On Trax


On Trax
The New Zealand Trax Association Newsletter. Issue: 1

Issue 1 Contents

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Welcome to the first issue of The New Zealand Trax Association (NZTA) Newsletter. This is the first of what we plan to be a regular series of newsletters. If all goes well, we will produce the newsletter quarterly, at least to start with.

The purpose of this newsletter is to help those interested in the game to know what is going on. As the name indicates, it is On Trax and features all things relating to Trax. In here we will keep you up to date with what is happening in the different clubs around the country, and inform you of upcoming events and tournaments. Of course, we will also give the results

In future issues, we will have regular columns containing tips and puzzles. If you are wanting to polish your playing look out for these. However in this issue, we will concentrate on the NZTA itself, letting you know who we are and how we operate.

From time to time, we plan to have a feature article on some aspect of Trax. In this issue, fitting the theme of beginnings, our feature article is by David Smith on how he invented the game. If you ever wondered how Trax started then this excellent article will give you that background.

If you have any ideas for future themes, or articles, just let us know. We would also welcome any contributions you would like to make, in terms of news, articles, interesting stories or whatever.
Donald Bailey
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Minutes of the Inaugural Meeting of The New Zealand Trax Association

The inaugural meeting of the New Zealand Trax Association was held on 5th November, 1993 at 1 Salisbury Avenue, Palmerston North.

Chair: D. Bailey
Secretary: T. Siegenthaler
Present: D. Bailey, B. Christie, A. Davie, J. Dodd, T. Siegenthaler.
Proxies: C. Ng (held by D. Bailey).
Apologies: C. Harding, M. Nicholson, C. Ng, D. Pless, D. Smith, J. Stevens.

Ratification of the Rules

Mr Dodd sought clarification of the three types of membership, these were explained in detail by Mr Bailey. Mr Christie raised a suggestion for a fourth type, a "sustaining member", being someone who voluntarily paid in excess of his or her membership fee. Following a discussion on the subject, the consensus (no vote was taken) by those present was that this form of member type was not required by the Association. At this point Mr Bailey moved that the rules be accepted for incorporation, this was seconded by Mr Siegenthaler and passed by a unanimous verbal vote.

Election of Officers

The following were appointed to the positions indicated. All were passed by unanimous verbal votes. These offices will be held until the next AGM. (The names in parentheses are the nominator and seconder respectively).

President: D. Bailey (T. Siegenthaler, B. Christie).
Secretary: T. Siegenthaler (B. Christie, D. Bailey).
Treasurer: D. Bailey (B. Christie, T. Siegenthaler).


"That David Smith be made an honorary Life Member"
Nominated by D. Bailey, seconded by T. Siegenthaler. Passed by unanimous verbal vote.

Other Business

Mr Bailey acknowledged the receipt of $1000 from Mr D. Smith. It was decided that this should be banked to the account of the NZTA (yet to be set up) once the NZTA incorporation procedures have been completed.

There being no further business, the meeting was then brought to a close.
Tom Siegenthaler
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New distributor

Thomas Holdsworth and Sons have recently published Trax nationwide in an attractive blue box with plastic tiles and a comprehensive Instruction and Strategy Book to retail in most stores throughout the country in the $25 - $30 price range. An economy version can be obtained for $15 through affiliated Clubs. At the present time, there are eight different versions of Trax in print around the world in five languages and a further six versions out of print.

The US Playing Card Company, who had the licence to market Trax in the United States, decided not to renew their licence. Negotiations are currently in progress between David Smith's US agents and a potential new distributor for that country. Look out for more news on this in later newsletters.

Trax bulletin board

Well, OK, it's not a bulletin board in the normal sense of the word, but it is still a way for news and views to be easily shared amongst people who have a computer and access to electronic mail. In fact, this is how the NZTA newsletter will be sent overseas. Currently there are about 30 people who subscribe from such diverse places as New Zealand (of course), Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France and the good ol' U.S. of A.

The electronic mail address of the board is, and if you wish to join talk to Tom Siegenthaler or e-mail him at

Note: this bulletin board is no longer operational - use the forum instead.

International Trax

Mel Nicholson of California has set up a Trax server which has made playing Trax internationally very easy. You send the server your move, it then plays any forced moves and sends you and your opponent an updated diagram. Again, the down side is that you must have a computer and access to e-mail.

The address of the Trax server is First timers should start by sending it the message 'help' to get the rules. And when you want to play a game, send a challenge to You'll get plenty of replies!

Most universities will provide e-mail to anyone who wants it - the charges are usually less than ordinary postage. Some computer bulletin boards also have it available. Note that you will need a computer and a modem to access the university's or bulletin board's system.

Note: Trax has been moved to

Doby III

Doby III, a PC based Trax program is currently in production. Its pre-release demonstrations are looking good. It has a Windows like front end and 3D tiles that make it appear very stylish, Its ability is based on an improved version of Doby II's code, and all indications are that it could prove to be a formidable opponent.

Recommended system: 386 PC with a mouse and colour VGA monitor running DOS.


The 1994 World Trax Championship is coming up, so get your practise in now! Provisional dates (to be confirmed) are:

International qualifiers starts March
Provincial NZ qualifiers June or July
Candidates tournament early August
Challenge match late August
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, 1998 and 2017 David Smith, Christchurch, NZ.
This Website compiled by Donald Bailey, Palmerston North, NZ. Copyright © 2000-2017