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Big Deal in Play at Fall NABC

ACBL has converted to a new software program in order to more securely create computer-generated deals. In making the announcement, Robert Hartman, the organization's chief executive, calls Big Deal the world standard when it comes to bridge dealing programs.

“Big Deal is widely used throughout Europe and in World Bridge Federation events,” says Hartman. “All the boards in play at the Fall NABC in Orlandowill usethe new program, and effective January 2017,all the hands forregionals, sectionals and special club games as well as NABCswill be generated using Big Deal.”

Hartmanmet with the creator of Big Deal, Hans vanStaveren, at the recent World Bridge Games in Poland.“Hans volunteered his assistance, offering to do whatever was needed for the ACBL to seamlesslyintegratethe new program into current programs and internal processes.”

The ACBL upgrade was triggered by the announcementthat given three consecutive deals in a session, a program(running up to an hour on 50 computers simultaneously) could, by “brute force,”determine the succeeding deals.

“While it is highly improbable that players were using this method to illegally gain information,” Hartman says, “the fact that it was possiblemeantour deals were vulnerable.”

VanStaveren, who lives in the Netherlands,saysthat one of the reasons he wrote Big Dealin the late 1990swas the repeated occurrence of sets of hands.Hebelieves strongly in the system, which relies on acryptohash– a mathematical algorithm– as a random number generator. “Thesecrytohashesare used to guaranteesafety in international banking, protecting billions of dollars,” he explains on Bridge Winners. “So,as long as I do not read about the end of the financial world, I am not worried about our bridge hands.”

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