The next Annual Computer Bridge Championships will be starting on Monday 24th July 2023
The format for the 2023 competition is as follows:
- USED EQUIPMENT - I will be moving down to one laptop a 2.5 Ghz Quard Core 8 Gig of ram. Two Table Managers will be used, Bridge Moniteur 1.7 and Blue Chip Table Manager 6.6.5. The Host laptop will be connected to a router with network cable to minimise drop out. At this stage the automated systen for the robots that can't use a Table Manager has proved problematic, so there may well be matches like last year. that will require manual help for the opposing bots to bid and play.. Two Table Managers are used as one of the competing robots can only connect to one of them. The completed PBN files from the games played will be run through Bridge Composer to create LIN files for showing the games played like earlier in this year 2022. Scoring will be automated for 2023 to avoid spreadsheet and user error. This will be created by the completed LIN file through NetBridgeVu. More on the scoring below.
- SET UP - Despite the problems with automation, I am still going to have rounds of 32 boards per match. I am now able to do this because of the automated scoring between games. The Semi- Final and Final will also be 32 Boards. The four highest placed robots from the Round Robin stage move on to the Semi-Final.
The format for 2023 has also changed, there will now be a 10 robots Round Robin, before the Semi Final and Final, I am not expecting any more entries now. But it is exciting to have 10 Robots taking part for the first time.. There has also been a late change to the rules. There will be no Carry Over for 2023, This differs with the ACBL for such events. The alert during bidding will now only be for cosmetic and viewing purposes. I believe that a robot playing another robot with accurate bidding system and convention matching must be able to understand the bidding without human intervention. This has been tested and very few alerts are appearing during bidding, so it does work. This also differs from the World Computer Bridge Championships.
- Board Generation - The boards will be generated by Bridge Composer for most of the robots, but for some of the older robots, the boards will be run through Jack 6.11, to create PBN 1.0 deals which will be used.. I will only be doing a seat change at the half way stage of a match for 2023, instead of a board switch. The play will be Open and Closed Room, so that the North South and the East West cards will be played by both robots during a match.
- Robot Settings - As only 60% of the robots taking part can use a Table Manager, the peaking mode of robots is switched off for bots not using a Table Manager.. Due to the robots needing to understand the bidding and conventions of the opponent robot. I will be exact system and convention matching as the operator in 2023. That is to say that two robots playing in a match will be playing the same bidding system and conventions.. This includes the different strands of Standard American bidding that also needs to be matched up for fairer and accurate competition. The systems and conventions used must comply with the ACBL list used at the World Computer Bridge Championships. Robots can be set to play either Team IMP or Duplicate or MP as part of their set up. This is because some robots are stronger in the latter settings, and if set to IMP might miss a game call, or a slam that the other robots would find, and so not to be disadvantaged. I have talked with the robot authors, as they know there robot's settings better than myself, to achieve as fair competition as possible.Some authors do change settings like this depending on an opposing robot's known style.
- Time Limit Of Play- This shall be 4 minutes per board or 4 boards in 16 minutes. This is in line with the ACBL guidelines for the World Computer Bridge Championships.
- Scoring- Scoring will be Victory Points and Team IMP because of the Open and Closed Room set up.
Bridge Robots Taking Part
Jack 6.11 Author Hans Kuijf
Wbridge 5.12 Author Yves Costel
Micro Bridge 13.3 Author Tomio & Yumiko Uchida
Shark 2.1 Author John Vermehren Norris
Q-Plus 15.3 Author Hans Leber
GIB 6.2.0 Author Matt Ginsberg and Rod Ludwig
Blue Chip 6.6.5 Author Ian Trackman & Mike Whittaker
Bridge Baron 29 Author Stephen J Smith
Bridge Captain 6.2 Author Bob Richardson & Bo Haglund and modified by Christine Goulden
Meadowlark ? Author Rod Ludwig (has been semi confirmed to us as taking part)
Other Equipment Used
Bridge Moniteur 1.7 (Table Manager) Author Gerard Joyez
Blue Chip 6.6.5 (Table Manager) Author Ian Trackman
NetBridgeVu (Hand Viewing and Scoring) Authors Bridge Base Online
Bridge Composer 5.9.8 (PBN Checking, and Conversion To Lin) Author Ray Spalding
More About The Robots
Some of you bridge enthusiasts reading this page will have heard of some of these bridge robots, and some you won't have done. One thing about my competition is that some of these robots are still commercially available but some are private, or the robot author has retired. Some robots have sadly made the decision to now become public bridge servers, and are no longer available to buy in CD form. So a bit about there history and availability below.
