This is an impossible book.

Specifically, it is a book which contains all of the possible bridge deals.

Since there are exactly `53,644,737,765,488,792,839,237,440,000`
distinct bridge deals, and the Impossible Bridge Book contains
all of them, one per page, an actual printed copy of this book would
stretch from one side of the galaxy to the other.

Still, through the miracle of complex compression algorithms, I have a copy of this book. And I can give you access to any pages you'd like to see.

Okay, it's not really a book. The Impossible Bridge Book is a program which translates "page numbers" from 1 to 53,644,737,765,488,792,839,237,440,000 to unique bridge deals.

In fact, there are two books - one is the *Andrews Edition*, the other
is the *Pavlicek Edition.* They use quite different
algorithms. You can also view the "scrambled" editions of these
books, which lets you see "normal-looking" hands for small values.

There are 10,400,600 deals where north has 13 spades and east has 13 hearts. That sounds like a lot, but when we consider that number is 0.00000000000000000002 % of all possible deals, it makes more sense. There are 84,478,098,072,866,400 deals where north has 13 spades. In both editions, the deals where north has 13 spades are all at the front of the book - they are, precisely, the deals on pages 1 to 84,478,098,072,866,400.

The "scrambled" options for these books is just a way to give you version(s)
that have normal-looking hands for small values. This is a simple
linear transformation applied to the list - it is *not* a randomnized
permutation.

Places to go:

- An Ajax Implementation of the book.
- Response to Questor's comment on Bridge Club Live!
- Download the
*new*perl source code. - Examine the deals corresponding to the powers of ten in the Andrews Edition, or in the Pavlicek Edition. This is a pretty good way to understand the magnitide of the book.
- Read a description of the encoding and decoding algorithms for the Andrews Edition.
- Richard Pavlicek came up with the algorithm used in the Pavlicek Edition. You can read his description of the algorithm. I've implemented this algorithm in both Perl and Java.
- You can download the Java implementation, which includes source and compiled files. Just code to do the encoding and decoding, no formatting. Includes an implementation of the Pavlicek algorithm, as well. I have Javadoc documentation for the classes.
- Ftp the original zipped C++ source code. Requires g++ Integer libraries.
- Return to Thomas's Bridge Fantasia.

Copyright 1996-2005. Thomas Andrews (thomas@thomasoandrews.com) . |