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On Trax
The New Zealand Trax Association Newsletter. Issue: 5

Trax in Denmark

Martin M. Pedersen
Far, far away from New Zealand is the small country of Denmark where the Danes lives, and I am one of them. I am a 23 years old computer science student at Aarhus University where I have been studying here for almost four years.

At the end of October 1994 I found a transcript from an abalone computer tournament held somewhere in the cyperspace. I inquired on rec.games.abstract how to read the notation of the moves and someone pointed me to Richard Rognlie's Play-By-(e)mail (PBeM) server located at netcom. So I signed up and played a few games of abalone.

A few days later Richard asked if I wanted to play in a Trax tournament and I agreed even through I didn't know the game. I read the rules but had difficulty understanding the ASCII boards. The tournament started and I lost (of course) 11 out of 12 games and ended last.

I found out that the ASCII representation and a pencil was not enough to play this wonderful game so I painted my own game. Shortly after that a friend made Trax tiles in the program traxfig and converted them to postscript. I liked the tiles and posted to the players at the server that I will mail the postscript file with the tiles to them if they wanted.

A short time later, David Smith sent me a long note that he was selling the game and that he would send me some sets if I wanted to start a trax club in Denmark. Therefore, I got some games for Christmas from David Smith.

After New Year I had decided to start a trax club, but had to wait until February because of all the exams in January. In January I made my World Wide Web (WWW) home page so I could easy find the right commands for the PBeM server.

I decided that the 17 February would be a good day but later changed it to 24 February. On Wednesday the 22 February I posted a note to a local newsgroup referring people to my home page. and also put up several posters around the campus. With the posters I included the rules from the games that David had sent me.

I was very nervous until Friday that no one will show up or that too many people will show up. Thirteen people showed up in time for the tournament and four more come later. I managed to find out the monrad system just in time between the rounds.

The tournament went well and was won by Benn Christensen. For his prize, he received a Trax set and a copy of Donald Bailey's book "Trax strategy for beginners". Benn is now playing (and winning) a lot of games on the server. The second prize - a Trax set - went to Rasmus Vedel. Hopefully he will soon have the time to play more Trax in the club and at the server. Another strong player was Soeren Pingel who placed fourth. He is also playing a lot of games on the server (and winning most of them). Now, about 8-10 play face to face every week and more will soon start.

In the middle of May I am arranging another tournament at the computer-business school in Viby and later I am going to Copenhagn, the capital of Denmark, to arrange a tournament and start a Trax club there.

On Friday 5 May I am meeting a journalist from the biggest newspaper in Denmark - Jyllandsposten. He will write a story about Trax and Trax on Internet. By the time that the article is published, I hope to have received 100 games from USA so that the bookshops in Aarhus will have some to sell. Trax is steadily growing in Denmark and I think it will be the Christmas gift hit this year.

If you want to know more information about Trax in Denmark, contact me - tusk@daimi.aau.dk My usercode on pbmserv@vtsu.prc.com is chaz. If you have access to WWW, my PBeM page is http://www.daimi.aau.dk/~tusk/pbmserv/index.html

As you many of you will know, the 3rd Internet Trax tournament starts in June. I hope that more than 10 Danes will participate and give New Zealand a challenge!
TRAX is the common law mark of David Smith and is used to identify his tile game and equipment. Rules of TRAX copyright 1981, 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1998 David Smith, Christchurch, NZ.
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