GIB (Ginsberg's Intelligent Bridge Player) 6.2


Matthew L. Ginsberg is an American who went to university in Oxford. Matt was a regular player on the English tournament scene during his university days (1977-1983). He captained the Oxford team twice, beating Cambridge both times (1979 and 1980). He also reached the last eight of both Crockford' s and the Gold Cup during that period. He is a professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Oregon.

There are no picture of Matt Ginsberg from his bridge days. Today he is competing with a crossword solver program instead.
There are no picture of Matt Ginsberg from his bridge days. Today he is competing with a crossword solver program instead.

"When I returned to the States in 1983," relates Matt (from 1999). "I gradually played less and less as other commitments took over (I was building a stunt plane, for example). I gave up the game completely around 1987, playing only very intermittently until I started working on GIB in 1994. I was about to tum 40, and wanted to work on something very different from the research I had been doing. Computer bridge seemed an interesting challenge, since the existing programs were so awful and I had a variety of ideas about how to make them better. So GIB was born."

The Software

"GIB first became somewhat functional as a bridge player in early 1997," says Matt (1999). "I made the mistake then of agreeing to participate in that year's World Computer Championships. The code wasn't debugged, and we did terribly. The bugs were fixed a month later, and GIB was clearly the strongest computer bridge program in the world. It went on to win the 1998 World Computer Championships easily, and finished twelfth in its much-publicized participation in the Par Contest in Lille in the same year.

"GIB conntinues to improve. We have a new card-play algorithm that should improve that aspect of its performance considerably. Indeed, I expect GIB to be the best card player (human or machine) in the world once the algorithm is fully implemented. We are also making solid progress on the bidding, as the bidding database has been substantially simplified and we are now extending it to include a variety of new treatments. The result of these changes should be to make it much more robust in general. On balance, I think we have found bidding to be much more difficult than card play, because card play can be solved analytically. (I have never told GIB about finesses, squeezes, etc. It figures it all out on its own. Bidding, however, is a language, which means that you need to tell the computer what the various sequences mean. This is particularly challenging in today's environment, where bidding is so competitive." 

GIB has won the World Computer Bridge Championship twice (1998 and 2000) It has not competed in World Computer Bridge Championship since 2002, when it withdraw during the round robin,

In 2001 Matt Ginsberg entered the Championship under pseudonym Jeremy Claptrap and with the program Hoogli (GIB). Matt Ginsbergs view on the Jeremy Claptrap and Hoogli story. The other sides (Al Levy) views is not available.

The coding for GIB was sold to BBO many years ago but the original programmer, Matt Ginsberg, who wrote and understood all of the programming is no longer associated with development. Nobody at BBO seems to really understand some of the really complex coding so the changes to the program seem to be only ad hoc changes that fix a specific problem (and occasionally create other problems) and improve the GUI,

GIB is a commercial software and this is the original version, not the version that is used for robot play on BBO. The orginal version (6.2) was frozen 2009 and has not been updated since then by Matt Ginsberg.

GIB is only available for Windows.

Ordering of GIB 6.2 and download of a free upgrade to 6.20 for existing users are available here. (new)

BBO released a free version of GIB with the old client for BBO 2012.  (new)

Install the old BBO client with this instruction. (new)

GIB (bridge.exe) can be found in the folder C:\Bridge Base Online\AI\robots\gib (new)

GIB is not available for Mac, but can be run with a suitable Windows emulator,