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Kokish Relay

Author: Larry Cohen Date of publish: 5/4/2012 Level:  

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Kokish Relay (invented by Canadian star, Eric Kokish) is used by a 2♣ opening bidder.


In this system, after 2♣-2♦ (waiting), opener has several ways to show strong balanced hands.


2♣-2♦-2NT shows 22-23/24  (more than a 2NT 20-21 opener).


2♣-2♦-2♥ is artificial and requests that the responder bids 2♠ after which:

     2NT=24/25+ Balanced and forcing


The ranges shown are approximate.  The point is that with a huge balanced hand worthy of game, opener doesn't have to eat up space by jumping to 3NT. He can Puppet to 2♠ (via 2♥) and then bid 2NT which is now forcing (responder must bid even with 0 points).  Responder can use Stayman and Transfers on the 3-level.


What does opener do with an actual heart suit? He bids 2♥ and then after the 2♠ Puppet, he bids something other than 2NT. If he repeats the hearts it shows a 6+ card suit. If he bids a new suit, it shows that suit and hearts. So, for example, 2♣-2♦-2♥-2♠-3♣ shows 5+ hearts and 4+ clubs (forcing)--it "cancels the message of the Kokish relay."


Using this system, 2♣-2♦-3NT can be used to show a "trick-taking" hand such as:  ♠K 2
♥K 8 2
♦A Q
♣A K Q 8 7 6


The 2♥ bid (and subsequent 2♠ Puppet) are alertable.


Last updated: June 2012


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