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Kokish 2C-2D-2H Current thinking is?

#1 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2010-November-26, 08:02

A partner wants to play Kokish: As I get it, 2C-2D(neg, or waiting, or at any rate not positive)-2H is either a normal 2H rebid or else a 25+ no trump (or 24+ or 26+ or wherever you set it). OK, when it comes up it's clearly useful. My understanding is that responder is to rebid 2S and then opener clarifies (2N=big, 3H=H, 3 C,D,or S =H plus C,D,or S).

Fine as far as it goes but it has responder making two very non-descriptive calls. I was trying to think of some likely situations where this could be improved. For example:

2C-2D-2H-3H
I think this could say: I have at least some modest values, I have five spades, I have heart tolerance, perhaps it would show something like Qx.

What it would accomplish:
If opener has the big NT hand it would show the spades, allowing the (potential) spade contract to be played from the right side.
If opener has the heart hand it could be very useful. If he is short in spade stops the knowledge that responder holds five could make 3NT more comfortable. If he has some spades to go with his possibly only five hearts he can make an informed choice about where to play. For example, if opener holds a 3=5=4=1 shape and 23 highs he will happily set trump with 3S and let the cue bidding begin.


I doubt I am the first to think along these lines, so I guess I am asking what the general consensus is. Surely people have come up with something beyond "Responder always bids 2S over 2H".
Ken
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#2 User is offline   Flameous 

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Posted 2010-November-26, 08:30

I've thought about other continuations here many times, but the problem is that those sequences are incredibly rare and you just don't want to memorize artificial bids that don't relate to anything else in the system and come up once in a blue moon.

However, if you really want to do something like this, I'd suggest it to handle hand types you can't show over 2NT. This means most likely putting some 64 minor hands there which couldn't bid a positive response. Some weak 5M/5m hands are also little awkward cause you might want to play 3NT.

When partner holds hearts, he likely has pretty clear idea where he wants to play, but with flat hand he might need that information earlier.
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#3 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2010-November-26, 09:15

In this post I suggested that three of a suit should show a hand that would make the same bid in reply to 2NT and would also raise a natural 2 bid. For example, 2-2;2-3 is Stayman opposite the balanced hand and a raise of the heart hand. I still think that's a good idea, and it doesn't require any additional work on methods - you just play your standard notrump methods, except that opener does something at the four level when he has hearts.

The gain is that a sequence like 2-2; 2-2; 3-3 shows a preference rather than primary heart support.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#4 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2010-November-26, 12:20

Thanks for the thoughts.

While the 24+ NT is not very common the heart hand comes up more than a little. And when it does, it seems to me that Kokish puts the pair at somewhat of a disadvantage in that opener is making his third bid with little knowledge of responder's hand, after which responder has little room to sort out from the variety of strength and distribution he might hold. Any approach should be reasonably easy to remember, I certainly agree there, and the gnasher scheme may fit that requirement. I'll have to ask partner what he thinks.
Ken
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#5 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2010-November-27, 03:57

View PostFlameous, on 2010-November-26, 08:30, said:

When partner holds hearts, he likely has pretty clear idea where he wants to play, but with flat hand he might need that information earlier.


When Opener holds the flat hand, Responder has a fair idea of the partnership's combined assets. When Opener holds hearts, why will he know where he wants to play when the auction has reached the 3-level and he has no information at all about Responder shape or strength?

As commonly played (where 2 is virtually) forced, Kokish copes well with the strong balanced hand but messes up the auction when Opener has hearts.
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#6 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2010-November-27, 05:14

View Postkenberg, on 2010-November-26, 12:20, said:

Thanks for the thoughts.

While the 24+ NT is not very common the heart hand comes up more than a little. And when it does, it seems to me that Kokish puts the pair at somewhat of a disadvantage in that opener is making his third bid with little knowledge of responder's hand, after which responder has little room to sort out from the variety of strength and distribution he might hold. Any approach should be reasonably easy to remember, I certainly agree there, and the gnasher scheme may fit that requirement. I'll have to ask partner what he thinks.


If you play your 2C opening as game forcing unless balanced, the balanced hand is more common than the heart hand. I'm not sure it's at all easy to play Kokish if your heart hand may not be game forcing, it really messes up the auction. It is also worth thinking more about continuations by responder.

Another approach to responder's non-2S bid is to play transfers, but as opener might have hearts these show a 6-card suit. The 'traditional' meaning is to play this as specifically one honour (Q or K) to length, but that is so rare that it never comes up. Instead I play the following:


2C - 2D - 3NT = minimum 2C opener, long minor expecting to run 9 tricks but not confident about making 5m, no interest in other suits (typically 7222 or 6322 or 7321 with singleton ace).

