Blackwood - A method used to locate Aces in consideration of
making a slam bid.
Blackwood Slam Bidding - Part 1
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Blackwood, Day 1 - Introduction
Part 1 (login to Blog to see Part 2 and 3)
Blackwood, Day 2 - Details inside Blog
Part 1 (login to Blog to see Part 2 and 3)
Typically, Blackwood is used when either partner realizes
partnership has a combined
strength to explore slam and a good suit fit is found. In response to
bid of 4 Notrump (Blackwood) , the responder makes a
conventional call according to number of Aces held:
0 (or 4)
2 w/useful void
6 in Void Suit
1 w/void below Trump suit
6 in Trump Suit
1 w/Void above Trump Suit
After responder shows Aces, 4 Notrump Blackwood bidder may:
- Signoff at the 5-level in trump suit
- Request partner to bid 5 Notrump by bidding at 5-level in unbid suit
- Bid 5 Notrump to ask responder to now show Kings (as above)
see books on
Slam and other slam conventions:
Grand Slam Force,
Jacoby 2 Notrump,
Key Card Blackwood,
Last Train, NAMYATS,
Pick a Slam,
Quantitative Notrump Bid,
Serious 3 Notrump,
Slam Try - Stayman,
Opener Jump Shift,
Specific Suit Ask,
Strong Jump Shift, and legacy treatments as
Roman Asking Bids,
Roman Gerber. Slam
also include interference of
an overcall by opponents, as
Negative Slam Double,
|The ACBL nominated Easley Blackwood to the "Hall of Fame",
offering the following testimonial:
Easley Blackwood was a power in contract bridge and the
American Contract Bridge League for more than 60 years. His
fertile 30-year-old mind spawned ideas and innovations about
the game and, as a respected elder statesman in his70s and
80s, he was still collecting the many honors and accolades the
game has to bestow.
As a writer, teacher, lecturer, administrator and
innovator, Blackwood has name recognition throughout the
world. His name became a household word because one of his
early inventions, an ace-asking bid that became known as the
Blackwood convention, caught on like wildfire with
the rank and file players while confounding the experts.
He played bridge, he wrote about bridge, he taught bridge,
and he directed bridge games in his own studio and aboard many
cruise ships. A legendary storyteller, he was one of the
game's most popular lecturers.
One of his greatest contributions came in 1967 when he was
persuaded to take the job of executive secretary and general
manager of ACBL. His long experience in the business world was
put to work to save a declining ACBL during the three years he
agreed to serving in this position.
Blackwood put the ACBL on a sound financial basis and
worked out a revision of the masterpoint plan for tournaments
and clubs, correcting inequities that had existed for years.
He gained the admiration, respect and gratitude of the
headquarters staff, of the Board of Directors and of ACBL
But he is still best known for his “little ace-asking
convention.” Six decades after Blackwood submitted his
brainchild to Ely Culbertson's magazine, The Bridge World
– and was turned down – it is still the game's best known
convention. The Bridge World responded, “While the
suggestion is a good one, the 4 NT bid will remain informative
rather than interrogative . . .”
But the convention caught on from player to player and was
soon widespread throughout the bridge-playing world. In 1949
Culbertson gave up and said, when a pair announced it was
playing the Culbertson System, it should be assumed the
Blackwood convention was being played.
The voice of the people had prevailed over the voice of the
experts. The Blackwood convention appeared in 17 different
languages and 57 books by the time Blackwood published the
convention in his own Bridge Humanics in 1949.
Blasckwood was born in Birmingham AL in 1903 and went to
work as a clerk with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company at
the age of 17. At 26 he was made manager of the Decatur IL
office. In 1930 he was transferred to Indianapolis , where he
managed the Metropolitan office for 34 years.
After his early retirement in 1964, Blackwood established a
plush bridge club in Indianapolis and enjoyed a gratifying
career as lecturer, teacher and bridge cruise conductor.
He already found time to write several bridge books, a lot
of magazine articles and a syndicated daily newspaper column.
His monthly column on basic bridge appeared in the
Bulletin for almost two decades and formed the basis for
his 1978 tome, Play of the Hand with Blackwood.
In 1980 he was elected ACBL Honorary Member of the Year. He
was a longtime member of the National Goodwill Committee and
the National Laws Commission. He was Honorary Member of the
American Bridge Teachers Association in 1978. In 1984 he
received the International Bridge Press Association
Personality of the Year Award.