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Bridge Software Review

#21 User is offline   Tcyk 

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Posted 2010-November-12, 19:09

There are two programs that work together like magic. Either one by itself can be very useful. The first is Chat Assistant by Rodgerpf. It was designed for chatting on BBO and has provisions for canned messages. The other is OKScript. It was designed for use on another online bridge application. With OKScript and Chat Assistant, you can create drop-down menus with a very small footprint. The menus well send instructions to Chat Assistant which interfaces with the BBO software. It is uch easier to address BBO this way instead of trying to write programs that will click on a BBO button.

I use the combination when directing a tournament. Canned messages save a lot of time. If you type as poorly as I do, they are life savers.
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#22 User is offline   Tcyk 

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Posted 2010-November-12, 19:27

View Postkevlarsen, on 2010-October-31, 15:56, said:

I was wondering what people think of the software Jack and how it compares to Bridge Baron.
I just wrote a blog post about it here and was wondering what people thought of it. (Jack and Bridge Baron)

On another note, Jack just won the Computer Bridge Championship (again) so I find it interesting to know what people think of Jack.


It is interesting that hundreds of very strong chess and backgammon engines have been written but every bridge playing program has what I consider to be sever limitations. I don't have Jack but do have Bridge Baron and GIB. I think GIB is better than Bridge Baron. I understand that GNU Backgammon played 1.5 million games against itself and modified its program to give the best results. It is reported to be world class strength. However, if you played 1.5 million bridge hands, you would have just scratched the service. I would not want to wait for the computer to play 1.5 million hands against itself. A hash table to hold the results would probably be too large for most computers to hold.
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#23 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-12, 20:31

View PostTcyk, on 2010-November-12, 19:27, said:

It is interesting that hundreds of very strong chess and backgammon engines have been written but every bridge playing program has what I consider to be sever limitations.

The difference is that chess and backgammon are games of perfect information whereas bridge is a game of imperfect information. Perfect information allows the use of brute force analysis and combined with expert level evaluation techniques makes for a strong package. Gary Kasparov has been very active in improving these evaluations.

I do think that it is only a matter of time before bridge computers become expert level bidders. It might take a bridge player of the standard of Gary Kasparov in chess to make that leap forward combined with major investment. The card play is more difficult. GIB's method of constructing hands is one way of switching the problem to one of brute force but I suspect it will not end up being the best method. There is much progress to be made in this area but eventually I would think computers could become better than humans due to their quick ability to calculate odds.
(-: Zel :-)
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#24 User is offline   CarlRitner 

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Posted 2010-November-13, 20:01

The other huge difference is in what a chess move means versus what a bridge bid means.
There is no ambiguity in a chess move. A bishop on a square is very easy to represent in memory.

1H - 2C means different things in different systems and to different pairs within a system.
It is quite difficult to represent the range of hands responder holds unless there exists a way
to fully describe the bidding system for each pair.

Imagine chess where each player starts out his pieces on random squares, with a wall between the board halves.
Cheers,
Carl
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#25 User is offline   psyck 

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Posted 2010-December-14, 03:17

A couple of programs that I use fairly often are Deep Finesse & SuitPlay. They work perfectly & also have the advantage of being free - in an ideal world all S/W would be free :lol:
Deep Finesse - The Interactive Hand Analyzer
SuitPlay

Of course, there nothing particularly wrong in having to pay for the world champion Jack...however, if you are looking for other free/demo software, check out:
GREAT BRIDGE LINKS :: Bridge Software News and Links
(note that the #2 after Jack is WBridge5 which is free :rolleyes: )

Some other stuff that you may find useful:
Ted's Bridge World - Software for All
Templates by Sid & Abby
Cheers, Krishna.
_________________
Valiant were the efforts of the declarer // to thwart the wiles of the defender // however, as the cards lay // the contract had no play // except through the eyes of a kibitzer.

#26 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2010-December-23, 14:21

I have locked this topic (and moved it from elsewhere). Future reviews of bridge software should be one topic per program/learning CD/ etc.
--Ben--

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