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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2012-02-13
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Inventor: Omar  Syed and Aamir  Syed. Arimaa. Board game playable with standard chess set, hard for computers. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2016-09-20 UTCGood ★★★★

Like Bombalot, Arimaa is a variant that's very unlike chess, in that there are no matable kings, but it can make use of standard chess equipment. Arimaa might have spread over-the-board better were it not for the licensing requirements for e.g. literature or running tournaments. It's perhaps too bad world championship level human Arimaa players finally lost in a challenge series vs. a bot (engine) in 2015.


George Duke wrote on 2014-02-08 UTCPoor ★
Draw-less Arimaa unacceptably represents that our beloved OrthoChess on the same 64 is unsalvageable.  Arimaa foregoes Chessic moves except lone Wazir one-step.  Arimaa six piece-types are really one piece-type, since they all move that same Wazir-like one step at a time cardinally.  Well, 1.5 p-ts since Rabbit cannot step backwards (no nibbling).  Call 21st-century 
Arimaa the recidivist Game of Wazirs, http://www.chessvariants.org/piececlopedia.dir/wazir.html (befitting certain times?).

It would understandably appeal to small minority of programmers themselves for its strict queued prioritization, Elephant > Camel > Horse > Dog > Cat > Rabbit, to keep track of.   Which pieces so childlike 
Beast-named seem to speak comfortably for the entire 20 million  threatened species outdoors in the real world.

From design standpoint, actually drab as it is, there would be umpteen subvariants of Arimaa, as many as one likes, 1000, 10^4 you name it.  There is nothing compelling about the particular Rules for freezing (immobilizing), pushing or pulling, or serial p/p.  There is nothing sacrosanct about where the four Traps are placed, their variability in number and location making thousands of A-subGames.  Here's a mere one subvariant: Mortal Arimaa lets captured pieces entering or in Traps be held for later drop.  Here's another: Rabbit Roadkill Arimaa requires Rabbit forward one-step to dis-lodge any Elephant only there.  That specialized move, whether 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th in a turn, is to be called Hare-Alfing and is always a Push, but any number of squares not just one along legal available orthogonal.

Arimaa so many Rules is inelegant.  There are 8 or 9 Mutators overlaid; any awkward designer can similarly arbitrarily complexify in mediocrity; that enlarges the game tree surely in giant uglification.  Try programming in a month the hugest war-game, http://www.chessvariants.org/index/msdisplay.php?itemid=MSwaroftheroses , and then try playing it skillfully.  Or Arimaa is like a different Lewis Carroll syllogism,   http://www.math.hawaii.edu/~hile/math100/logice.htm, every turn just to define which moves are legal per go.  Or series of tongue-twisters: He Smells She Tells Sally Sells Sea-Shells.

George Duke wrote on 2014-02-04 UTCPoor ★
Poor insofar as it is a CV.  Well-promoted with award announced for successful AI program, Arimaa has no displacement capture as such, and everything is along orthogonals, no diagonals.  It's a shame Arimaa is habitually being mentioned in the same breath as great oriental classic Go as hard for computers. (Games Magazine and the rest must be influenced by the "Beasts" for the piece-types) Arimaa has unaesthetcially too many win conditions available; it would be more tolerable on larger boards, for example the way Maxima has three possible win conditions.  There are far better race games those brilliant by Parton and Betza -- isolating the happenstantial Arimaa win route to get Rabbit to rank 8. Further, non-intuitive Arimaa (invented just before 2004)  won't improve natural Chessic thinking for design or for play.


Think of the whole business as a sort of pico-Rithmomachia phase http://www.chessvariants.org/misc.dir/rithmomachia.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rithmomachy. And well-conceived historic Rithmomachy actually has many a worthwhile variation to speculate and test, unlike the above listless distraction of gargantuan game tree.

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