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Deep Finesse Team

Double Dummy Dynamite

by Paul Linxwiler

Bill Bailey has created a deal analyzer that will solve any double-dummy problem. Period. At least, that's what the promotional material says. So, I decided to try it and see how well it performs. The verdict? It's every bit as good as the author claims.

The product, Deep Finesse, is a clever piece of software that can be downloaded free from the Internet at www.deepfinesse.com. The free version contains several demonstration deals that allow you to see how the software works. If you like it, and want to be able to enter your own problem deals for it to solve, you can purchase the whole package for $39.95 via a secured credit card line.

The interactive, enter-your-own-deal feature of this software is amazing. It will tackle the most complex problems in a matter of seconds. Simply type in the appropriate cards for each of the four hands, punch in whatever the contract is (and who's declaring) and it starts thinking.

If a particular lead allows the contract to make, it's labeled with an "L" for "losing play." While Deep Finesse is thinking about the opening lead, all of the leader's cards are marked with a question mark until it works out whether each card is a winner or loser. Within a matter of seconds, the question marks are replaced with Ws or Ls.

I tested Deep Finesse with the most obnoxious double-dummy problems I could get my hands on. I fed it some of Pietro Bernasconi's wicked constructions from the world championship par contests, and I dug up a copy of Adventures in Card Play by Geza Ottlick and Hugh Kelsey and found deals with dizzying lines of play. Deep Finessse seemed unperturbed by my efforts, however, as it mechanically ground out the answers to each problem.  If a deal contained several lines of play, I explored all of them, following Deep Finesse's cues of Ws and Ls. It never went astray. Admittedly, Deep Finesse is looking at all four hands, but the speed and seeming perfection of its play are outstanding.

  Copyright © William Bailey, 1999. All rights reserved.