Join Bridge Winners
A New Bridge Bot?

Complaints about BBO’s bots have escalated from these pages to the editorial column of the ACBL Bulletin.  Everything that we love about bridge makes it hard to develop a really good program to play—the variety of bidding systems, the low bandwidth for defensive signals, the skills of identifying and timing deceptive maneuvers.Perhaps it is time for the community to get together and develop an open source bridge engine with modern tools, building on the successes and endeavoring to resolve the shortcomings of what is already out there.From my perspective, the goals for such a project would likely include:

  • Signaling (recognizing that it can be difficult to figure out what signal one should give)
  • Taking inferences from other players’ actions (including signals)
  • Not making really stupid mistakes (humans will always do this, but computers shouldn’t)
  • Being able to play a variety of systems (both bidding and carding)
  • Adopting appropriate strategies for matchpoints and IMPs
  • Being able to play at either standard tempo or a faster tempo for users who value quantity of boards more than quality
  • Providing a basic web GUI
  • Being able to perform single-dummy simulations (what are the chances of taking 13, 12, or fewer tricks holding AK AJ AQJ932 AK6 opposite a partner with no controls, a question faced last night by my partner)

Stretch goals might be

  • Being able to explain its actions
  • Taking advantage of its opponents’ uncertainty about the position
  • Adjusting its play based on who else is at the table
  • Nick Straguzzi writing an article about a hand in which it showed up a human

I have a fair amount of experience developing computer games; most notably about 35 years ago, I published the first serious commercial implementation of Scrabble, and believe I have a good understanding of the methods and challenges of programming bridge.I would love to be able to dive right into this project but know that I can’t do it myself from either the technical or bridge perspective; I also need to earn something of a living.  For these reasons, I’m proposing the project on this site together with an appeal for help.  If you think it’s a good idea but are not in a position to get involved, you can just Like the article.  And if you may want to participate but don’t want to put your name out there publicly, feel free to send me a private message.

Please select up to 4 choices.

I am an experienced software developer and would like to participate.
I may be able to help raise money for this project.
I am an expert bridge player and am willing to help brainstorm strategies
I’d like to help in some other way
I don't think this is a good use of resources

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