Thursday, February 1, 2007

Strange Demand RKCB

For a while, I had occasion to use a conventional RKCB that may be of interest to some, depending up their system.

I used to play with some people who opened 2D to show an intermediate hand (14-16 or so HCP) with 4-5/5-4 or longer in the minors, no 4-card major. A 2H response was an asking bid, seeking shape and strength. The rebids happened to be 2S with weak and three spades, 2NT weak without a major fragment, 3C weak with three hearts, 3M with a maximum and three of the bid major, and 3D with a maximum without a major fragment.

In any event, many conventions (Roman 2M, for example) operate similarly. Opener shows an unbalanced hand, and Responder asks for more clarification. However, the clarification often fails to identify whether the short suit is stiff (5431) or void.

As in many auctions, especially in this type of auction, there are times when one wants to ask more questions and times when one simply wants to answer RKCB himself. This was one.

We decided that, after the answer to the 2H asking bid, 4C set clubs as trumps and 4D set diamonds as trumps. Each "forced" Opener to use Kickback (the next suit up) as RKCB. However, Opener could opt to use Exclusion RKCB if he had a void, using the next-next up.

In other words, after 4C (clubs set as trumps), 4D would be RKCB and 4H would be Exclusion RKCB (void in the known short suit). After 4D (diamonds set), 4H would be RKCB and 4S would be exclusion for the known shortness. If either major could be short, then Kickback was on, you would bid the void as Exclusion, and 4NT was Exclusion for hearts if diamonds were agreed.

It even made sense, in this auction, for 4H or 4S, instead of 4C or 4D, to be Flag RKCB, setting trumps in the lower/higher minor and asking. Thus, you could either ask or tell. This only works, though, if a forcing call below four of the major was available.

In any event, this type of demand-that-you-ask call may be of interest to some who use similar conventions.

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