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ForumBridge Match: Board 10, Gas Warfare, and all that rot

There was a lot of good bridge to watch during today's match.  I found Board 10 to be one of the most interesting boards, since it it illustrates one of my long standing claims about nasty "gas warfare" openings bid like the Wikosz 2.

On board 10, Dealer passed and second seat needed to decide what to do with

 AK943 QJ92 T T53

Gavin chose a 1 opening and the pair soon found themselves in 6N.  The Polish pair opened 2 showing a preemptive bid with at least 5-4 in the majors.  It looked as if North was thinking of slam, but the pair landed in 4.  13 IMPs to the Poles.

This handed reminded of some of the old debates about Wilkosz.  The Wilkosz 2 used to score extremely well during championship matches.  (The expected value when the Poles opened 2 was something ridiculous like +3 IMPS)  Lot's of people claimed that the strong results was evidence that the 2 opening was too difficult to defend against and started decrying it as "gas warfare".

When I started looking over the board results, it seemed that the opposite was true.  A lot of the really good results from the Wilkosz 2 came on hands where the Poles were able to open 2 at one table, but their competitors chose to open with a one level opening.  The Poles were able to immediate warn partner that there hand was light.  However, the understrength one level opening at the opposing table lead to a variety of horrors.






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