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Subject: LoopTrax online PBEM tournament starting 1 November 2016 rss

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Russ Williams
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LoopTrax is a Trax variant in which you can win only by making a loop, not by making a line from one side to the other.

A LoopTrax tournament will be starting on PBMServ on 1 November. It will be run via http://gamerz.net (i.e. you send an email with your command and get an email when it's your turn again). (And you can see a graphic image of the game state via traxgame.com)

Signup at http://www.traxgame.com/games_tournament.php?looptrax

PS: Currently gamerz.net and traxgame.com are down for me and for http://isup.me too, but I visited traxgame.com a couple days ago and signed up without problem (I saw about 7 people signed up, if I recall), so hopefully it is only a temporary glitch.
 
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Fritz Juhnke
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Interesting. I hadn't heard about this variant before. What is the motivation in taking away a winning criterion? Does the game seem more "pure" that way? Is there any concern that Trax could be a theoretical infinite draw if only loops win?
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Russ Williams
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I know nothing more about LoopTrax than that it is a variant with only loops as winning condition. I've never even played the variant before and hadn't heard of it before seeing this tournament announcement. But it seems worth trying out.

Donald Bailey announced the tournament, so I take that as a recommendation that at least it's not too drawish a variant.
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Fritz Juhnke
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Drawishness is, in my experience, extremely difficult to predict, but in this case Don Bailey's opinion ought to carry a lot of weight.
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Russ Williams
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russ wrote:
PS: Currently gamerz.net and traxgame.com are down for me


On that subject:

The pbmserv-users mailing list just got this message from Richard Rognlie:
Quote:
My apologies for this, but...

apparently someone is doing some sort of spider search of all of pbmserv's
archives games and it is having a bad impact on the gamerz.net web server.

I've narrowed the culprit to something called euroweb.ro, but not much past
that.

If you are the individual doing this, please stop. Contact me directly.
The mechanism you're using is very ill behaved. downright rude.
 
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Ken B
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The variant arose from the observation that once a Trax game ("SuperTrax", that is, i.e. not limited to 8x8) crosses a certain threshold, line threats are fairly rare and the loop winning condition is sufficient to bring the game to a close. Removing the line win condition is essentially a shortcut to getting games to this point.

Personally I prefer standard Trax rules and the need to balance loop and line threats, but looptrax doesn't seem any more drawish than standard trax -- with good players, after 50 moves or so it becomes increasingly difficult to keep your position free of a forced win for the other color, and mostly you just hope that you can spot a win before your opponent does.
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