They were developed by Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott. Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott was born April 16, 1925 and died September 4, 2005. He was a leading bridge personality, who authored several publications about the game of bridge, wrote the daily bridge column for The New York Times for a record of 41 years. He also had the distinction of serving as an Executive Director for the six revised and newly edited The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge from the year 1964 to the year 2002.

Note: The concept of the Symmetric Relay was developed by bridge players from New Zealand. At the forefront was Mr. Roy Patrick Kerr, who first described publicly the system. The system had an almost immediate and positive influence on the game of bridge in general following its admission by all international governing bodies.

Note: Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott was born in Brixton, south London, England, but relocated to New York City, New York, United States, upon the encouragement of Mr. Richard L. Frey. At that time the headquarters of the American Bridge Contract League was located in New York City. This connection was never lost until his death. Of other note is the fact that he succeeded Mr. Albert Morehead as the Bridge Editor of The New York Times on January 1, 1964.

Note: The notes of Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott for the development of his Symmetrical Relay version have been preserved by Daniel Neill under the heading of Vanilla Symmetric Relay.

The year of the development of his version of the Symmetric Relay began in the early 1990s. These opening bids are a variation on the Precision bidding system and the Symmetric Relay bidding system.

Note: One main feature of the opening bid of 1 Club is the use of positive responses, which are employed generally to make certain that the 1 Club opening bidder becomes also the declarer. The use of the weak No Trump range is used by either vulnerability.


Opening Bids Only

Bid Strength Meaning
1 : 16+ high card points Shows any shape.
1 : 11-15 high card points Promises 3 plus Diamonds.
1 : 11-15 high card points Promises 5 plus Hearts.
1 : 11-15 high card points Promises 5 plus Spades.
1 NT: 11-13 high card points Shows balanced shape.
2 : 11-15 high card points Promises 5 plus Clubs.
2 : 11-15 high card points Distribution: 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0; Diamond shortage.
2 : 8-10 high card points Promises 6 Hearts.
2 : 8-10 high card points Promises 6 Spades.
2NT: 22-23 high card points Shows balanced shape.

Note: For the interested bridge student, Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott was also a member of the rec.games.bridge forum on the Internet and used the handle truscotta. Following the request by a member he decided to post his notes on his Symmetric Relay, but he was, however, limited in his knowledge of the use of the new technology. The date was December 13, 1994, when he posted the following message:

Relay System Notes

I have been deluged with requests for my symmetric relay notes
and cannot cope with them all, partly because I have only 54 days
of net experience to go with 54 years of bridge experience. I have
attempted to send my 16 pages of notes but failed, perhaps because
my workspace is
not big enough. I would like one person to volunteer
as a distributor. I will send him or her a printout and a disk with my
notes. The volunteer can then find a way to transfer them to a net
archive that will allow all those who want them to access them.
So I need a volunteer with a mail address. Be patient.

Alan Truscott, New York Times.

BG: The BridgeGuys.com have been unsuccessful in finding these Relay System Notes, authored by Mr. Alan Truscott in the archives of this discussion group. Any assistance or contribution would be greatly appreciated.

BG: In the same thread for this discussion Mr. Jan Eric Larsson, on April 24, 1995, posted the following message to the discussion group:

The Bridge System Collection is here!

The first official version of the bidding system collection is here.
It contains some 140 systems from around the world, including 14
national standards. I have mailed a copy to Markus Buchhorn, and in
a few hours/days he will surely make it available via ftp.

The collection will be available at the rec.games.bridge archive at
arp.anu.edu.au. It is available in LaTeX and Postscript. It is a large
document, (42 pages), so be warned. The files are

/pub/Bridge/FAQ/Bidding/Systems/Bridge-System-Collection.tex and

The .tex file contains a LaTeX source code version, while the .ps
contains a readymade PostScript file.

I still want to ask you to send in more systems. The ones I have so
far are:

............. Tresboof, Truscott Symmetric Relay, Ultimate Club, Ultimate ............

BG: After this we lose the thread and can find no additional reference to these notes by Mr. Alan Truscott in the archives. Any additional information or assistance would be greatly appreciated.



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.