What's new in SimiliBridge 3.60
March 10th - 2018
Improvements in the playing level (for full bridge)
- Trying for a trump promotion
Here is a new technique for the defensive card play, well known to bridge players, which consists in trying for a trump promotion. At times, none of the defenders can lay claim to any trump trick, but in some situations, by the magic of ruffing and overruffing, they can see one of their trumps promoted to the rank of sure trick. Several techniques allow to make this kind of unexpected tricks. The only one being implemented so far in the program is called the uppercut. The name of the technique may come from the fact that generally declarer just need to ruff in fourth seat to take the lead and claim the rest of the tricks. Nothing seems to be able to stop him from winning his contract. And yet, all of a sudden, the defender before him ruffs in third seat a trick he didn't even have to ruff since his partner was winning. And bam, the contract goes down! The declarer didn't see it coming. He is knocked out by uppercut!
This technique is enabled by default. So, if you don't know it, you'd better read the help page about the topic. For this technique to work well requires the collaboration of both defenders. Have also a look at an example in the last corrections file (accessible by the Examples menu).
- Delaying drawing trumps
Very often, one should delay drawing trumps or avoid drawing all of them. The program can more or less do it when it analyzes a situation with an urgent ruff or discard. But there still are many situations where it doesn't understand that it should delay drawing trumps. A little improvement has been done on the topic, when the playing engine realizes that what it planned to do after drawing trumps is endangered by a lack of communication. So, it rebuilds its game plan without drawing trumps, and if its problem of communication is solved and there is no real risk of ruff, then it changes its game plan. See a first example in the last corrections file (accessible by the Examples menu) with deals N°4 to 7. But this is only a first approach that will need quite a lot of work to be improved.
- New bids after the forcing 2 opening
Following your requests, I've added several natural suit bids when responding to the near game forcing 2 and the game forcing 2. In addition to the 2 relay, you can now use the 2 and 2 responses that promise some hope for slam with at least 8 HL and at least 5 cards in the suit with two high honors. The 3 and 3 responses are of the same kind, but they promise at least 6 cards with two high honors. I've added an option to allow these new bids, option which is enabled by default since these natural bids are rather easy to use. If you want to disable it, open the rule preferences at the Developments / After 2C-2D page.
Other little improvements
- Two new choices of settings on start-up
With the Grandpa-boom, more and more of you are retiring (I'll soon do the same, yippee!), and many of you are former bridge players. In the 60's and 70's, people would often play cards with the family, or in high school or university, and bridge was already one of the favorite card games (with belote and tarot). So, it's not a surprise to see you 40 or 50 years later, wishing to take up bridge again now that you have more leisure time. So when SimiliBridge starts, there is now a button called Back to bridge - Bridge of the 70's, so that you can at once play again with the conventions of the old days (mainly, the 1NT with 16-18 points, the strong 2 opening, the game forcing 2, and the Classic Blackwood). It's just a default setting that you can change at any time. If later you want to register for a course or play in a club, of course you'll be well advised to learn at your own pace the bridge conventions of nowadays, that after all are very close to what you already know.
I've also added a button for SAYC - Standard American Yellow Card, which is also a system based on the 5-card major, and not very far from the French system. Some conventions are different, like the weak 2 and the 4 Gerber. The latter convention is not yet implemented, but I hope to program it very soon. There will surely be differences that I'll never manage to remove, but network players used to SAYC must be able to set their bidding preferences rather close to the standard conventions.
If you want to test these various settings and help me to improve them, you can do it by the File / Choose the type of bridge menu, or Ctrl+B shortcut key. But before all, don't forget to change the current user (File / Choose user menu, or Ctrl+U shortcut key), because pressing the different buttons will make you lose your personal rule preferences, as these ones will be reset to the default values corresponding to each selected type of bridge. By changing the current user, you protect your preferences and can make your tests without worry.
Thanks to all those who have proposed these enhancements.