The Kamikaze No Trump is a bidding system devised by Mr. John Kierein. The concept was to open a holding in First or Second Seat with a total of 9 to 12 high card points. After the ACBL regulated that any No Trump opening with less than 10 high card points could not apply the usual conventions such as Stayman, Mr. John Kierein altered his Kamikaze No Trump opening to show values between 10 and 13 high card points.

This concept was published by Mr. John Kierein in his book You Ought to Bid An Average Hand featuring The Kamikaze Notrump, dated 1977. He also published an article in the magazine Popular Bridge, Volume 11, Number 2, dated April 1978. The artist of the picture is unknown.

Note: Any additional information as to the bridge personality of Mr. John Kierein, especially photographic material, would be greatly appreciated.

     
     

Alternative Designations

This concept has also the designations: Super Weak No Trumps, Sub-Weak No Trumps, Baby No Trumps. Using the Kamikaze No Trump opening, Mr. John Kierein explained that a 2 Hearts opening and a 2 Spades opening in First or Second Seat would promise 9 to 11 high card points and at least a 5-card suit. A 2 Diamonds opening would promise also 9 to 11 high card points and also either a 4-4-4-1 or a 5-4-4-0 distribution. Mr. John Kierein recommended in his bidding system psychic bids in the Third Seat after two consecutive passes.  

Requirements

Many of the responses to a Kamikaze No Trump opening are complex and must be memorized. Following is a list of most of the responses used when the Kamikaze No Trump is a part of the partnership agreement.
The requirements for Kamikaze No Trump:
A. 10-12/13 high card points, at least one Ace or King, but never 3 Aces.
B. Normal distribution can be: 4-3-3-3. 4-4-3-2, 5-3-3-2.
C. With any long Minor suit, the distribution can be: 5-4-2-2 or 6-3-2-2.
D. With a 5-card Major holding, the range can be as little as 10 to 11 high card points.

Responses

2 : is Puppet Stayman. Choice between: a Diamond sign-off, Major suit interest, or invitational.
2 : is Relay Stayman and game-forcing.
2 : is to play.
2 : is to play.
2 NT: serve as Transfer bids. Preemptive to higher-ranking suit or shows a void.
3 : serve as Transfer bids. Preemptive to higher-ranking suit or shows a void.
3 : serve as Transfer bids. Preemptive to higher-ranking suit or shows a void.
3 : serve as Transfer bids. Preemptive to higher-ranking suit or shows a void.
3 : shows 10 HCPs plus in the Minor suits. Preemptive and invitational bids.
3 NT: is to play.
4 : Gerber
4 : a transfer to Hearts. Responder signs off after the Transfer in any suit.
4 : is to play and shows game-going values.
4 : is to play and shows game-going values.
5: is to play and shows game-going values.
5 : is to play and shows game-going values.
4 NT: completely invitational.
After a bidding sequence of:
1 NT   2
any rebid by the opener of 2 Hearts or 2 Spades promises a 5-card Major and 10 to 11 high card points. The responder may then sign off by bidding either 2 No Trump, 3 Clubs, or 3 Diamonds. The responder can invite to game by bidding either 3 Hearts or 3 Spades with support for his partner's 5-card Major suit and sufficient values. After a bidding sequence of:
1 NT   2

any rebid by the opener of 2 Diamonds informs his partner that he does not have a 5-card Major suit. The responder, however, can then invite to game, not force to game, by bidding 3 of any suit, even if that suit is Diamonds, which promises a one-suited holding in that bid suit. The responder can also invite to game, again not forcing, by bidding 2 No Trump showing balanced distribution and borderline values.

If the responder rebids 2 Hearts or 2 Spades, this rebid promises a 4-card suit and 0 to 14 high card points. The No Trump bidder will pass with sufficient length, at least a 4-card length, but it could also be a 3-card suit with ruffing possibilities. If this is not the case, then the opener rebids 2 Spades over 2 Hearts with a 4-card Spade suit and no 4-card Heart suit support. The No Trump opener will rebid 2 No Trump with minimum values, 3 Clubs with maximum values and no 4-card support for either Major suit bid by the responder. The No Trump bidder can raise the responder's Major suit with maximum values and at least a 4-card suit support. The responder then places the contract either by passing or by bidding game with sufficient values. When the bidding process has the following sequence: 1 No Trump - 2 Clubs - 2 Diamonds - 2 Hearts - 2 Spades, a rebid by the responder of 2 No Trump or 3 Spades is only invitational and not forcing.

