This bidding system was developed and evolved mainly in the English Midlands, United Kingdom, during the 1930s. The concept was developed when the game of bridge had just made its transition from the game of Whist to Auction Whist, from Auction Bridge to the still evolving game of bridge today. They are based on a 4-card Major suit opening and a No Trump with a range of 14-16 high card points.

Note: Margery Burns first published in the year 1954 and the revised publication by Mr. L. William Simpson was published in the year 1985. The source of the following opening bids are from the online description as presented by the Stamford Bridge Club in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. The provided link is presently off line. A secondary link is to the Stamford Bridge Club.

Note: As included on the web page: If (the reader) would like more detailed information, contact Peter Fountain or Chris Wiggins.

Note: The opening bids as published by Margery Burns and the revised opening bids by Mr. L. William Simpson may differ somewhat from those presented by the Stamford Bridge Club.

Note: The city of Nottingham in England, as all bridge players know, is the homeland of the famous, however fictitious Robin Hood.

Note: The photograph below shows the home of the Nottingham Bridge Club on Mansfield Road.

     
     

Opening Bids Only

Bid Meaning
1 : Promises 16 plus high card points.
  Promises a holding with above average values.
  Continuances
  A first response of 1 is a negative response showing fewer than 8-9 high card points.
  Positive responses are natural and forcing to game, with bidding order determined by economy rather than length.
  With at least 5 card support the responder can raise. A single raise is strong, and a jump raise is preemptive.
1 : Generally assumed to be a natural bid or a catch-all opening bid, showing a holding, for which there is no other bid.
  (Note: May show 12-13 high card points and no 4-card Major suit.)
  Continuances
  Minimum suit responses are non-forcing and show 0-11 high card points.
  With at least 5 card support the responder can raise. A single raise is strong, and a jump raise is preemptive.
1 : Natural, showing at least a 4-card suit, although the hand may contain a longer Club suit, which will remain concealed. A rebid of 2 shows 5 plus Hearts and a 4-card Club suit as in any natural system.
  Continuances
  With at least 4 card support the responder can raise. A single raise is strong, and a jump raise is preemptive.
1 : Natural, showing at least a 4-card suit, although the hand may contain a longer Club suit, which will remain concealed. A rebid of 2 shows 5 plus Spades and a 4-card Club suit as in any natural system.
  Continuances
  With at least 4 card support the responder can raise. A single raise is strong, and a jump raise is preemptive.
1 NT: Shows 14-16 high card points and (semi)-balanced holding. (Note: Revised Edition.)
  (Note: The original version by Margery Burns recommended 13-15 high card points.)
  Continuances
  Marx Twos (Stayman) and transfer bids are in effect.
2 : Shows 12-15 high card points and length in Clubs.
2 : A forcing opening showing 22+ high card points.
2 : Shows 12-15 high card points with 8 Playing Tricks.
2 : Shows 12-15 high card points with 8 Playing Tricks.

Additional Continuances

After a 1 Club opening, a 1 Diamond first response is an artificial negative bid.

Following a 2 Diamonds opening bid, which is a forcing opening showing 22 plus high card points, a 2 Hearts first response is an artificial negative. The opening of 2 Diamonds is game-forcing except after the bidding sequence: 2 - pass - 2 - pass - 2 NT.

In the defensive bidding, 1 NT is used as a weak Takeout double, and a direct double is strong.

History of the Nottingham Bridge Club

The history of the Club was documented in 1987 by Dr. Les Euinton for an article featured in the International Popular Bridge Monthly, written to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Nottinghamshire Contract Bridge Association. Nottingham Contract Bridge Association has a long history, perhaps the oldest in the country.

It has its origins in two clubs. The Crantock Bridge Club and The Nottingham Bridge Club which was in full swing by 1929. In the early 1930s it was located on the Lower Derby Road, but then it moved to Pelham Road then to 401 Mansfield Road - its current home - under the proprietorship of Mr. Jack Hammond.

The Crantock Bridge Club at 480 Mansfield Road was founded in the early 1930s by Mr. and Mrs Guy Hemsley. While Mr. Terence Reese, Mr. Harrison-Gray and many household names were developing Acol in Hampstead, Nottingham players were concentrating on their own Nottingham Club system. Notable amongst the early advocates were Daphne Kieuser and Mr. Harold Denman and over the years many more features and variations were introduced.

     
     

Margery Burns' original book, The Nottingham System of Contract Bridge, was eventually published in the year 1954 by the Education Productions, Ltd., in London, England, with code ISBN-10: 0715803921 / ISBN-13: 978-0715803929. The Nottinghamshire Contract Bridge Association reached its 50th birthday on March 24th, 1987.

Note: The publication The Nottingham Club System of Contract Bridge was revised and the Second Edition was published in 1958; the Third Edition was published in 1970.

Note: Mr. L. William Simpson published The Revised Nottingham Club Bidding System in 1980.

It should also be noted that the Internet Wikipedia announces that the Nottingham Club, the Blue Team Club, the Precision Club and other strong Forcing Club Systems are an outgrowth of the Vanderbilt Club devised by Mr. Harold Stirling Vanderbilt.

Note: The original concept by Margery Burns was updated and revised by Mr. L. William Simpson. The system, after gaining popularity, was revised and privately published in the 1986 and titled: The Revised Nottingham Club Bridge Bidding System, First Edition, authored by Mr. L. William Simpson, born in the year 1909, and privately published by the author in Mansfield, England.

In the Bridge System Collection of opening bids of bidding systems Mr. Jan Eric Larsson also lists the opening bids of the Nottingham Club, which differ from the above list. As these opening bids and their meanings were more likely to have been applicable during the 1960s and 1970s, before the privately published Revised Version of Mr. L. William Simpson, they are included as a step in the evolution of the Nottingham Club.

Note: Only the opening bids were and are presented. Source.

Bid   Strength   Meaning
1 :   16-21 high card points   Shows any shape.
1 :   12-15 high card points   Shows various shapes (catch-all bid).
1 :   12-15 high card points   Shows 5 plus Hearts.
1 :   12-15 high card points   Shows 5 plus Spades.
1 NT:   13-15 high card points   Balanced shape and distribution.
2 :   12-15 high card points   Shows 5 plus Clubs.
2 :   22 plus high card points   Shows any shape. One round forcing.
2 :   13-15 high card points   Shows 6 plus Hearts.
2 :   13-15 high card points   Shows 6 plus Spades.
2 NT:   21-22 high card points   Balanced shape and distribution.
     

 

 

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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