El Juego de las Amazonas (The Game of the Amazons)   by Walter Zamkauskas

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The Game of the Amazons (or simply Amazons) is an abstract game of territory for two players, played on a 10x10 board. Each player has four amazons, which move like chess queens : any number of vacant squares in a straight line -- orthogonally or diagonally. After it moves, an amazon must fire an arrow in the same manner from its landing square (one or more vacant squares orthogonally or diagonally). The square where the arrow lands is then marked with a poker chip or other counter to indicate it is blocked (in the computer version blocked squares are colored dark red). No amazon or arrow may move into or through a blocked square. The starting position is shown above left. White moves first, moving one amazon and firing an arrow with that amazon. The players alternate moves, and the player last able to make a move wins.

El Juego de las Amazonas
was invented in 1988 by Walter Zamkauskas of Argentina, and first published (in Spanish) in issue number 4 of the puzzle magazine El Acertijo in December of 1992. In 1993, I informally introduced it to the postal gaming club The Knights of the Square Table, where it gained immediate popularity. An authorized translation was published in January 1994. The first international match was a friendly team match, played by fax between Argentina and the United States in 1994-1995; the six games were split 3-3.  In early 1994, I wrote what I believe was the first computer version, written in VAX Fortran with a simple keyboard interface.  It had a weak computer opponent.   The Windows version, from which the screenshot diagrams above are taken, is a later development of the same program, now written in Visual Basic.

El Juego de las Amazonas (The Game of the Amazons) is a trademark of Ediciones de Mente. For more information, contact : Jaime Poniachik, Publicaciones Aperiodicas, Casilla de Correo 74, Sucursal 12, 1412 Buenos Aires, Argentina (fax. 054-1-962-8343).

A Windows version of Amazons is available, including a help file, a computer opponent, and facilities for printing and saving games.  The cost is $10, and can be sent by regular mail on a 3-1/2" diskette or CD-ROM (add $1 for postage and disk), or by e-mail in a .ZIP file (no extra charge).    Payment is possible by Paypal (Michael Keller), or by check (U.S. funds, drawn on U.S. bank) or money order (send to Michael Keller, PO Box 1822, Pasadena, MD 21123, USA).

This article is copyright 2005, 2009 by Michael Keller.  All rights reserved.

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