Othello solved: best play leads to a draw

Originally published at: Othello solved: best play leads to a draw | Boing Boing


Interesting that the Othello link goes to a Wikipedia page for Reversi.


The historical version of Reversi starts with an empty board, and the first two moves made by each player are in the four central squares of the board.

I.e. the game can be called Reversi until the first four moves have been made, after which it can be called Othello, ONLY IF the second player puts his first piece diagonally opposite the first rather than alongside, OR the first player puts his second piece alongside his first when the second player put his first piece alongside the first players first piece.

(Do keep up! And there is a point at the end of this, honest.) :wink:

Basically, Othello starts with a prescribed central square as


Whereas Reversi could end up after the first four moves as


Sooooooo… How many more different outcomes are there if the starting position is not the prescribed Othello one, but the possible Reversi one above?

And in Reversi, is there a first-mover advantage to doing the ‘alongside’ central square, or indeed a second-mover advantage to forcing it or preventing it?


When I saw “Othello solved” this is what I was expecting:


That’s kind of awesome. It means I’m finally done with Windows 1.0. :crazy_face:


If I’m being honest, I didn’t really warm up to Windows until 3.1 when it was on everyone’s desktop and I was starting to use a internet browser (Netscape). I think I was still spending most of my time in a DOS (busily crashing my Windows about 5 or more times a day) or a Telnet window up until about Windows 2000.


“The board game Othello, played with Go pieces…”

Othello is not played with Go pieces. Think about it.

You can use Smarties.

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I am thinking about it RIGHT NOW.


A strange game; the only winning move is to play against someone worse than you.

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This was basically Bobby Fischer’s complaint and why he eventually hated chess. Brute force memorization had surpassed creativity as a winning strategy and sucked all the fun out of it.

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