By Peter Rhead
SOS – Save Our Souls
Sometimes a partnership can get into trouble with the best bidding in the world. The opponents are ready to pounce when they see the opportunity. If this happens, it is usually better to take a smaller beating than to give the world to your opponents. In other words it is better to give the opponents a score of 500 (down two doubled and vulnerable) than a score of 1100 (down four doubled and vulnerable). The partner of the opener may do this by bidding SOS – “Save our Souls, partner, because we are going down a whole lot!”
The SOS bid by you is made usually only over a doubled part-score bid. Consider your partner in first seat opens a weak Two Spades. The next bid is PASS by opponents, then PASS by you. The opponent in fourth seat doubles for take-out. His double will take your side to game but his double is meant for take-out. However, if the opponent’s partner leaves the double in for a game score for your side, you know your side is in trouble. You are in the PASS-OUT position so you do the SOS redouble. You have no Spades so your partnership probably has something like a 6-1 split against! Your opponents are pretty sure they can defeat Two Spades Doubled. You can support any other suit that opener bids after your SOS redouble.
You would not redouble if you thought opener could make, or nearly make, the Two Spades Doubled contract.
Your SOS redouble tells opener to bid what he considers his best alternate contract and you will PASS because you can support any other suit that opener bids. The opponents may double again but your side may be in a better contract even if your partnership still goes down doubled (500 instead of 1100).
Is it not great to be able sometimes to take advantage of your opponent’s double!
For more information, read “SOS and Other Redoubles” by Barbara Seagram in 25 More Bridge Conventions, page 181
Next Week: Examples of SOS – Save Our Souls
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to include it in this column.
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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