This relay system was developed by Mr. David Leigh Cliff, aka Dave, of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States. In his bridge column Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott in his article dated August 19, 1988, wrote as follows:

Two decades ago, Dave Cliff of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, pioneered the development of relay bidding, a concept that has spread around the world and appears in various disguises in all world championships. Nowadays, with a slight orthographic revision, he favors ''the Kliff Kue-bid by Dave Kliff.''

This bridge column placed the development of the original concept of the Ultimate Club bidding system around and during the mid-1960s.

A previous bridge column by Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott addresses the concept of Mr. David L. Cliff and describes it as a quantum jump. It is dated November 22, 1985, and the appropriate excerpts are quoted:

The most original and fertile concept in modern bidding theory is the ''relay,'' a minimum artificial bid that asks for a description of partner's hand.

A Stayman two-club bid is a prototype relay, but takes only one step. The first players to devise relay chains, allowing one partner to describe his hand so that the other can fix the final contract, were Pierre Ghestem and Rene Bacherich of France.

They helped their country win two world titles, in 1956 and 1960, but their example was not followed for more than a decade. A quantum jump was achieved by Dave Cliff of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, who devised a comprehensive method.

Mr. David Leigh Cliff

Note: The photograph presented on this web page of Mr. David Leigh Cliff was contributed to this site by Ms. Lee Cliff Millot Ryan of San Diego, California, United States, to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude for sharing this rare photograph and also additional information about her brother.

Mr. David Leigh Cliff , aka Dave, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, on September 26, 1932, and died November 7, 1999, and was of Branchburg and also Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States. He was a leading bridge theorist and developed Denial Cuebids, and also specialized responses to strong 2 Clubs opening bids.

Note: Mr. Alan Truscott, the bridge columnist for The New York Times includes details about Mr. David Leigh Cliff in his bridge column of November 22, 1985. This information has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: Mr. Alan Truscott, the bridge columnist for The New York Times includes details about Mr. David Leigh Cliff in his bridge column of August 19, 1988. This information has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: Mr. David Leigh Cliff also authored a bridge article for The Bridge World, issue October 1985, Volume 56, Number 12, titled Cliff Over One Club.

     

Mr. David L. Cliff , aka Dave, was born in the year 1932 and died in the year 1999, and was of Branchburg and also Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States. Besides being a school teacher and an Associate Professor, he was also a leading bridge theorist.

The concept of Mr. David L. Cliff was enhanced by Mr. Matthew Ganovetter, Mr. Ron Rubin, Mr. Matthew L. Ginsberg, and Mr. Mike Becker, who published the book: Ultimate Club in the year 1981 (ISBN: 999224433X / ISBN-13: 978-9992244333). The concept of the Ultimate Club is that after a 1 Club opening, which is always strong, the responder can use various responses to inform his partner about the number of Aces, Kings, and Queens, and the locations of these high honors.

Note: It must be added that Mr. Mike Becker reportedly published the book Ultimate Club in the year 1977, with code ISBN-13: 9789992244333. (Source: biblio.com). It must, however, also be noted that this specific description includes Publication Date: December 1977, but the Bookseller's Description states 1981.

Opening Bids Only

Bid Strength Meaning
1 : 17+ high card points Shows unbalanced shape and 5 plus controls, or
  18+ high card points shows balanced shape and 5 plus controls.
1 : 12-14 high card points Promises 4 plus Diamonds; balanced shape, or
  12-16 high card points promises 4 plus Diamonds; unbalanced shape, or
  12-16 high card points promises 3 Diamonds if distribution is: 3-3-3-4 Clubs or 3-2-3D-5C.
1 : 12-14 high card points Promises 4 plus Hearts and balanced shape; possible distribution: 4S-4H-1D-4C.
1 : 12-14 high card points Promises 4 plus Hearts and balanced shape; possible distribution: 4S-4H-1D-4C.
1 NT: 15-17 high card points Shows balanced shape; possible 6-card suit.
2 : 12-16 high card points Promises 5 plus Clubs and 4-card Major suit; possible 6 Clubs and a 5-card Major suit.
2 : 8-10 high card points Weak Two bid in an undisclosed Major suit.
2 : 12-16 high card points Promises 5 plus Hearts and 4-card Club suit; possible distribution: 5-5 or 6-5.
2 : 12-16 high card points Promises 5 plus Spades and 4-card Club suit; possible distribution: 5-5- or 6-5.
2NT: 12-16 high card points Promises 5 plus Diamonds an a 4-card Club suit; possible distribution: 5-5 or 6-5.

 

 

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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