; note that, in a change from the book, 2M and 2N are no longer used to show maximum hands with clubs) introduced a number of important ideas including denial cue bidding. Granovetter-Rubin’s success using the system in “Challenge the Champs” in The Bridge World in 1975-76 proved a key inspiration for players the world over.
    • Not all the designers of the system preferred the book version. Matt Ginsberg shared his version when I visited him at Oxford in 1981. See his 1♦ opening, 1N opening (watch out if all you want to do is raise to game!), club openings and preempts. He was using the system successfully, as reported in Bridge Magazine.
  • Ultra was an attempt by John Lowenthal and Phillip Martin to improve the Ultimate Club. It has many interesting features, especially the distinction drawn between (semi)solid, good and poor suits when teller is one-suited, and the 1♠ rebid after 1♣-1♦. Also worthy of serious consideration is the K-parity step used at the start of denial cue-bidding to help asker ascertain teller’s exact honours. The notes are not complete; I have tried to fill in some of the obvious gaps (such as how teller shows a major-minor two-suiter with a longer minor in the relay structure) but it is unclear, for example, what 2m shows after 1♣-1♦.
  • Modified Ultimate is my idea for combining the strength-differentiated responses to a strong club of Ultimate or Ultra with a Symmetric shape-showing structure. One objective is to allow natural bidding (or some form of non-relay bidding, perhaps based on ASPRO) when responder shows insufficient strength for slam to be likely.