Devised and developed by Mr. Eric O. Kokish of Montreal, Canada. In many bidding systems a problem is presented with an auction, whereby the opening bid is 1 Diamond and the first response is 2 Clubs.
Principles of the Concept
When the partnership agrees to play 5-Card Majors, then the partnership knows that when partner opens a Major suit, then the partner has a minimum length of 5 cards in the bid Major suit. However, if the opening bid is 1 Diamond, then there are no set and established guidelines as to the length of the Diamond suit. The suit can consist of a 3, or 4, or 5 plus card length. The problem arises for the opener when the responder's first bid is 2 Clubs.
South AJ82 K876 AK74 8
North Q76 QJ J95 AKQ75 1 2 2 Shows a distribution of 4-4-4-1 exactly.
Without any prior agreement, then the rebids by the responder is this particular bidding sequence become ambiguous. Mr. Eric Kokish devised a rebid method, the employment of which allows the opener to more clearly define the holding in an accurate and logical manner.
This rebid method can be employed by partnership agreement, which is based on Standard American principles, whereby a first response on the two level in a lower-ranking suit shows 10 plus points. This rebid method can also be employed by partnership employing the 2/1 approach, which shows game values. This concept can also be used in other bidding approaches and bidding systems as well.
Another positive element of this rebid method is the fact that the concept simplifies everything since the opener is no longer permitted to bid a 4-card Major suit. As a foundation of the concept was the question as to why the opener would wish to rebid a 4-card Major suit since the responder has communicated the lack of a 4-card Major suit. In the developmental stage it was ruled that such an action would be deemed illogical.
The following schematic shows the Kokish Rebids to this particular bidding sequence:
Opener Responder Meaning 1 2 2 Promises 5+ Diamonds and possibly an unspecified 4-card Major suit. The bid is forcing for one round. (Note: one possible distribution is also a 6-5 in Diamonds and an unspecified Major suit.) 2 Shows a distribution of 4-4-4-1 exactly. 2 Promises a good raise in the Club suit, and denies a 4-card Major suit. (Note: a raise by the opener of partner's suit would show a distribution of x-x-4-4.) 2 NT Promises a balanced distribution and 12 to a good 14 and bad 15 points, regardless of possibly holding a 4-card Major suit. 3 Shows a weak Club raise and lack of any other rebid. Denies a 4-card Major suit. 3 Promises a 6-card Diamond suit and 16 plus points. 3 Splinter bid showing singleton/void in Hearts and good Club support. 3 Splinter bid showing singleton/void in Spades and good Club support. 3 NT Promises a balanced distribution and 18-19 high card points.
Emphasis is placed on the partnership to first find a Club fit. The rebids by the opener of 2 Spades, 3 Clubs, 3 Hearts, and 3 Spades all indicate a fit in Clubs. As the reader can perceive, any other bid besides those not supporting Clubs shows 0-2 length in Clubs. Therefore, such information communicated to the responder would assist the responder in making a more accurate decision as to how to proceed. The one exception would be a rebid of 2 Hearts showing exactly a 4-4-4-1 distribution.
Note: Several partnership agreements include the understanding that a first rebid of 2 No Trump shows either a No Trump range of 12-14 points with balanced distribution and with or without a 4-card Major suit.
Note: Several partnership agreements include the understanding that a first rebid of 3 No Trump is defined as a Gambling 3 No Trump with a side-suit stopper and no void.
Several examples should illustrate the functionality of the Kokish Rebids for this particular bidding sequence and show how certain information can be communicated about shape and suit length. Example 3 shows a possible ambiguous situation, in which the judgment of the opener can be tested in deciding the more preferable rebid.
South AQ K87 AK9754 82
North J76 Q52 J8 AKQ75 1 2 3 Promises a 6-card Diamond suit and 16 plus points.
South A987 K6 AJ84 Q102
North K63 Q52 K10 AJ975 1 2 2 NT Promises a balanced distribution and 12 to a good 14 and bad 15 points, regardless of possibly holding a 4-card Major suit. 2 Promises a good raise in the Club suit, and denies a 4-card Major suit. (Note: a raise by the opener of partner's suit would show a distribution of x-x-4-4.)
Note: With Example 3 South has two options of either showing a balanced distribution with limited values or promising a good raise in Clubs, but denying a 4-card Major although holding a 4-card Spade suit. By bidding first 2 No Trump the opener is offering the perhaps preferable possibility of playing in No Trump rather than searching for a game in Clubs or perhaps even searching for a Moysian fit (4-3) in a Major suit.
Note: Although the basic concept as developed by Mr. Eric Kokish has proven logical and sound, several optional features have been conceived, introduced, and adopted by individual partnerships.
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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