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   Author  Topic: Tips for promoting Arimaa  (Read 5093 times)
qswanger
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #15 on: Sep 3rd, 2010, 6:28am »
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on Sep 2nd, 2010, 11:24pm, Fritzlein wrote:
Do you have a current mailing address for Kasparov?  I have sent several books out to chess grandmasters / chess promoters such as Susan Polgar and Maxim Dlugy, but so far no response.  Ah, well, I can write it off as a business expense; I didn't publish to make money anyway.

 
Wow, I had no idea that you had already done this. At least I don't recall seeing anything on the forums about it ... (But then again humility might prevent one from announcing such a thing). I think that's awesome. Certainly no one can deny your status as Arimaa's top evangelist.   Cheesy  And sorry, no ... I have no idea how to reach Mr. Kasparov.
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Fritzlein
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #16 on: Sep 3rd, 2010, 9:38am »
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Heh, it's no big deal about sending out a few promotional copies of Beginning Arimaa.  That's what your book purchases are funding!  Smiley
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clojure
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #17 on: Sep 30th, 2010, 2:58pm »
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I have contacted a Finnish board game site's project leader, and he said they can publish a review on Arimaa since I proposed to write it.
 
I intend to play more games before reviewing, this time a bit more seriously. Lately my games have been only fooling around, since the bot ladder offers mostly fast games.
 
The review should be quite compact and have clear subsections with titles so I cannot write a detailed chapters. I think I'm going to shortly introduce rules, of course. Additionally: how the game feels like, how it is suited for long term play, its thin theme but intuitive mechanism.
 
What I'm concerned is that should I mention that its origins are in chess and there is a strong desire for AI progress.  
 
I was confirmed of my belief that it might be bad idea to introduce it as AI-resistant when I told about my Arimaa related programming to a friend. He said that he had ignored the game since his impression (without playing, I think) was that it was meant to be hard for computers, not necessarily fun to play.
 
Another point I'd like to make is the following.
 
Usually game reviews start with history but I wouldn't like to introduce Arimaa as it is in Arimaa.com main site:
 
* Playable with a standard chess set.
* Easy to learn.
* Difficult for computers.
* Fun and interesting for humans.
 
The first item might make people think it's a chess variant. Moreover the top-to-bottom order gives impression that it's more about being difficult for computers but also incidentally fun and interesting for humans. I think it's a mistake to have a label "human" at all.
 
The above mentioned attributes are what Arimaa was designed to be, but rather should it be what Arimaa is that matters?
 
So an alternative would be:
 
* Intuitive rules with fun and dramatic game play
* Provides long term challenge with smooth learning curve (I'm not sure how to say this properly in English)
* Bonus: not a chess variant but playable with chess set
 
I find it also a bit odd that the main site first goes through the reasons why it's hard for computers and after that why it's interesting. This is problematic if we are wanting to get more human players!
 
Thanks for listening. Roll Eyes
 
edit: Of course, if the main purpose is to promote AI researching, the current main site is fine. Sorry for not realizing that.
« Last Edit: Sep 30th, 2010, 5:18pm by clojure » IP Logged
omar
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #18 on: Oct 1st, 2010, 12:46am »
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I agree my ordering of the points is probably not good for an article on a gaming site. Feel free to change the order.
 
In the beginning the front page of the Arimaa site was just this article:
http://arimaa.com/arimaa/introArticle/
 
It was really intended to be of interest to AI researches and bot developers.
« Last Edit: Oct 1st, 2010, 12:49am by omar » IP Logged
Belteshazzar
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #19 on: Jun 12th, 2011, 10:55pm »
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I don't suppose there's been any progress in getting the interest of a chess grandmaster?  It occurred to me that it might be helpful if someone here knew someone who knows a chess gm personally.  I was just asking a relative who is a Mensa member whether he knows any chess grandmasters, and he does not.
 
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Fritzlein
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #20 on: Jun 12th, 2011, 11:39pm »
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on Jun 12th, 2011, 10:55pm, Belteshazzar wrote:
I don't suppose there's been any progress in getting the interest of a chess grandmaster?

Last year I sat next to a chess grandmaster on an airplane flight, and I talked his ear off about Arimaa.  He listened very politely, but I don't think he came to play on arimaa.com after that.  He supports himself by playing chess, so Arimaa can only be a curiosity to him.
 
