>From the Quora
This is interesting because I think it shows the weakness of the
one-dimensional view of intelligence as computation. Whether a program can
be designed to win or not is beside the point, as it is the difference
between this game and chess which hints at the differences between
bottom-up mechanism and top-down intentionality.
In Arimaa, the rules invite personal preference as a spontaneous initiative
from the start - thus it does not make the reductionist assumption of
intelligence as a statistical extraction or 'best choice'. Game play here
begins intuitively and strategy is more proprietary-private than
generic-public. In addition the interaction of the pieces and inclusion of
the four trap squares suggests a game geography which is rooted more in
space-time sensibilities than in pure arithmetic like chess. I'm not sure
which aspects are the most relevant in the difference between how a
computer performs, but it seems likely to me that the difference is
specifically *not* related to computing "power". To wit:
"There are tens of thousands of possibilities in each turn in Arimaa. The
'brute force approach' to programming Arimaa fails miserably. Any human who
has played a bit of Arimaa can beat a computer hands down."
This to me suggests that Arimaa does a good job of sniffing out the general
area where top-down consciousness differs fundamentally from bottom up
*Arimaa, the strategy game that confounds computers! *
It can be played, not only on an 8x8 chess board, but with the same chess
pieces as well!
The pieces are :
1. 8 Rabbits (Pawns)
2. 1 Elephant (King)
3. 1 Camel (Queen)
4. 2 Horses (Rooks)
5. 2 Dogs (Bishops)
6. 2 Cats (Knights)
It doesn't matter in what way you want the 2 horses/dogs/cats to be
designated by the 2 bishops/knights/rooks.
*What sets apart Arimaa from Chess?*
- There is no draw in Arimaa. Good news for elimination tournaments.
- In Arimaa, a player has 64,864,400 choices for the first turn. Thus
unlike chess, memorizing openings is not gonna help you.
- There are tens of thousands of possibilities in each turn in Arimaa.
The 'brute force approach' to programming Arimaa fails miserably. Any human
who has played a bit of Arimaa can beat a computer hands down.
- It places less emphasis on tactics.
I believe Arimaa is *way* better than chess in terms of abstract
strategical thinking. It needs a higher level of intuition and
understanding, discourages memorization and is simple to learn and play. It
took me some time to play good chess, but it took me a small fraction of
that time to learn and play good Arimaa.
The Arimaa community is offering $10,000 for anyone who can come up with a
program able to beat a top-level human Arimaa player, by 2020 : The Arimaa
This will help us to attain the next pinnacle in Artificial Intelligence
In the starting, both players arrange the pieces in whatever way they
fashion in their first two rows, something like this :
The pieces can move only one square horizontally or vertically. In case of
rabbits, you can only move upwards or sideways. You have four moves to play
in each turn.
In order of their power, the *pieces can either **'push'** or **'pull'**other
pieces of the opponent
*. In addition to this, if a less powerful piece of yours is adjacent to a
more powerful piece of the opponent's, then your piece will be *frozen,
your piece is adjacent to another one of your pieces.*
The order of power is as follows :
*Elephant > Camel > Horse > Dog > Cat > Rabbit*
That is, your camel will be able to push or pull the opponent's
horse/dog/cat/rabbit. You can freeze the horse/dog/cat/rabbit if it doesn't
have any friendly piece adjacent to it.
*Elephants are all-powerful* : they cannot be pushed, pulled or frozen.
See those dark squares in the diagram above? They are *'Trap Squares'*. If
any of your piece lands in here and if there is no adjacent friendly piece
to it, your piece will be 'captured'.
*So, How do you win? *
- Your goal is to get one of your rabbits to the last row(or home rank).
Whoever manages to do this first, wins.
- If you manage to capture all your opponent's rabbits, you win.
- If your opponent has no legal move, you win.
Since one of the above situations is bound to occur, there is *no* *draw*in
Arimaa. This is unlike chess where there is an unusually high
probability of a draw.
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