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2027 Laws - An Open Invitation WBF Laws Committee Invitation for Suggestions/Contributions

#21 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 14:39

Mycroft notes:

> for instance, if they insisted in the Laws that online bridge implementations must be able to deal all possible hands,
> what can they do when BBO says "our dealer isn't perfect, but it's worked for 20 years; we're not changing it"?)

Part of the reason why I chose to bring up examples such as

1. The Laws governing the F2F contain regulations around dealing
2. Whether or not the Laws governing the electronic version of the game should cover the PRNG and the algorithms for assigning hands is to (try) and get out ahead of these sorts of issues.

was to try and get out ahead of some of these issues.

Hans van Tavern created an excellent system for

1. Demonstrating the the seed being used to generate hands for a tournament is generated in appropriately. (By which I mean that tournament sponsors can't go fishing for seeds)

2. Wrapping a hand generator around this that is capable of generating any possible bridge hand

3. Is cryptographically secure (at least for the moment)

The WBF is supposedly standardizing on this for hand generation for the F2F game.
There aren't many good excuses for not adopting for electronic playing environments.

I will note that many of many proposals do target the more sophisticated end of the spectrum....
Alderaan delenda est
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#22 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 16:34

View Postpescetom, on 2022-June-04, 12:35, said:


The law as stated makes sense and this intrepretation violates the spirit of the laws (it is declarer who decides, dummy is merely his passive agent).



The law as stated does not make sense.

The referenced ACBL view does not comport with the language- as indeed such card may well be officially played after it is moved, the language makes it officially played well before that moment.
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#23 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 16:50

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-June-04, 14:39, said:

Mycroft notes:

> for instance, if they insisted in the Laws that online bridge implementations must be able to deal all possible hands,
> what can they do when BBO says "our dealer isn't perfect, but it's worked for 20 years; we're not changing it"?)

Part of the reason why I chose to bring up examples such as

1. The Laws governing the F2F contain regulations around dealing
2. Whether or not the Laws governing the electronic version of the game should cover the PRNG and the algorithms for assigning hands is to (try) and get out ahead of these sorts of issues.

was to try and get out ahead of some of these issues.

Hans van Tavern created an excellent system for

1. Demonstrating the the seed being used to generate hands for a tournament is generated in appropriately. (By which I mean that tournament sponsors can't go fishing for seeds)

2. Wrapping a hand generator around this that is capable of generating any possible bridge hand

3. Is cryptographically secure (at least for the moment)

The WBF is supposedly standardizing on this for hand generation for the F2F game.
There aren't many good excuses for not adopting for electronic playing environments.

I will note that many of many proposals do target the more sophisticated end of the spectrum.... on


I have some 50 years experience with computers, including writing my own, and testing routines for computerized card dealing.
During this time I have come across several card dealing programs where the randomness was indeed unsatisfactory in some, or even many ways.

When BIGDEAL was announced I took the liberty to verify also this program.

All my tests were successful.
However I discovered some disturbing risk for a C+ library failure which (at least in theory) could compromize the program with internal addressing exception or even undetcted failure.
This risk was associated with the need to handle integer numbers within the full range [0 - 53644737765488792839237440000] (the number of possible different deals).

So I 'translated' BIGDEAL to Delphi where I have my own library routines able to handle integers of essentially unlimited size without any risk of overflow or other failure.

My tests confirmed that the outcome from both versions (started with identical parameters) were identical, but I was not able to eliminate the risk for malfunction in the C+ library.

I understand that WBF require all deals for tournaments under their responsibility to be created using BIGDEAL, and I fully sustain this decision.
It is in my opinion immaterial whether the deals are to be used in F2F bridge or any version of computerized bridge.
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#24 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 17:32

I absolutely agree with you, Hrothgar; but what if they say "we don't see a reason to" anyway? What is the WBF going to do? What is the ACBL going to do? What is the WBF going to do to the ACBL if the ACBL continues to violate the Laws in their online games?

I know we frequently talk about "notbridge" and how many ideas that have been generated lead to "notbridge", a potentially very interesting game, but not bridge. But what can the WBF do if someone creates - or has a massive current userbase for - a program that is "notbridge" according to the Laws, especially if it's in a way that literally zero people except SBs and probability nerds care about? I assume that NBOs that currently run games on BBO are not exceptions to the "literally zero people", especially if there are contracts or a large cost to migration to a Lawful platform for reasons, again, zero of their players care about?

I would like to get ahead of the game on this as well; I am not sure that we are already past that time.

I am not trying to say "don't bother, we're all [-]ed". I am saying "we all know what happens when people make laws they know they can not enforce." (unfortunately, from making several regulations that they know will not be followed, and therefore choose not to enforce them).
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#25 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 18:30

"Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card. At this point, the card is played. Dummy, as Declarer's agent, then removes the card from dummy's remaining cards, and faces it on the table. In playing from dummy's hand, declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself. No other player shall touch dummy's cards."
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As for tv, screw it. You aren't missing anything. -- Ken Berg
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
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#26 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2022-June-05, 01:26

View Postpran, on 2022-June-04, 16:50, said:

When BIGDEAL was announced I took the liberty to verify also this program.

