Saturday, December 19, 2009

What is an RBT?

I played on Bridge Base Online today with the robots. The bridge on this deal wasn't very good, but it shows what an RBT is.

I was dealt:
A 8 5 A 6 5 7 A K 7 4 3 2.

After two passes, I opened 1, left-hand opponent overcalled 1, partner made a negative double and RHO passed. You're up.

I thought about bidding 1, or even 1NT, but finally settled on a pedestrian 2. Everyone passed. Here are all four hands:

10 7 4 3
K 10 9
Q 10 6 5 2
2 K Q J 9 6
Q 8 7 3 2 J 4
A K 9 4 J 8 3
J 9 8 Q 10 6
A 8 5
A 6 5
A K 7 4 3 2

The West robot led the 2 to the 3, 9 and my ace. What do you think about the lead? I think it stinks. Why not cash a high diamond? This would let West make a better decision about how to proceed after getting to see dummy.

I tried the A and a low one. East won the 10 and cashed two high spades. He continued with the J and I discarded a diamond. I was now regretting that I hadn't played three rounds of trumps when I first got in.

Another spade would be best, but the East Robot switched to a low heart. I won the A and ran my trumps. West was squeezed in the red suits. He discarded all his hearts (to save his high diamonds), so when I led one at trick 12, he showed out and I avoided a nasty guess. I made three for a matchpoint score of 60.54%.

Question: What's an RBT?
Answer: A squeezed ROBOT.

To see the traveling scoresheet, click here.


  1. The definition of progress: Actually understanding two lines in a Mojo bridge post. Even if it's the only two non-bridge lines in the post...Of course, I haven't got the faintest idea what a robot is, except that in poker it would probably be illegal

  2. Hi MOJO!

    Ocala is a good compromise...we lived in Ft. Lauderdale for 20 years but that area is getting so congested one can hardly it's hurricane-vulnerable.

    Ocala gets a change of seasons, but not severe. We will get some cold nights on occasion, but it only lasts a couple of days. Our normal high this time of year is about 72 with lows in the 50s.

    However - the next two nights are going to be in the mid-30s...climbing to the 60s in the afternoon.

    We like Ocala because of the rolling hills; it is horse country! And it's about mid-way between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic...and hour each way.

    Unfortunately, it is growing and gets more crowded in the wintertime what with all the snowbirds.

    We love it, though.

  3. Hello, MOJO. Thanks for dropping around.

    Subject photography. Another amature I RSS feed and haven't pimped is:

    He's on an island in the Western(?Eastern?) Pacific off SE Asia. Does underwater stuff (good/bad), above water stuff (good/bad).

  4. Hi Dave

    I spent some time in Vegas last week with an AI expert who is also a fine chess player. He had no knowledge of bridge per se, other than vague impressions, but being a smart guy, he picked up quickly on it, and the challenges of programming RBT's etc. to replicate or outperform human players.

    It was his view that AI has evolved sufficiently that bridge bots could evolve to be a much higher species than they are now - just as Deep Blue eventually surpassed Kasparov at chess (and then was mysteriously dismantled)

  5. @Joxum: haha

    @Jacob: I've also thought about Pensicola, but it gets hurricanes and so forth.

    @TM: You sure have a wide variety of blogs you keep up with. Thx for sharing this one.

    @Ross: Bridge has a variable that chess doesn't, a partner. Neverthelss, it's only a matter of time. I've had fun the last month or so playing with the bots on BBO. They screw up, but so do humans. I'll try and post some more about my "adventures" with them.