Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Gaming -- The Game of Gale

As promised, here's an introduction to David Gale's elegant Game of Gale (and, no, Gale didn't come up with the name; Martin Gardner did)"
... Since then it has been a board game (Bridg-it), a programming exercise and a great pencil-and-paper game (or at least, a great colored-pens-and-paper game). GoG is a close relative of Hex and its rules are comparably simple. Start out with a grid of dots like the one below.
Each player gets a color then takes turns connecting his or her dots. The object for the blue player is to draw a continuous path from the top row to the bottom. The objective for the red player is to connect the leftmost column and the right. The only rule is that a red line can't cross a blue and vice versa.

There's a sample game at the site. Here's the decisive turn:

Red gets to go next but it doesn't really matter at this point. Blue has two winning moves for the next turn. Red can only block one of them.

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