I sent out several more books to grandmasters besides the ones I mentioned in this thread, but I became discouraged by the complete lack of response.  For me it would indeed be more comfortable to approach someone I knew personally, or even was referred to by a mutual acquaintance.  When I make "cold calls" I not only feel the sting of rejection, I also feel I am being annoying rather than providing a service.
 
I still have high hopes that Arimaa will make a big splash some day.  Some high-profile person will endorse it, which will bring us a flood of new players.  It doesn't even have to be a famous chess player; it could be a movie star or businessman.  I wish I could help on that score, but everyone I know already knows about Arimaa, and none of them are famous.  Cry
 
In the mean time, I love how Arimaa is growing organically, by word of mouth and through many other channels of recommendation.  I love that our retention rate remains high.  We don't just get people in the door; we get them hooked.  I love that we have events like the World Championship and Arimaa World League and the Postal Mixer and (hopefully) Mob vs. Mob game where we not only play each other but transmit strategic knowledge and raise the general level of understanding.  One thing we do to promote Arimaa (although it isn't normally what is called promotion) is to have a community of depth and substance that goes along with the game per se.
 
All that said, however, if you personally know any chess grandmaster, and you are willing to write a cover letter to him, just e-mail that letter to me and I will be delighted send it along with a complimentary copy of Beginning Arimaa to your acquaintance the GM.  
« Last Edit: Jun 12th, 2011, 11:40pm by Fritzlein » IP Logged

Nazgand
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #21 on: Jun 13th, 2011, 12:17am »
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For a free book, I'm a Grandmaster(self-proclaimed). Tongue So long as I don't play chess, who would know the difference?  Wink
In all seriousness, I doubt any Grandmaster would switch games, even if it were solved as completely as tic-tac-toe. Do you know of the Concorde Fallacy?
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jsiehler
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #22 on: Jun 14th, 2011, 3:58pm »
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I think Emanuel Lasker would have been attracted to Arimaa.  And surely there are some Laskers among the current generation.
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Boo
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #23 on: Jul 25th, 2011, 8:53am »
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I cant imagine a Chess grandmaster being interested in arimaa. I ask myself- who is grandmaster? A person, who has put tremendous amount of time and effort to master the game. What for? To get reward. What kind of? Money. Arimaa is zero-money game.  
 
What is arimaa? Just another variant of chess. There are thousands of them. E.g. take a look at http://www.chessvariants.com/Gindex.html
Why should GM choose arimaa, but not something else?
 
Hard for computers? Ok, but there are other variants, that are popular, and also hard for computers (e.g. bughouse).
 
Different starting setups? There is fisher-random variant, that is also slowly gaining its popularity.
 
No draws? Any GM has been in a situation, when a draw guarantees a profit for both. And if one wins, the winner gets the same amount as if he had drawn, and the loser gets much less. (typically the last round swiss tournament situation when 1st and 2nd places are playing between themselves, and draw guarantees they wont drop to 3rd place). Why should they play, if they dont want to? I dont think this feature will be attractive for GMs. Oh well, when the money gets involved, the things get different.
 
Something else?
 
Thus GMs are not interested.
 
« Last Edit: Jul 25th, 2011, 9:05am by Boo » IP Logged

The_Jeh
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Re: Tips for promoting Arimaa
« Reply #24 on: Jul 25th, 2011, 12:53pm »
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There really isn't that much money in chess. There are far easier and more sure ways to make the kind of tournament money an average GM does than putting a ton of time into studying chess. You don't become a GM unless you really love the game.  
 
Bughouse is not a 2-player game, and hence not in the same theoretical category as chess or Arimaa.  
 
In terms of perfect-information, Fischer random chess is not one game, but many, as each separate opening setup corresponds to a different perfect-information game. Arimaa has different opening setups, but it is one game, because the players select the setups.
 
And they would play in the last round even if they don't want to because draw offers are forbidden and there is no means to collusively force a draw. They aren't going to not play just because they don't have the option of drawing in the last round of a Swiss or round-robin.
« Last Edit: Jul 25th, 2011, 1:06pm by The_Jeh » IP Logged
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