These opening bids were devised and developed by Mr. Robert D. Sundby of Wisconsin, United States, born 1925 and died 1998. He was of Madison, Wisconsin, United States. He authored the publication Breakthrough in Bridge; Bridge in the 80s, published in 1974 by Breakthrough Bridge Enterprises, and co-authored by Lawrence Cohen and Richard Katz, ASIN: B0006WWBJ0. He also served as the President of the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan Bridge Association or Unit 149.

Mr. Robert D. Sundby was a member of the Court of Appeals Judges of Wisconsin, United States, in District IV. The picture below shows him in his court robes. A short biography is presented by the Wisconsin Court System, which is only archived and preserved in a .pdf file format on this site for future reference.


Generally all first responses are considerd to be natural although any one level response can represent a canapé bid. After a Major suit opening, which allowed for a 4-card suit, the responder could use the 1 No Trump Forcing convention. The opening bids are shown in the schematic below.

Opening Bids Only

Bid Strength Definition
1 : 17-22 high card points Any shape.
1 : 12-22 high card points Promises a 4-card plus Diamond suit.
1 : 12-22 high card points Promises a 4-card plus Heart suit.
1 : 12-22 high card points Promises a 4-card plus Spade suit.
1 NT: 14-16 high card points Shows balanced shape.
2 : 23+ high card points Any shape.
2 : 12-16 high card points Promises 6 Clubs; Diamonds: 0-2 and Major suit: 0-3 card length.
2 : 7-11 high card points Promises 6 Hearts.
2 : 7-11 high card points Promises 6 Spades.
2NT: 21-22 high card points Shows balanced shape.

Rosenblum Cup Teams

A Helping Hand

In his team's match against Hong Kong in the second round of the Rosenblum Cup Teams, Mr. Robert D. Sundby of Wisconsin, United States, realized an instant too late that he had missed a dramatic signal which would have helped partner Mr. Mike Linskens, also of Wisconsin, United States, to make the switch to defeat Hong Kong's vulnerable game.


Vulnerable: East/West
Dealer: West

West North East South
Linskens Sundby
1 2 2 (1) Double (2)
5 Pass Pass Pass

(1) Negative free bid.
(2) Showing spades.

Mr. Linskens led the King, taken by declarer's Ace. Declarer then led a spade. Mr. Linskens took his Ace, cashed the Queen and led another Spade. Declarer discarded his lone Heart on the King, ruffed his remaining Clubs and claimed.

Mr. Sundby realized immediately after he followed low to the Spades that he should have played the Queen, establishing dummy's Spades. Mr. Linskens then would have had no choice but to lead a Heart, defeating the contract.

The moral: lend partner a helping hand.



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.