All my tests were successful.
However I discovered some disturbing risk for a C+ library failure which (at least in theory) could compromize the program with internal addressing exception or even undetcted failure.
This risk was associated with the need to handle integer numbers within the full range [0 - 53644737765488792839237440000] (the number of possible different deals).

So I 'translated' BIGDEAL to Delphi where I have my own library routines able to handle integers of essentially unlimited size without any risk of overflow or other failure.

My tests confirmed that the outcome from both versions (started with identical parameters) were identical, but I was not able to eliminate the risk for malfunction in the C+ library.

Did you contact Hans van Staveren, who developed the program, over this? He can be reached at sater@xs4all.nl.
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#27 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-05, 02:04

View Postsanst, on 2022-June-05, 01:26, said:

Did you contact Hans van Stavere, who developed the program, over this? He can be reached at sater@xs4all.nl.

Frankly: I just do not remember.
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#28 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-June-05, 07:17

View Postmycroft, on 2022-June-04, 17:32, said:

I absolutely agree with you, Hrothgar; but what if they say "we don't see a reason to" anyway? What is the WBF going to do? What is the ACBL going to do? What is the WBF going to do to the ACBL if the ACBL continues to violate the Laws in their online games?


So, none of what I am going to describe here has anything to do with Laws, but it does involve the sorts of activities that the group responsible for writing the Laws should also be doing...

Neither the the ACBL, the WBF, or bridge players benefit from living in a world where individual platform providers are able to operate as monopolies / enjoy a dominant position in the field.

The single most important thing that the ACBL and the WBF can do to stop this from happening is to attempt to promote common standards for electronic playing environments. I know how / where I would go and slice things up.

1. Define a set of services that a bride platform must provide. These might include dealing / playing hands, scheduling tournaments, exchanging convention cards, E-commerce, displaying events, matching partners, ...
2. Define a standard API that clients (the applications that players use to play hands) use to communicate with the server
3. Definite a second set of API's for Vugraphs (both for streaming the content and subscribing to streams
4. Define a set of standards around storage (how are hands represented, how are access privileges controlled)
5. Last, define a set of standards around processing hand records (detecting cheating and the like)

The ACBL and the WBF have market power of their own.

Once you go and create a more competitive land scape, you can start to exercise this.

The ACBL can refuse to run events that sell master points that aren't using a standards based approach
The WBF can refuse to broadcast Vugraph using platforms that aren't using a standards based approach

Governments all over the world use these precise same set of methods to make purchasing decisions...

Its not rocket science
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#29 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-June-05, 11:05

That I definitely agree with. It's just that it's not in the Laws Commission's purview - although as you say, the people in there are the ones that can start movement on this. So, well, using the one hole in the wall of silence we are given to try to push them to do that is a glittering jewel. And it might even work! And if it does, great!

But my guess is that what I expect to have happen here is more likely than what you expect. And that's unfortunate.

Unfortunately, you and me being in the 5th age percentile of bridge players means that this is very hard to make clear to people. Even Boye Brogeland-level people. Even Brian Platnick-level people.

As far as "governments can", governments also have a lot more purchasing power (and lawsuit power) than the WBF or the ACBL. Witness what has happened when the championships have gone to China. Or to the US, with the fights with the CBP*.

I think this is necessary. I hope we can get some traction on some of this. I'd love to have some sort of IETF subcommittee/WBF submission of RFC for bridge APIs. I would love to see an online subcommittee of the BoD or of the WBF that will suggest, implement and make recommendations for the kinds of "follow instructions or else" things you are suggesting. I expect, given the way the 'net works, creation of those standards will have to be made by a committee at least half of whom are members of the industry, with all that entails. Frankly, otherwise we're going to get ObXKCD or the equivalent "this standard is unworkable in practise, so we'll make it work" (in 14 competing ways). The third game, the Microsoft 3E method, I don't expect because frankly there isn't a microsoft-sized player in the game (unless BillG gets himself on the standards committee of course).

I love what you're thinking. I don't think it belongs here. I am worried that trying to push a square peg through a round hole will actually discourage people from contemplating this. I hope I'm wrong. Sorry.

* Not that, frankly, the CBP is wrong. I'm almost certain that, given the casual method professional bridge ran under at the time (and probably still runs under), there were a huge number of people at the NABCs and the World Championships who were "working illegally in the US". Of course, the US's interesting definitions of "working" are likely to be misunderstood by, say, bridge24.pl 's contract people, and it is possible that it would be impossible to not be. Frankly, of the three times I have had any trouble whatever crossing the U.S. border, two of them were for bridge, because money (and I wasn't making any).
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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