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Arimaa >> Site Discussion >> Correspondence Bots?
(Message started by: dem on May 8th, 2014, 3:56pm)

Title: Correspondence Bots?
Post by dem on May 8th, 2014, 3:56pm
Hi everyone! I'm new to the site and the game for that matter, and I'm really excited to explore it. Can anyone tell me if there's a way to play the bots at correspondence speed? I'm a busy person, what can I say? Thanks!

Title: Re: Correspondence Bots?
Post by Fritzlein on May 8th, 2014, 10:30pm
The server bots are not set up for a correspondence time control.  Sorry about that!  A few months ago, inspired by a similar request from a new player here (;action=display;num=1385419014), I set up a weak bot to play correspondence games.  I think it was relatively successful: in addition to lots of strong players beating the snot out of it, a few less-experienced players also got in some more even games.

Unfortunately, the electricity expense of using my home computer as a bot server is prohibitive.  My monthly utility bill jumped noticeably while I was running this bot, by more than I'm willing to make as a monthly donation to  That also reminded me that Omar's annual server hosting fee is not trivial.

Anyway, I'm afraid your best option is to find another human for a correspondence opponent.  You can do this either by starting a game in the game room and waiting for someone to sit down, or by turning on the autopostal feature.  I hope this helps!

Title: Re: Correspondence Bots?
Post by cvic on May 9th, 2014, 8:28pm
What does one need to host a bot for correspondence games?

(except for a server that runs 24/7, I have plenty of those)

Title: Re: Correspondence Bots?
Post by Fritzlein on May 10th, 2014, 9:59am
You need an engine that spits out a move whenever you feed it a position, and you need a script to interface with the gameroom.  There are several free engines (versions of Occam, OpFor, Faerie, Clueless, and Hippo) available on the download page (  Janzert and harvestsnow helped me configure the interface.

If you are willing to dedicate a server to hosting a free bot (or free bots), I suggest you fill a slightly different niche than I tried to fill.  I had bot_Arimaanator think for about 100 minutes per move in each of its games.  That was a waste because actually both dem and paperflowergirl were requesting something different.  They didn't care that the bot moved at correspondence speed, they just want a slow time control for themselves.  So I recommend you have the bot offer games at the one-day-per-move time control, but only actually use two minutes per move.  You could call it bot_OccamCCP or something to indicate the asymmetrical time usage.

The great thing about having the bots you host think only two minutes per move at postal time controls is that you could offer an essentially unlimited number of games.  Even if hundreds of opponents joined the games you offered, you could round-robin between them and never time out.

I'm thrilled that you are considering offering your server as a community service.  Let me know if I can offer any more of Janzert and harvestsnow's assistance in getting you up and running. ;-)

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