Kokish - breaking the relay

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Hank Youngerman

Sep 17, 2008, 5:59:45 PM9/17/08
I know there are circumstances where it's appropriate for responder to
break a Kokish relay (i.e. 2C - 2D - 2H, he does not bid 2S). I did a
quick Google search but couldn't come up with anything that fully
described it. One fairly obvious situation would be where responder
has 6 spades and would transfer a Kokish 2N rebid to spades.

Does anyone have a good set of methods for how to play sequences over
2C-2D-2H where you'd break the relay? It's not rocket science, but
I'd rather not reinvent the wheel.


Sep 17, 2008, 7:07:10 PM9/17/08

I found this information at the Bridge Guys web site: (http://

Danny Kleinman suggests the following extensions to the Kokish relay.
After 2C-2D-2H:
2NT = 6+ card spades and 2 or fewer hearts
3m = 6+ card minor and moderate values
3H = 6+ card spades and 3+ hearts


David Stevenson

Sep 17, 2008, 8:30:15 PM9/17/08
Hank Youngerman wrote

I have not heard of breaking so as to right-side a spade contract,
though there is some logic there.

One of my partners wants to play 2C 2D 2H 3C/D as passable opposite
23-24, giving opener a chance to progress anyway.

I originally understood him to say 2C 2D 2H 2NT is a minor 2-suiter,
willing to stay out of game opposite 23-24, giving opener a chance to
progress anyway. But now he says something different!

If you want to do this sort of thing, there are two important points.

1 Remember you are screwing opener's rebids up if he has hearts. He
was not necessarily going to bid 2NT over 2S.

2 You should play 2C 2D 2NT as the game force, not 2C 2D 2H 2S 2NT,
because of the possible passing out of game sequences.

David Stevenson Bridge RTFLB Cats Railways
Liverpool, England, UK Fax: +44 870 055 7697 ICQ: 20039682
<webj...@googlemail.com> bluejak on OKB
Bridgepage: http://blakjak.org/brg_menu.htm

Message has been deleted


Sep 17, 2008, 10:27:00 PM9/17/08

2C-2D-2H-2S-2N hsould be the weaker range as David suggests - it
up more often and allows responder to describe his weaker hands more
often when it counts whereas opposite the stronger GF bal hand, a
hand is not as great a liability.

After 2C-2D-2H:
2S is the expected rebid and is made anytime the hand does not
for any of the following bids:
2NT Very weak hand, at most a doubleton heart, and either
- a 6+ card minor suit or
- a two-suiter with both majors 5-5 or better
3C Very weak hand with a spades
3D Very weak 4 card spades with longer hearts
3H Very weak 4 card hearts with longer spades

After 2C - 2D - 2H - 2NT (showing a weak hand with either minor OR a
weak 5-5 in the majors):
Opener rebids:
- 3C with the balanced hand or a hand in the minimum range not
containing extreme shape (i.e. no 7+ card heart suit; no 11 cards in
suits). Responder now rebids: Pass with a weak single-suited club
or 3D with a weak single-suited diamond hand or 3H with the weak 2
suiter in the majors (opener passes or corrects to the 4 level with a
- 3D puppet to 3H with a better than minimum unbalanced hand or a
minimum hand with extreme shape; Responder: should splinter with the
5-5 majors hand or rebid 4m with extra length (7+) and heart
otherwise should accept the transfer over which opener may rebid:
3S strong 4=6 (but not as strong as a direct 3S - see below)
4C/D at least 6=5 but not as strong as a direct 4m
4H extra length
- 3H a very strong 4-4-4-1 with a singleton minor (unspecified):
responder bids his minor over which opener may pass with the wrong
stiff otherwise bids a new suit in support of the minor just bid or
raises; responder can instead splinter to show the 5-5 majors hand
- 3S game force showing 4=6 or a super-strong 4=5; Responder rebids:
his minor with no major suit interest or 4 spades with 3 card support
or 3NT with a semblance of stoppers in the minors or 4H with heart
tolerance or 5m splinter in support of both majors
- 4C/D game force natural; Responder: 4H shows tolerance, new suits
are shortness in support of the minor just bid, 5H shows the 5-5
majors hand
- 4H natural: responder should pass with nothing else to say, or bid
new suit showing a singleton with a doubleton heart. Jumps are
splinters showing the 5-5 majors hand.
- 4S showing a GF 1=4=4=4: Responder bids 5H to show the 5-5 majors
hand; 5m to play; 4NT with clubs and 4C with diamonds (allowing
to bid the minor so that responder can show shortness)

