CBE-Project - 2020

Only the "Man vs Machine" task in the CBE-Project 2020 is described on this page. Information about the other tasks are described in the Project document.

                                    Man vs Machine - A Bridge Challenge - Pilot

Man vs Machine is a "Remake of the Man vs Machine year 1999". This does not mean an arrangement exactly as it was at that time.  Zia will not be the player, but hopefully some other strong player. Furthermore the format will not be same. Zia and 7 other programs played an individual competition with other scoring than will be used here. Here it's different, it's one human against all programs.

I have run a pilot to investigate if it's feasible. If so, find out how to set up the event. I have used two setups.

Setup 1

Hardware: One computer with all stand alone programs. All plays of stand alone and online program is done on this computers.

Stand alone programs

Blue Chip Bridge, WBridge5, Micro Bridge, Bridge Baron, Q-Plus Bridge and Jack. Lastest version will be used. They are setup for maximum strength, max time and best system. 

Online programs

FunBridge (Argine), BBO (GIB) and Synrey. The challenge function is used. 

The format of the competition

Team match where the human plays with 3 other bots against 4 other bots. The number of boards are 16.  IMP and VP scoring are used. 

There are two opponents, Man - which gets the human player points and the Machine - which gets all the programs points. Winner is the one with most wins. If both has the same wins and one undeciced, the one with most IMPs will win.

Presentation of the matches 

All matches against the stand alone program are shown as a movies (recorded video) using BBOs Handviewer as interface. Bridge Baron does not support storing of information of played matches which is needed for making videos with Handviewer as interface. Instead the recording has been done directly in Bridge Baron.  

The matches against online program have also been video recorded. Handviewer is also the interface for the match against GIB(BBO) as Handviewer is supported by BBO. Argine and Synrey have different interfaces. Another difference is that the boards at table 2 are played after they have been played at table one., For GIB the result is visible after 16 Boards. The match against Argine is played in three 5 boards rounds and against Synrey in eigth 2 board rounds. The result is visible after each round.   

Setup 2


Two computers connected with a router. 

Support programs  

Table Manager and three instance of the tested program are run on one computer. On the other computer the player interface is run and is connected to Table Manager through the Local Network. Only programs that support the Blue Chip protocol for communication with the Table Manager can be used. There are only three programs that support Blue Chip Protocol in the commercial version.  

.Stand alone programs

Only these programs can be used due to the Blue Chip Protocol requirement: Blue Chip Bridge, WBridge5 and Q-Plus Bridge. I have run two 16 Board matches against WBridge5 and Q-Plus.  I have used Blue Chip Bridge as players interface, but any program that support Blue Chip Protocol can be used.

Online programs

Not included.

The format of the competition

Team match where the human plays with 3 other bots against 4 other bots. The number of boards are 16. IMP and VP scoring are used.  

There are a differencee with Setup 1 regarding the NS play of the contract at the table with the human. The Human does not play Norths contract. 

Presentation of the matches

The play in Table Manager have been recorded. First all boards in Round 1 (Table 1) and then the same boards in Round 2 (Table 2). In Round 2 Table Manager shows what was played at the table and standing, which is upodated after every board. The recording of the two matches is avaiable below.


It's clear that setup 2 has several advantages:

1) The player can use the same interface for playing instead of 6 different as in setup 1.

2)  Instead of only show recorded matches, the play can be shown in real time with all 52 cards visible as with a VuGraph. Of course the matches can also be recorded if needed.

3) The way how the matches are shown with a second round where the play at table 2 are shown deal by deal and the standing updated after every deal, makes the match more interesting.

4) Better security as the player is separated from the computer with deal information. 

It's all fine but there is a BIG disadvantages, of those 6 tested only 3 support Blue Chip Bridge protocol and 3 is not enough for this kind of competition. I don't think the programmers will add the functionality on my request, It's hard to see any commercial value for it. Most of the programs have some kind of support for netplay and probably they think it's enough for the normal user. One solution is to arrange such event as a part of WCBC, as all the competing programs has the required functionality, but that is outside my control.  

A compromise is to use setup 2 for those programs that support play with Table Manager and setup 1 for the others, but limit the number to max 2. Then add 1-2 online programs. 

The "Remake of Man vs Machine has 1999" has been shelved for time being. 


                Setup 1- Video with the matches and LIN files for download  

                              Match 1 - Bjorn vs Jack 

                              Match 3 - Bjorn vs Q-Plus Bridge 

                                Match 5 - Bjorn vs Bridge Baron 



                                         Match 7 - Bjorn vs GIB (BBO) 

                                            Match 9 - Bjorn vs Synrey 

                                     Match 2 - Bjorn vs WBridge5

                                         Match 4 - Bjorn vs Micro Bridge 

                              Match 6 - Bjorn vs Blue Chip Bridge 

                           Match 8 - Bjorn vs Argine (Funbridge) 


                                              Setup 2- Video with the matches and The Play Interface 

                              Match 1 - Bjorn vs WBridge5

                            Play Interface Blue Chip Bridge

                              Match 2 Bjorn vs Q-Plus Bridge

Robots plays in Spingold and Vanderbilt finals

On these videos two WBridge5 and GIB Pairs plays all boards in the Vanderbilt and Spingold Teams finals 2019. They plays surprisingly well and outbid the humans on several boards, The LIN files from the real match are available for comparison of the play by bots and human in the open room.

Spingold KO Teams Final 2019 Zimmernan vs Blass with WBridge5 

Vanderbilt KO Teams 2019 Final Wolfson vs Nickell with GIB          

The videos below is the final in the "Track 3" team play in the project and three matches with special deals, only Goulash, Games and Slams and Parts Scores.  The speed is a bit slow but can be speeded up with the player.