2C - 2D - 2H - 2S -
....2NT = balanced option
....3C/3D/3S = natural, second suit
....3H = unbalanced single suiter
....3NT = semi-balanced with 6/7 hearts, usually something in all the outside suits, NF
....4m = void auto-splinter
....4H = (sub) minimum opener with long hearts

2C - 2D - 2H -
....2NT = 6+ clubs, no ace or king outside
....3C/D/H = 6+ D/H/S, no ace or king outside

Opener completes the transfer with the balanced hand, anything else shows hearts (including a jump into responder's suit which shows hearts and a fit). After the completion, responder's new suit bid is shortage, as he usually won't have a second suit. The completion by opener is assumed to set trumps if a major, or if a minor you will play in that suit or NT, so your usual ace-asking/kickback type agreements apply.
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#7 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2010-November-27, 05:26

View PostFrancesHinden, on 2010-November-27, 05:14, said:

If you play your 2C opening as game forcing unless balanced, the balanced hand is more common than the heart hand.


Maybe, but you should really be comparing 25+ balanced with FG unbalanced including hearts. The latter is more common in my experence.
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#8 User is offline   Flameous 

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Posted 2010-November-27, 06:10

Quote

When Opener holds hearts, why will he know where he wants to play when the auction has reached the 3-level and he has no information at all about Responder shape or strength?


Usually the GF hand with hearts knows in which strains he could play, usually being 3NT/4H and sometimes side suit. However that hand rarely wants to play in responders suit. So keeping that in mind, responder should be able to place the contract quite well. Of course we are losing in these auctions, but the cost isn't really that big. I'd say only problems come with the spades.
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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2010-November-27, 07:22

It appears that I got one thing right: Others have thought about this problem.

With regard to the game forcing if unbalanced issue, I interrupt the discussion for a true story of perhaps some amusement.

I was just starting to play duplicate. Mostly we were still playing in the Goren style, four card majors etc, but we had started playing weak two bids (Goren played that any opening 2 bid was a monster) and therefore 2C strong openings. I picked up Al, my partner, and on the way to the club I mentioned "I have been reading a book and there are ways to stop short of game after a sequence that begins 2C-2D-2M. Would you like to hear about this?" Al thought it would be too confusing. OK "So unless there is a NT rebid, the 2C is an absolute game force, is that right?" "Yes". That night I picked up the only 30+ hcp hand I have ever held. The auction went 2C-2D-2H-2S-3D-pass. Al explained he had a really bad hand. This wasn't a zero. Some people just blasted 6NT and while, as I recall, 12 tricks were available in any of three suit contracts, this was not the case in NT.

I will think more about the suggestions.
Ken
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#10 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-December-03, 05:12

There is a write-up of a method like Helene's here, and also several further suggestions in this thread. I think I once saw Papi using a Kokish relay break method that (from the description) focussed on major-suit holdings but that is such a long time ago I cannot remember for certain.
(-: Zel :-)
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#11 User is offline   lexlogan 

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Posted 2010-December-07, 15:57

I play the related strong club gadget, 1-1-1 could be hearts or could be 20-22 or 25+ balanced. I found the "automatic" 1 to be a real problem when opener (as is usually the case) rebids in a suit (showing hearts + whatever.)

We now play responder's 1 as 0-5, other bids = 6-7. All such bids are obviously game-forcing opposite the big balanced hand and game invitational (forcing to 2NT) opposite the heart hands.

In the 2-2-2 version, showing hearts can never hurt, so 3 with 5 hearts and 4+ will I think help no matter what hand opener has. 2NT = 6+ spades and 4+, we will rarely want to play notrump when responder has 6 spades, and the bid doesn't get in the way when opener has hearts. 3 and 3 migth require more thought.
Paul Hightower
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#12 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2010-December-08, 14:43

That's a good idea, Paul. I don't know if it's better to pull the "at best QTxxxx and out" hands out of 1C-1D; 1H-1S (which is what we do) when partner has the one- or two-suited heart hand or the "invitational opposite 16-20" hand.

I guess you could add 1C-1D; 1H-1NT as "bailout in any suit", and put the 6-7 balanced hands back into 1S.
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#13 User is offline   alphatango 

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Posted 2010-December-08, 22:39

FWIW, I generally play something quite similar to FrancesHinden without the transfers over 2C-2D-2H (those look like a reasonable idea, by the way).

2C-2D-2H GF H or 20-22 bal; 2C-2D-2NT as 25+ bal; 2NT as 23-24 bal.

Now 2C-2D-2H-2S is the usual relay, and 2C-2D-2H-3X requires opener to pass unless holding the GF H hand.
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