REVIEWS of BRidgeBRowser

Larry Cohen in The Bridge World May 2002:

Major recent advances in bridge software have been in three areas: online bridge, generators/analyzers, and machines that play. Now, a new genre has been introduced: collation/analysis of human-played deals. Stephen Pickettís Bridge Browser has created a stir in the computer bridge industry.

The possibilities for analysis are mind-boggling. For example, if you retrieve only deals in which you participated, you can see how your weak two-bids (or whatever) have been working out. Maybe youíll find that you are losing on average with a particular tactic, which might influence you to consider a change.

My favorite experiment to date: With eight trumps for each side, how do various competitive decisions fare? Yes, the quality of play is random, but might this not be a more realistic context than double-dummy play? (By confining searches to tables of players with better ratings, you can eliminate much of the randomness.)

The good news is that itís easy to get the program running in a matter of minutes. Basic search functions can be performed without reading any documentation.

Tim Bourke in ACBL Bulletin July 2002 under the title "Wowser browser":

REC Software's BRidgebrowser, an analyzing tool for OKbridge data, has a "Wow" factor. It allows a user to perform just about every imaginable analysis on a set of hands played on OKbridge.

REC Software provides large chunks of data, usually in yearly bites, on compact disk. This allows meaningful statistical analyses of all types of age-old bridge questions such as - 

- Should you take out a INT opening to two of a major on a weak suit? (Yes).
- What is the best use for a 2D opening? (weak)
- What is the worst contract? (2NT)

But wait (as the oldTV ads said), there is more! You can extract your own data by almost any critena you please - opening, response, overcall or final contract - and compare your results  with that of the field. It enables you to analyze at leisure where you won and lost IMPS over tlme, something that is sure to irnprove your game.

 All of this is done with an incredibly user-friendly interface backed up by wonderful help files, especially Carl Hudecek's tutorial, making it easy to get started - the hardest thing with most computer products.


User comments on BRidgeBRowser:

Carl Hudecek, Bridge World Panelist:

"I regard BRidgeBRowser and with a mega-hand data base as the greatest advance in bridge analysis tools in my lifetime. 

This program is the greatest tool to study and research bridge that I have ever seen, or even IMAGINED. It is like a DREAM COME TRUE."

Robert Nordgren, long-time subscriber to OKBridge (Robert6):
"probably the best NEW feature in the game since sliced bread"

Jim Fox (Mmbridge):

"..there are things you can do with his product that are impossible to do with on-line which may cause a significant number of people to spend less time on on-line bridge. 

What I do mean is applications which facilitate serious, competitive bridge players being able to more effectively practice their skills individually and in face-to-face home bridge games." 

"What one needs to understand is that BRidgeBRowser is a *duplicate bridge* and a *bridge analysis* application, not simply an *on-line bridge* application. In a certain sense, it will address (bridge) issues that are *larger* than those addressed by OKbridge".

Fred Gitelman, Canadian bridge player and software author:

The following appeared in Fred's Deal Of The Week #238

"A new computer program is now available that we think will be of interest to OKBridge players as well as serious students of the game. The name of this program is BRidgeBRowser (BRBR for short) and it was developed by Stephen Pickett, a very experienced programmer and online bridge player from Vancouver, Canada.

BRidgeBRowser is a Windows program that acts as a searchable database of bridge deals. This program is capable of managing a database of over 18,000,000 deal records that were played on OKBridge over the past 3 years (representing over 250,000 deals that were each played between 50 and 100 times). To the best of our knowledge, this is by far the biggest database ever assembled of duplicate bridge play records.

The most impressive feature of BRBR is how quickly and easily this program allows the user to search this mass of data using various criteria. Searches can be performed according to which players were involved, the contract, vulnerability, high card points, final result, and any combination of these (and several other) factors. A few seconds after such a query is made, BRBR starts to list the records from its database that match the conditions that the user specificied. The user can then examine the matching deal records in detail and/or export them to various file formats (including text and .pbn) for later study. Once the user has defined a subset of the records in the database BRBR is extremely fast when it comes to searching through that subset (obviously it takes longer to search through an entire 18,000,000 record database).

Regulars on OKBridge can use BRBR to track their own results and the effect that these results have on their Lehman ratings. They can also use BRBR to see how other players (including the many world class players who use OKBridge) handled the same deals. Bridge players who are interested in analysis will find BRBR's  powerful search facilities to be useful in determining which bridge strategies and bidding agreements are effective in real life play.

BRBR is a very complex program with many functions, but its user interface is well designed and intuitive to use. The program comes with extensive and well written help files. The only warning we have about this program is that storing the records of millions of bridge deals can take up a lot of hard disk space. Given the usefulness of the information in the BRBR database, we think that many bridge players will find that these are megabytes well spent."

The following appeared on Kathy O'Connell's web page

Thanks for the high praise, Kathy.


Ever wish you could remember that one hand you played "last year some time" where you bid a grand and made it, but can't quite remember the details? This software can find it for you!

Ever wish to know how you've done overall with various partners? In a few minutes and a few keystrokes you can have access to a complete report, along with EVERY hand played!

Once you've found it you can even create a text file and utilize a "comment" feature to send it to your partner with your comments!

You'll be able to generate reports of partners, opponents, to research various parameters of types of hands over time, and just about anything else you might like to with this user-friendly and complete sofrware package!

In a few minutes you can have access to every tournament you ever played, and have a recap, along with DUPLICATIONS of the hands (to see how everyone else did on the same deal).

There is virtually nothing I can think of that you cannot research about hands you've played using this software. You can even do searches by week, to see how many boards you've played with various partners, or all together, etc.

If you REALLY are serious about improving your game, this is undoubtedly the single most beneficial way to access all the information you could possibly want!

You may choose to look at all slam hands, or grand slam hands, or leads to certain contracts, or even to view the relative strength of opponents, etc. If you can think of something you might like to learn, you can find a way to learn it using BridgeBrowser!

How'd you do when you faced Benito Garozzo that time back in 1997? Don't remember? BRidgeBRowser can not only TELL you, but it can reproduce every one of those hands in an instant!"

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