I wouldn't put that
MOUSE just here 
.. if I were you!
I'm 'Tomcat' on BridgeClubLive

Chris Ryall - Bridge home page

You are at the Contract Bridge recreations page of Dr Chris Ryall, I play in competitions organised by the English and Welsh Bridge unions, at clubs in Merseyside & Cheshire and Manchester areas of England, online and occasionally in continental Europe.

When not playing bridge I am a medical man, working as a radiologist in the Liverpool teaching hospitals. I enjoy Anglo/European folk tradition - English song, French bal traditionnelle dance, and playing diatonic accordeon.

Note: Either either Javascript or a style sheet has failed. The page should be readable, but layout will be spoiled. Usual cause will be an out of date browser.

So what is there of interest here?

A large archive of Weak two preemptive methods. I have collected these together from across the world over several years and now have 75 (in 2005) distinct styles. link: the Weak 2 archive link: Assumed fit page Weak two methods vary a lot internationally with single, two, and even three suiters, weak/strong combines and some that barely specify a suit. The "New Wave" development in recent years is "assumed fit preempting showing just 4/4 in two suits. Thuis was originally majors, now in several flavours and advanced particularly by Norwegian player Bjørn Ekren. The style is spreading fast may often be "unrestricted" if the suit bid is held - so you will need to discuss a defence. I hope you might give the Weak Two Archive a look.

link: ParadoX advances I am interested in the theory of what I term paradox bids, in which you call the suit you haven't got in response to a conventional bid that shows ambiguously one of two suits. Paradox turns our to have enormous application in Bridge (beyond pass/correct systems), but no one seems to have really tied the underlying theory together before. You can play paradox responses to 1NT, or opposite a big 2C (with Acol major twos) Paradox is actually the "standard" reply to partner's Multi 2D. I have now seen ParadoX against me at the table in Holland in '99, more recently in Britain, and am starting to see web links to my page.

link: one no trump page

I pasted our approach to competing 1NT contracts here simply to explain some of the wierd calls I make at the table, but it has proved a popular download. Click the dogfight icon for more

new As EBU don't seem to do notes on UK Acol bidding I have made my own notes on Acol reflecting what I see at the table or online

There is also an idiosyncratic set of edited r.g.b threaded discussions. So far the Wilkosz opening, defending strong Club, using 5 card puppet Stayman and brown sticker conventions in general. Usenet can be retrieved from Google, but I can recommend these debates as useful, and have edited out the cyber-clutter amd a few "flames". They are still very large files!

My own methods

Old whist print
Why did she open "two hearts"?

I like to vary 1NT depending on conditions. Like most UK pairs we had started out with "standard" 12-14 range, but our experience (and pairs play) led us to polarise into either an aggressive 9+ mini nv - strong 4th/vul.

A nice spin-off of 9+ NT is that by 3rd position you know there isn't a balanced 9 count over there!

:)) It becomes safe (and logical!) to open 1NT on anything from 9 to a bad 16. Not vulnerable, an undoubled 1NT is almost never a poor contract. Similar logic applies to other borderline decisions in 3rd/4th.

We hear 1NT (x) pretty often! We've put a lot of work into our wriggles and continuations planning to back our judgement and experience against yours.

Logic then further suggests we should't let you rest in nv 1NT undoubled at pairs.

An unexpected side effect of not playing 12-14 was that it paid to invert the meanings of 1S/1NT responses to 1H, allowing opener to express that common 13-14 balanced hand.


I have long stopped calling our system Acol - for example we play a 5+ spades, 4+ hearts and occasional 3+.club. I like 2/1 as "generally game forcing" over majors, but a Bourke relay works better for the minors.

fit jumps 2/1 and the relay allow us to free up the jump shift as a preemptive fit bid, which works very well. Generally we attempt to hit our games in about 3 bids. We operate on losing count and jump wherever possible - even opposite partner's 1NT opening! Folk describe us as "aggressive" but it's there on the front of the card. We call our overall system "Betty", after a lady who complained that it didn't have a name!

early card
This antique card is from Bridge Plaza's playing card history page. As a medic I couldn't help noticing she has a small breast tumour on the right, and should see a surgeon.

I got interested in Journalist leads initially popularised some 20 years ago by Rosler and Ruben. As there seems to be nothing previously on the Web I have set up my own page (which may change later). Joan agreed to play on trial, but said she didn't really like them - so we have gone back to traditional methods.

Two bids

Something of a feature of this site - so here are my choices
Aachen - 1998
Aachen mixed pairs 1998

Web links that I use

Click the image or link in a page footer to email

Useful kit for bridge players and site makers

Click here to download EBU 20a MSWord File

Click the icon for a (15.7k zipped) system card in simple MSWord format. It is set up for A4 Brother laserjet 4L and might need slight tweaking for other printers.

Web page freaks (like me) might look at these links to paste in ParadoX amd Weak Two HTML links. Obviously I'm hoping for a link from your site, but to tempt you these pages also contain links to utilities I use, tips on Web design, tricks to debug your style sheets and to validate your HTML code.

CSS "" Style sheet control has failed. Pages on this site should still be readable, but layout may be spoiled. Your browser may be out of date, or style sheets disabled !!

link: chrisryall.net site uses validated HTML-4.01 and CSS-2 - visit www.w3.org for more info
www.chrisryall.net/bridge © Chris Ryall 1987-2008