The Walpurgis Diamond is a conventional structure of opening bids, which inform partner about a certain point count range and about a certain distribution. The developer of this style, these opening bids is Mr. Paul Hackett with the possible assistance of Mr. John Collings.


Explanation of the Designation

The definition of the designation refers, however strangely, to a traditional spring festival celebrated mostly on either April 30 or May 1 in many parts of both Central and Northern Europe. The date of the festival should coincide with exactly six months from the observance of All Hallows' Eve, which is a Christianised feast originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots. (Note: All Hallow's Eve is known in parts of North America as Halloween, which is a designation formed first from a Scottish variant of All Hallows' Even and termed around the 16th century.)

The roots of the designation celebrate Saint Walpurga, who was an English missionary and who lived between the estimated years of 710 and 777 and/or 779 Anno Domino. The person Walpurga was canonized by the Catholic Church in Rome on May 1, 870 Anno Domino by the 105th Pope St. Nicholas I, also known as Nicholas the Great and Papa Hadrianus Secundus, 867-872 Anno Domino.

Since the festival was celebrated many centuries later by the adherents of the Catholic Church by many different cultures the designation can be found in many languages. In German the festival is known as S. Walpurgis Nacht or S. Walpurgis Abend, terms which were first reportedly mentioned in the year 1668 by Herr Johannes Praetorius, who was an educated Bohemian German mathematician and astronomer.

In the country of Estonia the term is Volbriöö and also is well known as Kevadpüha. In the Czech Republic the term is pálení čarodějnic, which means literally the burning of the witches. The festival has other designations in other countries, in which this festival is celebrated.

Development of the Concept

The concept of the Walpurgis Diamond as a conventional structure of opening bids was a further development of the Walpurgis Club, a strong 1 Club bidding system, for which no additional information can be found and the principles of which cannot be found in any published article or book. The Walpurgis Diamond is a conventional structure of opening bids developed by Mr. Paul D. Hackett, who was born in Peshawar, Afghanistan, which is also known as Pekhawar, which is the capital of Khyber Paktunkwas, formerly recognized officially as the North-West Province. The city is located in a rather large valley near the eastern end of the famous Khyber Pass, close to the border of Pakistan.

This concept was co-developed with Mr. John Collings of England, born in the year 1933 and died in the year 2005, and who was in his own right a rather formidable international tournament player. In the years 1980 and 1981 both he and Mr. Paul D. Hackett partnered on an international level playing the Walpurgis Club, which, as an innovative bidding system, included several strong pass sequences in both 1st and 2nd position.

As an innovative bidding system the Walpurgis Club played by these two experienced players enjoyed success and led to a Silver Medal for Great Britain in the year 1981 and also to Fifth Place at the Bermuda Bowl conducted in New York, New York, United States, conducted between October 19 to October 30, 1981.

The team mates at the Bermuda Bowl were John Collings, Paul D. Hackett, Steve Lodge, Irving Rose, Robert Sheehan, Anthony (Tony) Sowter, and Gus Calderwood (npc). The winners of the Bermuda Bowl in 1981, New York City, United States, were Eric Rodwell, Robert (Bobby) Levin, Jeff Meckstroth, Russ Arnold, John Solodar, (*Bud Reinhold), and Thomas K. Sanders (npc). (*Note: Although a participating player Mr. Bud Reinhold did not qualify as a team member since he failed to play the required amount of boards.)

     
     

Principle of the Concept

The concept of the Walpurgis Diamond as a conventional structure of opening bids and revolves around one specific opening bid with multiple meanings, which inform partner of a defined range of high card points and, in some cases, distribution. These are outlined below.

Note: The student of bridge should also be reminded that an opening bid can be made as the dealer, and also made by the second, third, and/or fourth player in rotation if preceded by the appropriate number of passes.

Note: The student of bridge should also be reminded that the Walpurgis Diamond opening bid is an added, stand-alone feature of the Walpurgis Club bidding structure.

Bid Meaning
Pass: Although not a feature of the Walpurgis Diamond opening bid structure the basic principle behind this innovative approach is that a pass is always a forcing pass, and the partner is obliged to bid. However, if there is an opening bid by the immediate player in rotation following the forcing pass, then the responder is not required to compete with fewer than competitive values.
1 : This is the Walpurgis Diamond opening bid and promises high card points ranging from zero points to 8 high card points with any distribution, or
  promises a holding with 12 high card points to 20 high card points with a minimum of a 4-card Diamond suit, or
  promises a range of 20 high card points to 22 high card points with a specific distribution of 4-3-3-3.

Note: Following the initial and apparent success of both the Walpurgis Club approach and the Walpurgis Diamond opening bid the overall acceptance by the bridge community remained lacking and this conventional approach became less and less employed since other methods were more accurate in communicating the identical information to partner.

 

 

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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