Notation for Recording Arimaa Games
- The first player to move has the gold colored pieces. The second player to move has the silver colored pieces.
- The pieces are indicated using upper or lower case letters to specify the piece color and piece type. Upper case letters are used for the gold pieces and lower case letters are used for the silver pieces. For example, E means gold Elephant and h means silver Horse. The types of pieces are: Elephant, Camel, Horse, Dog, Cat and Rabbit. The first letter of each is used in the notation, except in the case of Camel the letter m (for silver) or M (for gold) is used.
- Each square on the board is indicated by the column and row. The lower case letters a to h are used to indicate the column and the numbers 1 to 8 are used to indicate the rows. The square a1 must be at the bottom left corner of the board for gold.
- Each players move is recorded on a separate line. The line starts with the move number followed by the color of the side making the move. For example 3g means move 3 for gold; this would be followed by 3s which is move 3 for silver.
- The initial placement of the pieces is recorded by indicating the piece and the square on which it is placed. For example Da2 means the gold Dog is placed on square a2.
- The movement of the pieces is recorded by indicating the piece, the square from which it moves followed by the direction in which it moved. The directions are north, south, east and west with respect to the gold player. For example, Ea3n means the gold elephant on a3 moves north (to square a4). The notation hd7s means that the silver horse on square d7 moves south (to square d6).
- Steps which are skipped are left blank. See move 3w in the example below where only three steps are taken and the last step is skipped.
- When a piece is trapped and removed from the board it is recorded by using an x to indicate removal. For example cf3x means the silver Cat on square f3 is removed. When a piece is trapped as a result of a push, the removal is recorded before the step to complete the push. For example: rb3e rc3x Hb2n.
- When a player resigns the word 'resigns' is placed for the players move. If a player loses because the opponents weakest piece has reached their first row then the word 'lost' is placed for the players move.
- If a move is taken back the word 'takeback' is placed for the move and the move count of the next move is that of the previous move.
The following example shows the Arimaa notation used to record the moves of a game.1g Ra2 Rb2 Mc2 Dd2 ... 1s ra7 rb7 rc7 rd7 ... 2g Ra2n Ra3e Rb3n Rb4e 2s ra7s ra6s ra5e rb5e 3g Dd2n Dd3n Mc2e Rc4s Rc3x 3s rc7s rc5e rc6x rd5e re5s 4g takeback 3s takeback 3g Rb2n Rb3n Rb4n 3s ... ... 16s resigns
- The following 7 tags can be used prior to the recording of the moves. These are Event, Site, Date, Round, Gold, Silver and Result. The format is simply the tag name followed by a : and space character followed by the tag value. A blank line separates the tags from the move list. All tags are optional.
- Here is a sample recording of a game:
Event: Casual Game Site: Cleveland, OH USA Date: 1999.01.15 Round: ? White: Aamir Syed Black: Omar Syed Result: 1-0 1g ... 1s ... 2g ... 2s ... ... 16s resigns
- A tag which requires multiple lines should have the string -=+=- after the tag name. All lines until a line that begins with this same string are considered to be the value of the tag. For example:Chat: -=+=- 2s White: hi, how are u 2s Black: fine, thanks -=+=-
The 2s just indicates that this chat was done when it was move 2s (silvers second move).
Notation for Recording Arimaa Positions
- The gold color pieces are shown in upper case letters and silver color pieces are shown in lower case letters.
- The assignment of letters is the first letter of the piece name, except in the case of the Camel the letter m or M is used.
- The position file should simply be laid out as the board would appear with square a1 at the bottom left corner.
- The rows and columns of the board must be labeled and the board must be framed with - and | characters.
- Spaces are used to indicate empty squares.
- X or x can be used to mark the trap squares when a piece is not on it. But marking the trap squares is optional and not required.
- Here is a sample position file:7g Da1n Cc1n +-----------------+ 8| r r r r | 7| m h e c | 6| r x r r x r | 5| h d c d | 4| E H M | 3| R x R R H R | 2| D C C D | 1| R R R R | +-----------------+ a b c d e f g h
- The first line of the file indicates the turn number and which players turn it is to move.
- By default it is assumed that no steps have been taken and the player has 4 steps left. If any steps have already been taken to reach the position shown they are listed on the first line of the file using the notation for recording Arimaa games described earlier.
Alternatives For Gold and Silver
Prior to 2008.08.01 this specification specified using white and black instead of gold and silver for the colors. Thus the move numbers used the letter w and b instead of g and s. Also the tags were White and Black instead of Gold and Silver. To support older systems newer software should accept both ways of specifying the colors. Meanwhile older software should be converted to accept both ways of specifying the colors.
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