The Tartan Two Bids were conceived by Mr. Hugh W. Kelsey and Mr. Thomas (Tom) N. Culbertson. Mr. Hugh Kelsey, born in the year 1926 and died March 18, 1995, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the author of various aspects of the game of bridge. His first publication can be considered Killing Defense at Bridge, published in 1966. He was the bridge columnist for the Edinburgh newspaper The Scotsman, he authored many articles for bridge magazines, and was General Editor for the Gollancz Master Bridge series. He also was presented with the International Bridge Press Association Personality of the Year in the year 1993.
Note: According to various dictionaries the term tartan refers to textiles, and namely a design of straight lines, crossing at right angles to give a chequered appearance, especially the distinctive design or designs associated with each Scottish clan, for example the Buchanan tartan. As Mr. Hugh Kelsey was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the assumption is probable that the name of the conventional method is derived from this fact.
Origin of the Concept
These two-bids were conceived by Mr. Hugh Kelsey and Mr. Tom Culbertson. The essence of the concept is: 2 Hearts and 2 Spades are Multi openings, which become clear after a series of relay responses. See the following chart for the general partnership understanding, which has been varied over the years by individual partnerships.
Opener Responder Meaning 2 The meaning is yet to be determined. 2 Relay or cheapest bid. 2 NT Shows 21-22 high card points and balanced holding. 3 Shows normally 5-5 in Hearts and Clubs. 3 Shows normally 5-5 in Hearts and Diamonds. 3 This rebid by the opener and all higher rebids are considered Acol Two bids showing Hearts. 2 The meaning is yet to be determined. 2 NT Relay or cheapest bid. 3 Shows Spades and Clubs, 5-5 distribution, and 6-10 high card points. 3 Shows Spades and Diamonds, 5-5 distribution, and 6-10 high card points. 3 Shows Spades and Hearts, 5-5 distribution, and 6-10 high card points. 3 This rebid by the opener and all higher rebids are considered Acol Two bids.
Note: Some partnerships have the understanding that an opening also of 2 Hearts is understood to show also a 5-card Heart suit and an unspecified 5-card Minor suit, an unbalanced holding, and only 6 to 10 high card points as with the 2 Spades opening. This is an individual partnership agreement.
Note: It is also possible that a 2 Diamonds opening could be Roman Two Diamonds showing a strong three-suiter, but this is an individual partnership agreement.
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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