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The Polish Club


This weak two-suited opening has for years been one of the most characteristic parts of Polish Club. In Poland almost everybody has been using it for years; and if not, surely has learnt how to defend against it. On the international scene, though, the Wilkosz convention has disappeared with the system restrictions introduced by the WBF in all but top-class events. The problem with the Polish 2D opening is that it doesn't explicitly specify any of the two suits opener may have, something that the WBF system policies require in respect to two-suited openings. One might argue that it's unjust since the Multi-coloured 2D is equally, or even more, ubiquitous than the Wilkosz 2D, and yet it is regarded as "standard". There is no doubt that the Multi opening and the defenses to it have been given much greater publicity in the bridge press than the Polish 2D. The latter remains very local and remote compared with the worldwide known and used Multi.
  There is a noticeable trend in Poland towards switching from Wilkosz to Multi, but even if the Wilkosz convention were to be forgotten completely at some time, it deserves to be presented as an integral part of the system as it is played today.

Requirements for 2D

2D denotes a two-suited hand (5-5 or better) with at least one major and less than opening-bid values (the point-count range is 7-11, but at favorable vulnerability some pairs open 2D with as little as 5 HCP). Since this is primarily a defensive weapon we don't have to open 2D with every hand that fits this definition. Let's look at some examples:

a) S A 10 9 5 4 b) S 8 7 4 c) S 7
H A Q 10 6 3 H A 7 6 4 2 H K Q 10 5 4
D 7 D K Q 8 5 4 D K J 10 5 4
C 4 2 C C 6 4

d) S K Q 8 7 4 3 e) S A 7 f) S A Q 7 4 3
H 5 H K 8 6 4 2 H Q J 6 5 4 2
D Q 8 6 5 3 D J 7 6 4 3 D 3
C 7 C 5 C 4

A preemptive opening with hand a) would be excessively pessimistic. The possession of two aces doesn't rule out a 2D opening, but this hands looks more like a normal one-level opening. We may open 2D with hand b) but if partner happens to have:

S A K J 9 3 2 H K 5 D J 7 2 C 10 6 3

he'll respond 2H, and we will play there, with 6S offering very good chances. 2D should be avoided with 5-5-3-0 hands when the three-card suit is a major.
  Hand c) is a perfect 2D opening at every vulnerability.
  With a powerful six-card major in a two-suited hand the obvious alternative to 2D is a weak two-bid. I would open 2S with hand d), which risks missing the diamond suit when partner is strong but will make it harder for the opponents to introduce hearts if they have enough strength to compete.
  Opening 2D with hand e) is not completely insane, and may strike gold, but should be avoided in normal circumstances as the quality of the long suits is poor and the hand has plenty of defense.
  With hand f) 2D is entirely safe, as over the expected 2H or 2S from partner we have convenient ways of inviting game, at the same time informing partner about our unusual shape.


pass a) long diamonds and desire to play a diamond contract on the lowest possible level,
  b) hoping partner has diamonds, or
  c) tactical, fearing a misfit (but if fourth hand doubles, opener only passes with long diamonds; with both majors he redoubles, with one major, he bids it)
2H to play if partner has hearts, promises no more than two hearts
2S to play if partner has spades, promises no more than two spades if hearts are shorter
2 NT strong relay asking opener to name his suits
3C long clubs, non-forcing
3D support for both majors, invitational or better
3H support for both majors, preemptive
3S support for spades and both minors, preemptive
3 NT to play
4D asks opener to bid his major
4C/H/S natural with a long suit

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