Traditional - Korea

This game is played on the following 5x5 square board:

  • MOVE - On each turn, each player moves one of his stones to an adjacent diagonal empty cell.
  • GOAL - Wins the player that moves his army to the opponent's starting position.
An example

Black's turn. If he retreats e4-d5, White must open his defense lines and let Black enter which gain initiative and perhaps even the game.


This position shows the main problem with this game. Black must have a escape route for the marked white stone, so that he may occupy that cell. But the point is that there is nothing in the rules that oblige White to make that move, and so keep the draw.

Some words from Brandon Burkholder: Five Field Kono is a replacement game of Korean origin. A description of the game was originally published in Korean Games by S. Culin in 1895. There is a ZRF to play Five Field Kono with Zillions.

This is a very simple game that needs some rule tuning to become more interesting. There is several alternatives. One simple modification is to give priority to move stones placed on the initial setup cells. In this way, deadlocks of the above shown type are impossible.