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Excessive HCP requirements for competitive bids And the ridiculous consequences that ensue

#41 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2016-January-23, 03:47

View Post1eyedjack, on 2016-January-23, 01:30, said:

I don't have enough experience of other computer bridge programs to speak with authority, but the impression that I get is that they are streets ahead of GIB. Jack in particular.

Some tens years ago I had a copy of Jack and played a lot with it. It was extremely rare that it made a mistake that was stupid enough for me to notice but it did once pass a 2nt opening holding 7 HCPs in its own hand. It was not reproducible so probably a simulation fluke.
As much as I like you guys, you really need to know that this is all complete nonsense --- Pilowsky
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#42 User is offline   iandayre 

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Posted 2016-January-23, 12:26

View PostStephen Tu, on 2016-January-23, 00:12, said:

Just because GIB falls back on some default rule on some sequence doesn't mean the programmers were bridge idiots. It's just they didn't write enough rules, even though they worked on thousands of them already. They probably concentrated on constructive bidding first since it's a smaller problem and relatively easier. Once you start adding competitive bidding the number of possible sequences start to look infinite.

I still think you aren't understanding the issue. Even if you had Hamman as the bridge expert signing off on all the rules, it's hard to write enough of them and organize them so that a reasonable rule is triggered in every single possible auction. It's not a symptom of lack of bridge expertise, it's a symptom of the difficulty & scope of the problem.


First, I never called anyone an idiot, stupid, or anything similar. Second, I accept the extreme difficulty and complexity of bridge programming. I still wish GIB were further along after all these years, but I accept Fred's statement that improving GIB is a significant BBO priority, and I look forward to see what progress is made, especially in the relatively short term - say this year.
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#43 User is offline   iandayre 

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Posted 2016-January-23, 12:43

View Postmgoetze, on 2016-January-22, 20:48, said:

LOL. Your bridge achievements must be pretty impressive, I wonder why you bother with GIB when you could get paid to play with a human instead.


If you are an ACBL member, take a look at the overall masterpoint rankings of all members. The median masterpoint holding is just under 200. Let's be fair and eliminate the whole bottom half, very new players or those who play very infrequently. My masterpoint holding puts me in the 95th percentile overall, and so about 90% considering only regular duplicate players. So perhaps I was conservative, but I think there is one level between players I consider my peers, and the very top group.

Yes, masterpoints do not exactly correlate to skill. I have worked full-time all my life, so traveled only infrequently to tournaments. I have never hired a professional partner. I have won 6 open (no masterpoint limit) regional events. I never had the patience to play with new or lesser skilled players, so I never had any desire to play professionally. And now, I have not played a live duplicate in almost 8 years, and I didn't play at all until I started on BBO in late 2013. I'm a bit rusty and I'd probably struggle some if I returned to live tournaments today.

So LOL all you want, but I stand by my statement. It really isn't anything all that special.
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#44 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2016-January-23, 12:51

View Postiandayre, on 2016-January-23, 12:26, said:

First, I never called anyone an idiot, stupid, or anything similar.


You said "Unfortunately, those who wrote those descriptions had some very serious misconceptions about what constitutes sound bridge principles"

Do you or do you not accept that this is not the case? That strange meanings in competitive auctions are not a matter of the programmers not knowing at all how to bid, what constitutes sound bridge principles, but rather lies in the difficulty of supplying a complete rule set to a computer to handle all possible competitive auctions.

In other words, I am claiming that the programmers knew how to bid for the most part, it's just extremely difficult to transfer that knowledge completely into a computer program. Whereas you seemed to think that the programmers had some serious gaps in their bridge knowledge, and that GIB's bad bids are because some human thought you are actually supposed to bid this way, and programmed these bad bid descriptions into GIB intentionally. Or at least your previous statement reads that way even if you didn't intend it to.
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#45 User is offline   iandayre 

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Posted 2016-January-23, 13:10

View PostStephen Tu, on 2016-January-23, 12:51, said:

You said "Unfortunately, those who wrote those descriptions had some very serious misconceptions about what constitutes sound bridge principles"

Do you or do you not accept that this is not the case. That strange meanings in competitive auctions are not a matter of the programmers not knowing at all how to bid, what constitutes sound bridge principles, but rather lies in the difficulty of supplying a complete rule set to a computer to handle all possible competitive auctions.

In other words, I am claiming that the programmers knew how to bid for the most part, it's just extremely difficult to transfer that knowledge completely into a computer program. Whereas you seemed to think that the programmers had some serious gaps in their bridge knowledge, and that GIB's bad bids are because some human thought you are actually supposed to bid this way. Or at least your previous statement reads that way even if you didn't intend it to.


OK Stephen I am willing to become better informed on this issue. Yes, you are correct, I have been operating under the assumption that some human(s) wrote the bidding descriptions, and then GIB was programmed to bid according to those descriptions. The problem, as I'm sure you know, isn't just GIB's bad bids, it is that when we are in the middle of an auction, and know what bid we would like to make, often the description of that bid is not at all what we would expect or hope for. The OP is an example, I had to act over the opponents 3S raise and my choices were to pass or show 25+ points.

I apologize for what I agree to have been my generally negative tone to these posts. But look at the bright side, Fred has now come out and publicly stated that improving GIB is a priority. I think my impatience was understandable, given the lack of upgrades or even any BBO presence on this board for a long time. And 1EyedJack's most recent post is excellent and I concur wholeheartedly. So I'll be patient, a bit quieter, and hope for the best.
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#46 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2016-January-24, 16:20

View Postiandayre, on 2016-January-23, 13:10, said:

The OP is an example, I had to act over the opponents 3S raise and my choices were to pass or show 25+ points.

Yes, Is tough, but sometimes points just don't matter. Gib doesn't have a hand with tricks on this one. If Gib had a more suitable hand, like with trump and shortness not necessarily points game is possible, certainly in a major. Seams a shame not to take a shot because if your actually making Gib will put you in 6.
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#47 User is offline   Stefan_O 

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Posted 2016-May-01, 05:05

View Postfred, on 2016-January-20, 17:04, said:

It turns out that I spent most of December (including about 12 hours per day when most people were on holiday) writing a new program that I believe has the potential to greatly increase the rate at which we are able to improve GIB. If my optimism proves to be well-founded there will be considerably more programming effort required and we may well hire more bridge experts to work on GIB.


Hi Fred,

Would be interested, if you could give an update what happened on this after December?
Did it turn out the way you were hoping?
Is it in use?

And, what was it about? :)
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