The term Swine is an acronym for Sebesfi-Woods-1-Notrump-Extraction, and was developed by Dr. Robert (Bob) Sebesfi of Australia together with Mr. Paul Woods. This is a method of defending against an overcall, either a direct overcall or a balancing action, and is mainly used in the Acol bidding system. The partner opens 1 No Trump. The left hand opponent, next in rotation, calls double immediately before the responder has an opportunity to bid or call.

Note: In many bridge-related publications, even official publications of sponsoring bridge organizations (e.g., ACBL), and other specific (also online) explanations of this particular concept the designation is Sebesfi-Woods-1-Notrump-Escape, not Extraction as the originators of this conventional method intended. This information was received August 23, 2015, from Mr. Alex Kemeny of the Trumps Bridge Centre of Sydney, Australia, via email message. He appears also in the photograph with Dr. Robert Sebesfi presented below.

The photograph below shows Dr. Robert (Bob) Sebesfi with Mr. Alex Kemeny, Ms. Carolyn Greenwich, and Mr. Richard Lazar. The event was for the 2012 New South Wales Congress, in which the group played on June 3, 2012, the event for Teams of Three sponsored by the New South Wales Bridge Association.


Concept of Swine Convention

The foundation of the conventional method is to provide an extraction (less exact: escape) from a double by the immediate player in rotation. The responder uses this conventional defense method to communicate certain information about his holding to partner.

Opener   LHO   Responder Meaning
1 NT   Double   Pass   Responder's pass forces opener to redouble.
            Opener's redouble is to play or bids the cheaper of touching suits.
        Redouble   Responder shows a single suited holding, and forces opener to rebid 2 Clubs.
        2   Responder shows a 2-suited holding in Clubs and Hearts.
        2   Responder shows a 2-suited holding in Diamonds and Spades.
        2   Responder shows moderate values, a natural bid, and prepared to reach the Three Level.
        2   Responder shows moderate values, a natural bid, and prepared to reach the Three Level.
        2 NT   Game-forcing, artificial, showing a strong, unbalanced holding, possibly a Two-Suiter.
        3   Preemptive in nature.
        3   Preemptive in nature.
        3   Preemptive in nature.
        3   Preemptive in nature.

Background Contribution by Mr. Robert Sebesfi

Email Message of August 30, 2015

I was taught a very crude approximation of bridge in 1973, while in second-year University by a schoolmate who did actuarial studies where bridge was de rigeur (required by etiquette or current fashion) in first year. I had a background of Five Hundred at school, and recognised what a brilliant game bridge was by comparison. We played Goren, and very poorly at that. I met Paul Woods late in 1973. He was my age, an engineering undergrad, and he encouraged me to try Kaplan-Sheinwold; again by the book.

We braved the beginners' night at New South Wales Bridge Association, where everybody was older than us, and many had been playing for decades. They knew to double Weak No Trumps, and our declarer-play was no better than their defense, so results varied. We invented transfer bids over our 1NT ( not having seen or read about them elsewhere ) during one of our post-mortems.

Previously 1NT-(P)-2D had been to play, as per K-S in those days. Well, 1NT - Dbl - Transfer seemed to get us off the hook pretty well if responder had a five-bagger, and we eventually agreed that XX (redouble) would transfer to Clubs also. We proudly labelled this WW1NTET in the conventions section of our system-card. (Woods' Whacked-1NT Extraction Technique).

In a moment of enlightenment I realized that if bids could serve as transfers, so could the call Pass, allowing us to get partner to Redouble to give us an escape into any single-suiter, and liberating 2 Clubs as Stayman, and otherwise system-on. This became SW1NE in its first iteration. It was all a bit of a hit-and-miss until we reallocated bids to show two-suiters, and Paul (Wood) experimented by passing the XX with a decent 9 high card points and a five-card suit, and we chalked-up our first +1110 (old scoring - 1NTXX making eight tricks vulnerable).

Pretty soon we were opening all sorts of crappy balanced or semi-balanced 11-14 hands with 1NT because it was just so much fun! Needless to say, we had pretty selective memories about the hands where responder had some junky 2-3 hcp and 4-3-3-3 shape, and had to decide whether to sit the redouble, or show a single-suiter or two-suiter. I don't believe it's confirmation bias - I keep a huge data base of all my auctions - SW1NE has won thousands of matchpoints and hundreds of IMPs every year since. (The only convention with a higher +ve EV per occurrence is Myxo Twos, another bastard-child of Sebesfi-Woods).

Myxos Twos were conceived on an overnight car-trip from Sydney to the Queensland border on Easter Thursday 1976, to be premiered at the Tweed Heads Congress the following day. I can't put an accurate date on the genesis of SW1NE - my best guess would be over months in mid-1974 , in various pubs on our weekly 5:00pm - 7:30pm pub-crawl-and-system-discussion between Sydney Uni and the NSWBA, then in Elizabeth Street. Paul and I were both 20 at the time .......

(End of quoted contribution.)


Pass Out Seat

If the overcall is in the pass-out seat, then the 1 No Trump opener should first pass, awaiting the verdict of his partner. Under normal circumstances, the partner of the overcaller is obliged to take action. As soon as this action is taken, then the partner of the 1 No Trump bidder can re-enter the auction with less than sufficient values. Otherwise the partner would have taken action before passing on the first round

In those rare instances, when the advancer of the intervenor passes his partner's double, hoping for penalty points, the partner of the 1 No Trump bidder can redouble, showing a one-suited holding. The 1 No Trump bidder is forced to rebid 2 Clubs as a relay bid. If the partner's suit is Clubs, then he passes. If Clubs is not his suit, then he rebids his suit on the second round.

If the partner, after passing on the first round and the partner of the doubler passes for penalty, and the partner of the 1 No Trump bidder bids 2 Clubs, 2 Diamonds, or 2 Hearts, then he shows the bid suit and a higher-ranking suit. The partner is two-suited, but has less than sufficient values to bid on the first round.

The Piglet Conventional Method

This conventional method was found on the online forum of source. The conventional method of Suction is well known in the global bridge community, but in Canberra, Australia, the concept is mainly referred to as the Toxic Convention. The reason for this distinct designation is, as mentioned in the forum is because the convention was independently reinvented here.

The following description is an excerpt of the information provided by Mr. Richard Hills and is presented in italics:

A quarter century ago a Tasmanian refugee (moi = namely me) infected Canberra bridge players with the Brown Sticker Myxomatosis Two Bids, which follow the same principle as Suction, e.g. a 2 Diamonds opening bid shows a Weak Two in Hearts or a weak 5-5 in Spades and Clubs plus two strong options. The Canberra player Chris Quail adapted Myxo Twos to be a defence to 1 No Trump, and logically noted that the myxomatosis virus was toxic to rabbits. (The Tasmanian originator of Myxo Twos, Bob Sebesfi, had an identical reason for so naming his convention. Last century the Australian rabbit plague was temporarily tamed by the CSIRO(1) manufacturing and distributing the myxomatosis virus.)

Bob Sebesfi was also the co-inventor of the SW1NE convention. This is an acronym for Sebesfi Woods 1 No Trump Escape (more accurately: Extraction). However, this convention only applies if a 1NT opening bid is doubled by left hand opponent. So I popularised an extension which applies after 1NT - pass - pass - double, which I logically named Piglet, because it is the son of SW1NE.

Note: End of quoted text.

Note: Mr. Richard Hill is a member of the Canberra Bridge Club in Canberra, Australia.



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.