On February 12, 2017, Mr. David (Dave) Harrison of the University of Cambridge enclosed in his email message to this website the following information, the contribution of which has been greatly appreciated:

The original Wallis convention was devised by Brian Wallis, probably when he was a Cambridge University student in the early to mid 1970s. The variation known as Modified Wallis was devised by the English international Richard Fleet, very soon after the original version came into being.

The website of Mr. David (Dave) Harrison can be found at this source.

Biographical Information

Mr. Richard Fleet has authored a history of the early days of bridge in England entitled Tournament Bridge In England 1925-1945. It is freely available from the EBU website in .pdf file format. He accomplished a victory for The Hubert Phillips Bowl in the year 1997 with team mates: Jeremy Dhondy, Heather Dhondy, David Parry.

Note: Additional biographical data can be found online at the following source of the English Bridge Union, such as the following:

Major International Appearances
European Junior Championships:   1974
Camrose Trophy Selections:   1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, and 1993
Junior Camrose Selections:   1974, 1975
Crockfords winner:   1990
Spring Foursomes winner:   1989, 1993, and 1994
Brighton Four Stars Teams winner:   1986,1990
Hubert Phillips Bowl winner:   1997
Tollemache Cup winner:   1988, 1995
Sunday Telegraph Salver winner:   1978


The features behind the concept of this variation are employed after a No Trump opening by an opponent. Whether or not the concept can / should be employed in the immediate seat and/or as a balancing action is dependent on the partnership agreement.

The reader should also compare this modified version to the original Wallis conventional defense method devised by Mr. Peter James Wallis of Brisbane, Australia. One of the main features, which differs from the original version is the employment of the double, which is used for penalty.


Outline of Competitive Overcalls

The following overcalls describe the Modified Wallis competitive conventional defense method.

Double: Any double is for penalty. Partner must pass.
2 : Shows an unspecified Major suit (either Hearts and Spades) and an unspecified Minor suit (either Clubs and Diamonds).
2 : Show both Major suits.
2 : A natural bid and shows a long, independent Heart suit of 5/6 plus in length.
2 : A natural bid and shows a long, independent Spade suit of 5/6 plus in length.

Note: This Modified Wallis variation is somewhat dependent on the bidding system employed and can be altered or varied to meet the requirements of the particular bidding system.

Note: Some partnerships have agreed that the distribution of the holding, when overcalling could / may be reduced to 4-4 in both Major suits regardless of the state of vulnerability, otherwise the distribution is generally 5-4, 4-5, or 5-5 depending on the state of vulnerability. This is entirely a partnership agreement in all employed variations of the concept.

Note: Most partnership agreements understand that all bids of 2 No Trump and higher are natural or preemptive.

Note: Since there are many idle bids available, the partnership can employ them for other shapes, patterns, and distributions. Any jump response by the Advancer can / may constitute strength and length, but this again is an individual partnership understanding.



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.