After 2C - 2D - 2H - 3C (showing a very weak hand with spades):
Opener rebids:
- 3D puppet to 2H as above; Responder bids 2H and opener rebids:
3S NF or
4m with 6=5 NF or
4H natural as a last try or
4S with a strong raise in spades NF; if responder moves he
shows side shortness
- 3H with a strong 1=4=4=4
- 3S to play
- 3N to play (likely a 3 suited hand short in spades with sufficient
extra strength)
- 4m Game force natural; 4H shows tolerance, other minor shows
shortness in support of the just-bid minor, 4NT shows support for the
minor with shortness in hearts, 4S is nothing else to say
- 4H natural; responder should pass with nothing else to say, or bid
new suit showing a singleton with a doubleton heart
- 4S extra value raise based on fit
- 5m with a very strong 4=4=(4-1) with a stiff in the suit bid;
responder re-transfers to spades via 5H.

After 2C - 2D - 2H - 3D (showing a very weak hand with 4 spades and
longer hearts): Opener rebids:
- 3M to play
- 3NT no fit for either major; responder can correct to 4H
- 4m Natural, slam try, showing real hearts
- 4M to play

After 2C - 2D - 2H - 3H (showing a very weak hand with 4 hearts and
longer spades): Opener rebids:
- P/3S to play
- 3NT no fit for either major; responder can correct to 4S (via a 4H
- 4m Natural, slam try, showing real hearts
- 4M to play

David W.

Kieran Dyke

Sep 18, 2008, 2:30:05 AM9/18/08

"Hank Youngerman" <donts...@redtopbg.com> wrote in message

With one (casual) partner, I played a sort of reverse Kokish, where the 2H
rebid was 23-24 or hearts. Breaking the relay to a minor was a suggestion of
contract opposite 23-24 balanced, like Jxxxxx and out.



Sep 18, 2008, 8:59:09 AM9/18/08
On Sep 18, 8:30 am, "Kieran Dyke" <tig...@idx.com.au> wrote:
> "Hank Youngerman" <dontspa...@redtopbg.com> wrote in message

Doesn't anyone play 2D as GF, while 2H is a very weak hand (negative)?



Sep 18, 2008, 12:58:43 PM9/18/08

Here's what I play over a strong 1C, negative 1D, Kokish-like 1H:
1S: normal relay
1NT: 5+ spades, very weak (no queen, no more than 2 Jacks.)
2C or 2D: 6+ in suit, very weak
2H: 5+ hearts, very weak

My logic on the 1NT is that responder would be transferring to spades
and passing if given the opportunity over 1NT; if opener has hearts,
he was planning to rebid something else anyway, and the 1NT bid
doesn't get in his way.

Similarly, the 2H bid works fine whether opener has hearts or a
notrump hand.

Adapting to 2C-2D-2H -- 2D "waiting", 0+ :
2NT = 5 + spades, very weak
3C,3D = 6+ in suit, very weak
3H = 5+ hearts, very weak

If 2D is semi-positive, game-forcing, you won't really have a very
weak hand, but can reasonably break the relay with a minimum for the
2D bid.

Will in New Haven

Sep 18, 2008, 2:09:17 PM9/18/08
On Sep 17, 5:59 pm, Hank Youngerman <dontspa...@redtopbg.com> wrote:

When I play this, which is only with two partners whom I don't get to
play with very often, we play:
(The 2H relay shows 21-22 balanced or Strong-Two in Hearts)
2NT: Long spades. "Please bid 3S if you have the balanced hand."
Any bid besides 3S by opener confirms the Heart GF and is natural.
3m: Long minor, very bad hand. balanced hand should, normally pass.
Heart GF just keeps bidding.

This has come up _once_, with the following hands:

AX - AKJXXX - AKQ - AK opposite XXX - X - JXXXXX - XXX and we bid,
with the opponents passing.
2C - 2D
2H - 3D signoff
7D a happy accident of system.

Will in New Haven


Sep 18, 2008, 7:19:25 PM9/18/08
"Hank Youngerman" <donts...@redtopbg.com> wrote in message

Several have made sensible suggestion of how it could be advantageous to
agree something but is it worth it?

The Kokish convention comes up 2 or 3 times a year so why risk a system
accident. If whatever you agree the break shows comes up 1 hand in 5 you
will only bid it once every 2 years and most of the time you would have got
to the right place without it so my guess is that you will be lucky to gain
more than once in 10 years. I bet somebody forgets the agreement more often
than that.

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