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Standard notation for plays

Posted By: Tom Keith
Date: Friday, 23 May 2014, at 1:36 p.m.

In Response To: Standard notation for plays (Taper_Mike)

That experience has led me to have a strong preference for the sort of systematic/"correct" notation that Stick advocates.

I agree. For bots especially (because it is easy for them), but also for humans, it is helpful if everyone writes plays the same way.

What follows is a description of a standard notation. I thought I'd write it down so I can point bot developers here if they would like a standard to follow.

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Follow these steps in order.

1. Start with the collection of moves making up the play, each move corresponding to a particular number to be played. For each move, write the from point, a slash, and then the to point. (Everyone is familiar with this.)

2. Place an asterisk after any move that hits.

a/b  →  a/b*

3. Look for sequences of moves where one move begins on the same point that another move ends. Combine such sequences into a single move.

a/b, b/c  →  a/c

If the combined move hits an opposing blot on the way, keep the intermediate point number and show the move like this:

a/b*, b/c  →  a/b*/c

There is no limit to the number of moves that can be combined in this way:

a/b, b/c, c/d, d/e  →  a/e

4. Look for parallel moves, two or more moves that begin and end on the same point. Replace parallel moves with a single move and add a number in parentheses to indicate the number of checkers that move together.

a/b, a/b  →  a/b(2)

a/b, a/b, a/b  →  a/b(3)

a/b*, a/b*  →  a/b*(2)

5. Sort the moves, first in decending order by the from points, then in ascending order by the to points. For example,

 6/5, 8/5  →  8/5, 6/5 [Decending order by the from points.] 24/22, 24/20  →  24/20, 24/22 [Ascending order by the to points.]

If there is tie, put the multipart move first.

13/7, 13/10*/7  →  13/10*/7, 13/7

6. Replace all 25's with the word "bar." Replace all 0's with the word "off."

25/24*, 25/23  →  bar/24*, bar/23

6/0, 4/0  →  6/off, 4/off

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