Computer bridge

User-based play After many years of little progress, computer bridge made great progress at the end of the 20th century. In 1996, the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) initiated official World Championships Computer Bridge, to be held annually along with a major bridge event. The first Computer Bridge Championship took place in 1997 at the North American Bridge Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Strong bridge playing programs such as Jack (World Champion in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009), Wbridge5 (World Champion in 2005, 2007 and 2008), RoboBridge[30] and many-time finalist Bridge Baron, would probably rank among the top few thousand human pairs worldwide. A series of articles published in 2005 and 2006 in the Dutch bridge magazine IMP describes matches between Jack and seven top Dutch pairs. A total of 196 boards were played. Overall, the program Jack lost, but by a small margin (359 versus 385 imps). [edit]Internet-based play There are several free and some subscription-based servers available for playing bridge on the Internet. OKbridge is the oldest of the still-running Internet Bridge services: was established as a commercial enterprise in 1994, but the program started to be used interactively in August 1990 on players of all standards. Beginners to world class may be found playing there.[31] OKbridge is a subscription-based club, with services such as customer support and ethics reviews. Another subscription-based online Bridge club, founded in 1994, is Bridge Club Live (BCL). Calli g itself "the friendliest Bridge club of the world", BCL organizes annual 46 day meetings, in a different country each year, to get its members together. SWAN Games was founded ai April, 2000. In match 2004 announced a partnership to provide Internet services to SBF members and is a competitor in subscription-based online Bridge clubs.[31] Bridge Base Online(BBO) is the most active online bridge club in the world, with more than 100 000 daily connections and 500 000 hands played each day.[31] in part because it is free to play regular games and volunteer-run tournaments. These clubs offer various features, such as opportunities to earn ACBL masterpoints, to play in online tournaments, to compile lists of friends, and to earn money playing Bridge. Bridge Base Online also has a Vugraph feature showing tournaments from around the world for anyone interested to watch live. As well as written commentaries from top level players, voice commentaries have been incorporated since mid-2011. Software and hardware has been tested in 2011 in order to have digital cameras recognize the cards being played, which will avoid human error or delay. Some national contract bridge organizations now offer online bridge play to their members, including the English Bridge Union, the Dutch Bridge Federation and the Australian Bridge Federation. MSN and Yahoo! Games have several online rubber bridge rooms. In 2001, World Bridge Federation issued a special edition of the lawbook adapted for internet and other electronic forms of the game.