After a bidding sequence of:

1 NT   2
any 2 Diamonds response is Relay Stayman. Relay Stayman constitutes a game force and is comprised completely of artificial bids. Through this bidding sequence, the responder can discover the exact distribution of the No Trump bidder and the location of his high card strength. All responses below the level of 3 No Trump by the No Trump bidder are designed to communicate this information to the responder. Below are the bidding sequences possible and the significance of the rebids by the opener. This will require concentration from each partner of the partnership and each rebid and response is important in its accuracy, otherwise false information is communicated.
Opener   Response   Opener   Meaning
1 NT   2   2   Shows normally 4 or 5 Spades.
1 NT   2   2   Shows always 4 or 5 Hearts.
1 NT   2   2 NT   Shows a long Club suit.
1 NT   2   3   Shows a long Diamond suit.
1 NT   2   3   Shows a long Diamond suit and 3-3 in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   3   Shows 3-2-4-4 distribution.
1 NT   2   3   Shows 2-3-4-4 distribution.
1 NT   2   3 NT   Shows 4-4-2-3 or 4-4-2-3 distribution.
Below are the rebids by the opener after a 2 Hearts rebid:
Opener   Response   Opener   Response                
1 NT   2   2   2   2 NT   Relays   Rebids   Shows 4-2 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2   2   3   3   Shows 2 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3   Shows 3 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3   Shows 4 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3 NT   Shows 5 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3   Shows 4-3 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2   2       3   3   Shows 2 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3   Shows 3 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3 NT   Shows 4 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3   Shows 5-3 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2   2       3   3   Shows 2 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3 NT   Shows 3 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2           3   Shows 2-4-5-2 distribution.
1 NT   2   2   2           3   Shows 2-4-4-3 distribution.
1 NT   2   2   2           3 NT   Shows 5-2-3-3 distribution.
Below are the rebids by the opener after a 2 Spades rebid:
Opener   Response   Opener   Response              
1 NT   2   2   2 NT   3   Relays   Rebids Shows 3-4 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT   3   3 Shows 2 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT           3 Shows 3 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT           3 NT Shows 4 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT           3 Shows 3-5 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT       3   3 Shows 2 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT       3 NT Shows 3 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT           3 Shows 2-4-3-4 distribution.
1 NT   2   2   2 NT           3 Shows 2-4-2-5 distribution
1 NT   2   2   2 NT           3 NT Shows 2-5-3-3 distribution.
Below are the rebids by the opener after a 2 No Trump rebid:
Opener   Response   Opener                  
1 NT   2   2 NT   3   3   Relays   Rebids Shows 3-3 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2 NT       3   3 Shows 4 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2 NT               3 NT Shows 5 Clubs.
1 NT   2   2 NT               3 Shows 3-2 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2 NT               3 Shows 2-3 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   2 NT           3 NT Shows 2-2 distribution in the Major suits.
Below are the rebids by the opener after a 3 Clubs rebid:
Opener   Response   Opener            
1 NT   2   3   3   3   Shows 3-2 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   3       3   Shows 2-3 distribution in the Major suits.
1 NT   2   3       3 NT   Shows 2-2 distribution in the Major suits.

Below are the rebids by the opener after a 3 Diamonds rebid:

Opener   Response   Opener   Response        
1 NT   2   3   3   3   Shows 2 Clubs.
1 NT   2   3   3   3 NT   Shows 3 Clubs.

The difficulty in the Relay Stayman bidding sequence is that there is a fundamental difference in the various auctions available, and the inherent problem of remembering the rebids and responses communicating the different distributions. There are normal situations where there is no question regarding the minimum and maximum values and the inferred distribution. However, some bidding sequences can become more difficult to visualize if the partners are not acquainted with them. In general, the first response promises a 4-card Major in the other Major suit or simply a transfer to a long Minor suit. Using this concept, the second response generally shows the distribution held in the Major suits, and the third response is generally describing length in the Minor suits.

As with all bidding sequences, there are exceptions, and it is no different with the Kamikaze No Trump rebids and responses. One exception deals with the distribution of a holding with a shape of 2-4-x-x. This exception is covered by rebids and responses which are not included in the above diagrams, and are communicated through the bidding sequences listed below to describe the exact holding.

2   3   Shows 2-4-5-2 distribution.
2   3   Shows 2-4-4-3 distribution.
2   3   Shows 2-4-3-4 distribution.
2   3   Shows 2-4-2-5 distribution.

This exception has been the cause of some ambiguity and may cause the Major suit Relays to become more complex than normal. Only through a strong partnership agreement can this complexity be overcome, and by listening during the bidding sequence to what not has been bid. Sometimes the distribution can be deduced by what not has been bid, and therefore through inference.  

Key Card Asking Bids

During the bidding sequence, the responder may decide to break away from the Relay sequence, which means that this partner may no longer be interested in the exact distribution of the No Trump bidder's holding. The responder may possibly make a so-called non-game bid. Or the responder may make a so-called non-game bid of 4 Clubs once the distributional Relay sequence has been completed. These break-away bids then become Key Card Asking Bids, and the break-away bid becomes established as the Key Card suit.

