By Peter Rhead
Examples of SOS – Save Our Souls
Your partnership has got itself into a bad contract. This week we will look at examples of how your partnership might respond to the opponent’s doubling of a bad contract. It is called the SOS bid and is made with a redouble by the partner in the PASS-OUT position who recognizes danger.
What is your response holding each of the following crummy hands. You are in the PASS-OUT position in each case.
Hand One: Partner has opened Two Spades. Your right-hand opponent and you both PASS. Your left hand opponent doubles your opening partner for take-out by the opponent’s partner. But his partner PASSES, ignoring the take-out double. You now know your partnership is in trouble! You are in the PASS-OUT position. If you PASS, partner might face a 6-1 or 7-0 Spade split in his Two Spade doubled contract.
Spades – NONE
Hearts – 9876
Diamonds – QJ987
Clubs – 5432
You should redouble. Partner knows you are rescuing him because the opponents seem very happy to let your side play Two Spades doubled. After your redouble, you can support any bid your partner makes and PASS. Your partnership probably will score better than Two Spades doubled, even if you still go down. Your void in Spades now becomes an asset!
Hand Two: Partner has opened Three Diamonds. Your right-hand opponent and you both PASS. Your left-hand opponent doubles opener for take-out by his partner. But his partner also bids PASS, ignoring the take-out double. You now know your partnership is in trouble! You are in the PASS-OUT position. If you PASS, partner might be facing a 5-1 or 6-0 Diamond split.
Spades – QJ987
Hearts – 9876
Diamonds – NONE
Clubs – 5432
You should redouble. Partner knows you are rescuing him because the opponent’s seem very happy to let your side play Three Diamonds doubled. Any bid your partner makes you can support and would PASS. Your partnership probably will score better than Three Diamonds doubled. Your void in Diamonds now becomes an asset!
Hand Three: The opponent in first seat opens One Heart. You overcall Two Clubs and your left hand opponent doubles for take-out. Partner also bids PASS but the One Heart opener on your right also PASSES his partner’s take-out double. You now know your partnership is in trouble! You are in the PASS-OUT position. If you now PASS you will play Two Clubs doubled with the opponents happy to put you down, probably with a 6-1 or 5-2 Club split.
Spades – QJ9
Hearts – NONE
Diamonds – 6543
Clubs – AK9876
You should redouble. You know partner probably has something in one of the unbid suits. You want partner to bid the best of the remaining two unbid suits (Diamonds and Spades). You are rescuing yourself because the opponent’s seem very happy to let your side play Two Clubs doubled. Whichever bid partner makes, you know you can support it and you will PASS. Your partner’s shortness in Clubs now becomes an asset! Your shortness in Hearts becomes an asset! Your partnership probably will score better in Diamonds or Spades than playing Two Clubs doubled.
The doubled partner in the PASS-OUT position must be careful to think that a new contract is worth the redouble save no matter what partner bids. If unsure, just PASS or your redouble might dig the partnership deeper into a hole!
For more information, read “SOS and Other Redoubles” in Barbara Seagram’s 25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know, page 181
Next Week: Pick-A-Slam 5NT
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.
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