This is a variation of the Vienna System formerly used by Mr. Richard John Cummings, (aka Dick Cummings, born in the year 1932 and died in the year 1999), and Mr. Thomas Peter Seres, (aka Tim Seres, pictured below, born April 1, 1925 and died September 27, 2007), in collaboration with other Australian bridge experts. The system and the opening bids were amended and expanded by Mr. William K. A. Schaufelberger (aka Wil Schaufelberger, born 1902 and died 1972), and by Mr. Ronald Denny Klinger, (aka Ron Klinger).

Note: Some confustion reigns as to the exact date of the death of Mr. Thomas Peter Seres. The New South Wales Bridge Association, Vol. 35, No. 5, September-October 2007, authored by Mr. Peter Jamieson provides the date of September 29, 2007. However, the obituary published by the Australian Bridge Federation published the date of death as September 27, 2007, in an article authored by Denis Howard.

Note: This bidding system with the opening bids is not the same nor identical to the New South Wales System 1970, which is a defense mechanism following a No Trump opening bid by the opponents. Confusion might be in order since the designation is very similar. The confusing feature is possibly that the name of their bridge club in Sydney, Australia, is indeed New South Wales Bridge Association.


Mr. Richard John Cummings is regarded as the greatest Australian-born bridge player of all time. His ethics and demeanour set the very highest standards and he was a role model and mentor to many of Australia's finest bridge players. He edited World Bridge Federation News for some years and his daily bridge column was widely and enthusiastically read over the course of twenty-years by bridge players ranging from social to the best players.

The four team members of Mr. Richard John Cummings, Mr. Thomas Peter Seres, Mr. Roelof Smilde, and Mr. Denis Howard put Australia on the world bridge map with a series of top placings in the World Championships of the 1960s and 1970s, culminating in a Bronze Medal in 1973

Mr. Richard John Cummings continued their partnership to to become one of the world's top pairs, and were described by Mr. Alan Truscott at the1981 Bermuda Bowl as the world's most experienced pair, having added another Bronze Medal in the 1979 Bermuda Bowl after a stirring last round match against Italy to determine whether Australia or Italy met USA in the Final.

During the 1980s Mr. Richard John Cummings organised the annual Herald Rubber Bridge Competition, which was at the time the world's largest bridge event. He taught bridge, played bridge, wrote bridge, served bridge and most of all set a shining example of the standard of behaviour expected at the bridge table. The picture below presents Mr. Richard John Cummings.


Opening Bids Only

The opening bids and principal features are shown in the schematic below with additional comments.

Bid Strength Meaning
1 : 12-22 high card points Shows various shapes.
1 : 12-22 high card points Promises a 4-card plus Diamond suit.
1 : 12-22 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Heart suit.
1 : 12-22 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit.
1 NT: 16-18 high card points Shows balanced shape.
2 : 23+ high card points Shows any shape.
2 : 21-22 high card points Shows balanced shape.
2 : 6-12 high card points Promises a 6-card Heart suit.
2 : 6-12 high card points Promises a 6-card Spade suit.
2NT: 23-24 high card points Promises balanced shape; or distribution showing strong values and 5-5 in both Minor suits.
1. 5-card openings in Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades.
2. Strong 1 No Trump openings,
3. Weak Two-Bids in the Major suits,
4. The 2 Clubs opening is game forcing.
5. 2 No Trump openings show a strong Minor two-suiter.
6. 2 Diamonds openings show a balanced holding with at least 21 high card points.
7. 1 Club openings are used for all other opening hands:
  a. long Club suit,
  b. balanced holding of 12-14 or 19-20 high card points,
  c. distributional holdings of 4-4-4-1.

All continuances in a new suit are considered forcing, and Jump Shift responses are employed as modified Culbertson Asking Bids, which is a method of inquiring about first and second round controls in an attempt to reach a final slam contract.



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.