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Invented in 2003 by Omar Syed, Arimaa was invented as a chess variant to be difficult for computers to learn, but easy for humans.


Played on an 8x8 board with "trap" squares at C6, F6, C3 and F3. Each player has 16 pieces, in order from strongest to weakest: Elephant (1) Camel (1) Horse (2) Dog (2) Cat(2) Rabbit (8) Each player places their pieces in any configuration on their side of the board. Pieces can move one space orthogonally, except rabbits cannot move backward. The goal is for one of a player's rabbits to reach the opposing player's edge of the board. Players can capture an opponent's pieces by pulling or pushing them into one of the trap squares as long as there is no piece friendly to the piece being pulled or pushed adjacent to the trap square. Pieces can only push and pull adjacent opponent's pieces of a lower rank than the piece making the move. Pushing and pulling cannot happen simultaneously. Pieces can be frozen, or prevented from moving, when they are adjacent to an opposing stronger piece.

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lkjh Maastricht University
Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE)
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands
This project is funded by a 2m euro
ERC Consolidator Grant from the
European Research Council