MINEFIELD

Copyright (c) 2000 ChrisThe game is played on a 8x8 square board with the following setup:

DROP- On each turn, each player picks any stone of either color, and changes its color. Then, like in Othello, flips all stones of the other color that are between that stone and the next of same color, in any orthogonal or diagonal direction.

GOAL- One player wins if it is able to make an horizontal 8 in-a-row of stones of any color. The other player wins by making a vertical 8 in-a-row.

If, after a move, there are one horizontal and one vertical 8 in-a-row, the player that made the move losses.

An exampleIf Black flips a white stone turning it to black (the marked black stone), then it will flip all marked white stones.

Some words from the author: Note that on the first move, only one piece is flipped, due to the checkerboard setup of the board. Note also that a winning row is one that contains one "group" of color--either all white or all black. If, at the beginning of a turn, a player has a row that contains two "groups", they have a winning move, as one group can always be flipped to match the second (unless this would simultaneously create a winning row for the opposite side). A row with three groups is also a winning row, because the middle group can always be flipped to match the outer groups. So the strategy boils down to reducing the number of groups in one's own rows, and increasing the number in one's opponent's. Also, it is not necessary to have a row containing only two or three groups to win in one move. For instance, if a row consists of three white groups and two single black pieces, it is possible to flip the two black pieces to white, if they are on converging diagonals. Of course, when making a move, the diagonals work against one at least as often as they do in one's favor, and one finds oneself saying, "I would move here, except...." But that's what makes walking through a minefield difficult.