Jack is probably the most famous of the bridge robots here, and won the Official World Computer Bridge Championships 10 times from 2001 to 2004, and in 2006,2009,2010,2012,2013, and 2015. Jack is still commercially available as version 6.11.
Wbridge 5.12 is probably the next most famous of the bridge robots here, because the author Yves Costel made the program freely available a while ago. Like Jack, Wbridge has won the Official World Computer Bridge Championships a few time in 2005,2007,2008, and 2016 to 2018., and is still freely available
Micro Bridge 13.3
Micro Bridge has been around for a long time, dating back to 1997 at the first Championships. Micro Bridge was runner up in 20006,2012,2013, and 2016. Micro Bridge finally won the event that last time the Official World Computer Bridge Championship was played prior to COVID in 2019. Tomio Uchida is now retired and there will not be any further major updates.
Shark 2.1 Shark 2.1 is one of the late entrants we were hoping for, and has arrived in the last 3 days for testing.
Shark has been attending the World Computer Bridge Championships since 2006, and won the event in 2011 and 2014. Shark was runner up in 2008 and 2010, and reached the Semi Finals 5 times. The version for this event is post 2015, and still very stromg looking at the early tests. Sadly Shark is no longer available on CD, as the robot is now on the SharkBridge server.
Q-Plus was also at the Official World Computer Bridge Championships from 1997 and was Runner Up in 1997,1998,2000, and 2011, Q-Plus is still commercialy available. The global outlets are listed on the Q-Plus official website. See the Programs section on the main page here.
GIB again is one of the bridge robots that was at the Official World Computer Bridge Championships right from the start in 1997 finishing 5th, but came back and won the event in 1998 and 2000. GIB finished 4th out of 7 robots in 2002, but has not appeared at the Official World Computer Bridge Championships since then sadly. GIB is no longer commercialy available, but is now used and revamped as the robot for Bridge Base Online. I have played about with the settings of the original version, and modified it for this year. It is still quite strong for it's age.
I wrongly listed GIB at my competition last year as now being known as Meadowlark, who has been to the Official World Computer Bridge Championships a few times. GIB was co-written by Matt Ginsberg and Rod Ludwig. Rod Ludwig has re-written Meadowlark a few times. Meadowlark still goes to the Official World Championships, but is not commercially available. We are hopefull of Meadowlark being at my Championship this year, but yet to be confirmed. Watch this space.
Blue Chip Bridge 6.6.5
Blue Chip Bridge again was one of the original bridge robots to appear at the Official World Computer Bridge Championships.. Blue Chip usually and steadily finished between 5th and 8th place out of 8 robots between the years 1998 to 2006, but has not appeard since. Blue Chip was famous for providing the first Table Manager at the Official World Championships. This made it possible for bridge robots to play each other without human intervention, other than bidding enquiries due to robots different countries and bidding systems, which can be given by messaging between robots. Blue Chip Bridge is no longer available commercially, and the website was closed down a while ago. Details can be found in this site in the Programs section on the main page..
Bridge Baron 29
Bridge Baron again was one of the original robots at the Official World Coputer Bridge Championships dating back to 1997, and in fact won the very first event. That year was not done using a Table Manager, but was actually done as a bidding and play competition against humans sitting in the opponent seats. Bridge Baron finished as Runner Up in the years 2003,2004, and 2007. From 2009 onwards Bridge Baron usually finished in around 6th place other than a 4th plae in 2014. and a 3rd place in 2016. Bridge Baron is still commercialy available, and reasonably famous world wide.
Bridge Captain 6.2
Bridge Captain only ever appeared at the Official World Computer Bridge Championships once in 2009, and finised 7th out of 10 robots. This was a good showing for a first timer. Bridge Captain also beat the regular appearing Bridge Baron and also Robobridge at that event. Bridge Captain was formerly a commercial robot, but was made freely available when the author Bob Richardson retired a while ago. A lot of the links have started to close down on the Bridge Captain website, and the free version is now only available on this site. See the Programs section on the main page. Bob abandoned the Bridge Captain project in the last couple of years, but gave us permission for us to use Bridge Captain as we wished. I have added a re-write of a couple of the bidding systems, and Bridge Captain has had a couple of fine results against two of the top 4 robots with my system re-write. So we are very excited to see how it does this year. The details of the added systems can be found in the Programs section on the main page of this site.