The responses to such Key Card Asking Bids are made by step responses:

First Step: Shows no Key Cards and no Queen.
Second Step: Shows no Key Card with a Queen.
Third Step: Shows 1 Key Card and no Queen.
Fourth Step: Shows 1 Key Card with a Queen.
Fifth Step: Shows 2 Key Cards and no Queen.
Sixth Step: Shows 2 Key Cards with a Queen.
Seventh Step: Shows 3 Key Cards and no Queen.
Continuing the bidding sequence in the Key Card Asking Bids, outside Kings and Queens may be shown:
First Step: Shows no King or Queen.
Second Step: Shows 1 Queen.
Third Step: Shows1 King.
Fourth Step: Shows 1 King and 1 Queen.
The responder may continue to apply the Key Card Asking Bids through the bidding of new suits not already mentioned. However, after such information regarding the number of Key Cards has been communicated, the responder will generally sign off by bidding the established suit as trump as the final contract, by bidding the lowest level of No Trump, by jump-bidding in a suit as the final contract, or even bidding on the Six Level or higher, thereby establishing the final contract. Any rebid of 4 No Trump or 5 No Trump are completely invitational.  

Showing the Number of Aces, Kings, and even Queens

Once the distributional Relay sequence has been completed, it may be important for the responder to discover the number of honors held by the No Trump bidder. This is initiated with a bid of 4 Clubs, but it is important to remember that there may have been no interference from the opponents thus far in the auction.

Depending on the amount of bidding space consumed by the bidding process and if the bidding auction has not exceeded 4 Clubs, the No Trump bidder can show the number of Aces, Kings, and even Queens in his holding. The bidding space may be lost when asking for the number of Aces and Kings, and not allow the possibility to ask for the number of Queens. If this becomes the situation, then the responder simply signs off with his next bid, and this becomes the final contract.

In the following diagram showing the responses for the number of Aces, Kings, and Queens, it is important to remember that several bids are reserved for Relay Bids in the general auction, and although these Relay Bids might under circumstances become ambiguous, it is important for the partnership to agree beforehand as to the interpretation of such bids after the Asking Bid of 4 Clubs has been initiated.

This holds true for any and all Relay Bids which may otherwise become idle bids during the general auction. In the following diagram, the responses to a particular bidding sequence, after a Relay Bid has been executed, are given accordingly, rather than separately. The Relay Bids are the most important portal to the subsequent bidding sequence.

Asking Bid 4 Clubs and Responses

4   Asking Bid.
4 4 Shows 1 Ace or 1 King.
4 4 4 Relay Bid.
4 4 may be Relay Bid.
4 4 Shows 1 King and 2 Queens.
4 4 NT Shows 1 Ace/1 Queen or 1 Ace/2 Queens.
4 5 is a Relay Bid.
4 5 Shows 1 Ace and 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 1 Ace and 2 Queens.
4 5 Shows 1 King and 3 Queens.
4 5 Shows 1 Ace and 3 Queens.
4 5 Shows 1 King and 4 Queens.
4 5 Shows 1 Ace and 4 Queens.

Additional Control Showing Sequences

4   Asking Bid
4 4 Shows 2 Kings.
4 4 4 Relay Bid.
4 4 NT Shows No Queens.
4 5 Shows 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 2 Queens.
4 4 Shows 1 Ace and 1 King.
4 4 5 Relay Bid.
4 5 Shows No Queen.
4 5 Shows 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 2 Queens.
4 4 NT Shows 2 Aces.
4 4 NT 5 Relay Bid.
4 5 Shows No Queen.
4 5 Shows 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 2 Queens.
4 4 NT Shows 2 Aces.
4 4 NT 5 Relay Bid.
4 5 Shows No Queen.
4 5 Shows 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 2 Queens.
4 5 Shows 3 Kings.
4 5 5 Relay Bid.
4 5 Shows No Queen.
4 5 Shows 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 1 Ace and 2 Kings.
4 5 5 Relay Bid.
4 5 Shows No Queen.
4 5 NT Shows 1 Queen.
4 5 Shows 2 Aces and 1 King.
4 5 Shows 4 Kings.

There are many intricacies and complexities involved when using the Kamikaze No Trump opening. The responses are various in nature and the rebids of the opener determine the continued bidding process. Thereafter, the responder can guide the opener to disclose his distribution and his number of honor cards by means of Relay Bids.

Depending on the nature of the responses by the No Trump bidder, the responder then can take several actions, such as sign off, place the contract, continue with Asking Bids or Relay Bids to determine the exact nature of the opener's holding.

This complexity has discouraged many partnerships from using the Kamikaze No Trump, although the nature of the bidding sequence results in an exact description of the strength and distribution of the holding of the No Trump bidder, that is if the partnership has the necessary experience required to make the correct bid, rebid, and response.

 

 

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.  

 


     
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