Kokish Relay

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 05/04/2012
Level: Advanced

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