hist-games: Zamma

Peter Michaelsen PMI at KM.DK
Wed Apr 19 16:03:08 PDT 2006

The rules of Zamma are described in English in R.C. Bell: The Board Game Book from 1979.
I do not know which sources R.C. Bell based his description upon.
An almost identical game, Srand, or Dhamet, is described in the article "Les Dames du Desert", Jeux et Stratégie no.27, June-July 1984. In this game the "mullah" is called a "sultan". The author, Abdallahi Ol Bah, claims that this game is the national game of Mauritania. He seems to be a good player himself and includes examples and problems composed by the master player Yahya O'Hamidoun.
Srand/Zamma is also included in Jean-Bernard Alemanni: Les Jeux de Dames dans le Monde. Techniques, Chiron , Paris 2005, a book which I highly recommend.
I may send a copy of the article by Abdallahi Ol Bah to anyone who might be interested.
I have now tried Mats Winther's new Zillions implementation of Zamma, and likes very much to play with it.
It appears, however, that not all rules followed by the program are quite correct.

Kind regards,
Peter Michaelsen.

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