Vincent Brévart

Vincent Brévart

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Novedades de SimiliBridge 5.01

16 de septiembre de 2023

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This version 5.01 only differs from version 5.00 by the addition of a Splinter bid after a Jacoby transfer, a bid that was still missing. You can see the correction of this omission on deal n°14 and 15 of the last corrections file (accessible by the Examples menu). Moreover, the program has been translated into Greek, thanks to the voluntary help of Makis and Nikos. Many thanks to both of them! Finally, I would also like to thank Guylaine from Canada, who made me aware that certain conventions (like "Texas" or "chassé-croisé") were well known to Canadian bridge players, but under other names (Jacoby Transfer and Smolen convention). So I added a "French_Canadian" language file. For the moment, only these two conventions have given rise to different texts (in the rule preferences and the bid tooltips), but if you spot expressions that are rarely used in your clubs, do not hesitate to let me know.

New options for the bidding

  • The Drury and the weak openings in 3rd and 4th seat

    Until now, my machine players wouldn't allow themselves to open 1 of a suit without an opening hand. But in 3rd and 4th seat, teachers and books recommend to speak a little below the opening strength (but with an interesting hand) as is often done when overcalling. This new freedom goes with a convention allowing to check if the opener has an opening hand or not, convention which is called the Drury 2. So if you want to use these weak openings in 3rd and 4th seat, as well as the Drury convention, open the rule preferences on the Bidding / Conventions page, and in the Drury 2 Clubs list, select the Standard Drury or the Drury-fit according to your habits.

    In the help page on the Drury, take the time to discover or check the description of the openings in 3rd or 4th seat. Also look at their responses, some of which have their meaning changed. If you want to practice bidding in these situations, a new type of advantage (accessible by Shift+A) has been added, called Advantage by working on the major opening in 3rd or 4th seat. With the value +10 of the advantage for NS, all the deals proposed will have a major opening in 3rd or 4th seat in your line, without any overcall after the opening for the Drury to remain valid. Be careful, this does not mean that the opener will be weak. Because if it is necessary to know how to stop at low level in the event of a weak opening, it is also essential to know how to bid games and slams in the most frequent cases where the opener has a normal or strong opening hand.

  • Responding to 1 or 1 after a suit overcall

    As I always try to keep the bidding system simple and accessible to average players, I still have a lot of options to add to match the habits of advanced players. For example, the responses to the 1 of a major opening mostly ignored the previous player's suit overcall, except for bidding a NT contract. I had just stated that the suit shift was no longer autoforcing, but all other responses remained valid, including the 2NT fitted. By default, it is these simple responses that are enabled in the rule preferences on the Bidding / Developments / After 1H-1S page, in the new list called After a suit overcall.

    But now there is a second choice called Advanced. This allows you to modify some of the responses to the major opening in the event of a suit overcall. In particular, the 2NT becomes natural again, and the fit-jump bids are also introduced. If you want to play with these new responses, select Advanced from the list of choices.

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  • New display for the tooltips of non system bids

    In SimiliBridge, a large part of the bids are codified, that is to say that they each have a specific code and their meaning is precisely described in the program. This codification is of course essential for conventional bids, but also for those which are justified by the probability of winning, or those which would be too hard to analyze for an automatic engine. But the bidding sequences are too many and too long to fully codify, and there are many bids that are not really part of the system. In addition, the user may have made a mistake in his points count and subsequently try to make up for it with a "non system" bid which will seem incoherent. It is therefore necessary that the machine players manage to more or less understand these uncodified bids. It is the Horsys engine that takes care of this work.

    The analyzes of the Horsys engine are very basic. It analyzes the type of the bid (support bid, suit rebid, new suit bid, etc.), the number of points that this one seems to promise, the minimum cards promised if it is a suit bid, or the stoppers promised if it is a NT bid. And finally it decides whether or not the bid is forcing. This imperfect analysis is right in many simple cases, but it is often wrong in situations requiring more complex reasoning. The bids analyzed by Horsys are now indicated in their tooltip by the text Uncodified bid (analyzed by the Horsys engine), which will be displayed as follows:

    Horsys tooltip

    Do not hesitate to send me the deals showing a big error of the Horsys engine. For example, in previous versions, I let it handle the responses to the take-out double after a preempt at the 3 level. It didn't do too badly with the most frequent doubles. But with the "any distribution" doubles, it was a disaster : the doubler would never rebid! I tried to fix Horsys, but take-out doubles are difficult to model. So I ended up codifying the responses to this double, as I already did after a preempt at the 2 or 4 level. Sorry for those who missed games because of this lack of codifying.

  • Some mistakes have been corrected

    Some mistakes in the card play have been corrected. Have a look at them in the Last corrections file (accessible via the Examples menu). You will also see several deals to present the weak openings in 3rd or 4th seat, and to illustrate the use of the Drury 2.

Thanks to all those who have proposed these enhancements.

Best wishes