For many years now, real-life hands have been my main, or even unique, bridge passion; it began in the early 90s. Collecting hand and play records from bridge tournaments was not easy back then but after 1996 the spread of the Internet was a boon for us Vugraph buffs who are no longer obliged to visit expensive and far away venues in order to watch the great champions live, nor we have to wait long months for the hands to appear in the magazines or in the official book of the tournament. Now we can watch Vugraph live and the thousands of fans who had the luck to watch the 2003 Bermuda Bowl nail-biting final know the feeling.
Fred Gitelman and his Bridge Base Online site have been instrumental for the Vugraph boom; the bridge community is grateful to him. Many matches are transmitted nowadays via BBO, also via other web sites. Attempts that had been made back in 2001 by some websites to monopolize the Vugraph transmission and to keep the data exclusively for paying subscribers seem to have failed. The only snag -but a big one- is that the Vugraph data that are transmitted via BBO are not being automatically logged. The data from the more prestigious tournaments are stored in BBO or in other sites but in the majority of cases the Vugraph data are either lost or scattered in all four corners of the Wide Wild Web.
I intend to collect in these pages Vugraph data from bridge tournaments, especially data not easily or readily available elsewhere. There are already many excellent sites that keep Vugraph data, like Bridge Base, Bridge Plaza, Swiss Bridge Federation or the PBN homepage. I intend to store here mainly what is not kept elsewhere. The data will be stored as .pbn or .lin files, sometimes zipped, or even as html or pdf files. The essential is to conserve the hands, the bidding and the play records -the form is a secondary consideration, although the pbn/lin formats offer evident advantages.
In some cases the data files of earlier deal libraries contain typos or other errors; in this case, I may include the corrected data in my Vugraph project pages, since there is a "value added" element.
I also intend to produce .pbn files from great matches of the distant past, that are currently in book format. Mind you, this is an arduous and time-consuming task, so don't hold your breath. Another project is to convert Vugraph data files from other formats to pbn/lin format (see 1992 below for an example).
HOW CAN YOU HELP? It is quite simple: hundreds of spectators watch every Vugraph transmission in BBO. The data are automatically saved in your hard disk, in the
C:/Bridge Base Online/Hands/[your username] folder. For instance, on April 21 2004, I watched some matches from the Estoril tournament. A .lin file was produced automatically in my C:/Bridge Base Online/Hands/nikos59 folder (nikos59 is my BBO username). Look at your respective folder if you are a BBO user. You may unearth files from 2003 that are missing from here. If you have complete segments, you can mail them to me in
You can also (one is allowed to dream) send me pbn and lin files from elsewhere, for instance from data you input manually yourself!
Note: It had not occurred to me, but I am told that not everyone knows how to view lin or pbn files. There are several viewers and a Google search will no doubt provide links, but you can install the BBO setup program which also functions as a viewer for lin/pbn files. The relevant page is here .
Update, August 2007:
Masakatsu Sugino has a program, PS bridge, that creates PDF documents with hand records where you can also see double-dummy information besides the bidding and play of the hand. These pdf documents can be quite useful when one gets the knack of reading them. He recently introduced a feature where the records of every tournament transmitted by BBO are automatically converted to PDF files, which you can find at this page . Also, as I recently discovered, Sugino has converted to PDFs the Bermuda Bowl matches of earlier years (1955 onwards) that are available at this Vugraph Project site. Here is the page of past championships.
Update, 2013: I am afraid those links are no longer valid.
Update, May 2011: Richard van Haastrecht has created a site where the big bridge tournaments of the past, including a lot from this site, are presented in a visually attractive format. Here is the homepage
In any case, this page will be under permanent construction. For the moment you can find data from events played in...
Here you can see what new stuff was added to the Vugraph pages!
Important note, June 2008:
Several visitors have expressed the wish to be able to download all the Vugraph files of one specific year at one go. So far, I was rather reluctant, fearing that the traffic generated could exceed the limits set by my webhosting provider. It dawned to me, however, that the use of a service like Rapidshare may help to avoid this problem, hence I am posting here rapidshare links to big zipped files containing all the Vugraph files of one year (or of several years).
1955-1992 Vugraph data: http://rapidshare.com/files/121266821/1955-92.zip
1995-2003 Vugraphs: http://rapidshare.com/files/121266822/1995-2003.zip
year 2004: http://rapidshare.com/files/121266824/2004.zip
year 2005: http://rapidshare.com/files/121266826/2005.zip
year 2006: http://rapidshare.com/files/121266827/2006.zip
year 2007: http://rapidshare.com/files/121266828/2007.zip
year 2008: http://rapidshare.com/files/198470905/2008.ZIP
year 2009: http://rapidshare.com/files/356328730/2009.zip
Back to Nikos Sarantakos' bridge pages