Copyright (c) 2003 L. Lynn Smith

SanQi is played on the following initially empty hexagonal board. There are initially offboard enough red, blue and yellow stones.

MOVE - On each turn, each play may do one of the following actions:
Drop a stone of either color on an empty cell
Replace a stone of one color with a stone of another color, if the replaced stone is adjacent with at least two more stones of the replacing color than stones of its own color. 
KO rule - A player may not immediately replace a stone played by an opponent for at least one turn, but the player of that stone may replace it on the next turn.
GOAL - The first player wins if there is a complete circle of six stones of one color, regardless of the condition of its center cell, at the end of that player's move. The second player wins if there is an orthogonal line of six or more stones of one color at the end of that player's turn. Either player wins if there is a simple triangle of six stones of one color at the end their particular move.

Some words from the author: The first player should concentrate on forming circles, while the second attempts lines. The triangle will often become a threat that can be exploited for positional advantage by both players. Remember there are three different colors which can be played. Use more than one to perform blocking moves. If an opponent seems to favor one color, you can take advantage by playing the other two. Just because you can replace a stone does not mean that it is wise to do so. In fact it might be advantageous to secure that stone by placing more of its color adjacent. If an opponent successfully blocks a developing pattern, don't be afraid to abandon it. In fact, either start a new one somewhere else on the field or begin building on the opponent's blockers. In either case, try switching colors. Watch out for those triangles, they can sneak up and hinder a developing pattern.

A first example

First player turn. If he drops a red stone at [1] trying to win next turn by replacing (4 reds versus 2 blues)  the marked blue stone in the next turn (thus making a circle) then he will lose because the second player drops another red at cell [2] making a red triangle of six stones.

A second player win

The second player drops a stone at cell [1] and wins. The first player cannot protect the red marked stone to be replaced, even if he drops a red stone at cell [2]. If that happens, the second player first replaces the yellow marked stone and the resulting 4-2 difference cannot be changed. 

There is a ZRF to play SanQi with Zillions.