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Reversi/Othello
Othello (Reversi) board.jpg
Players 2
Age range Recommended for 5 years or older
Setup time 5-10 seconds
Playing time 5-60 minutes
Random chance None
Skills required Strategy, Observation

Reversi (also marketed by Pressman under the trade name Othello) is a board game involving abstract strategy and played by two players on a board with 8 rows and 8 columns and a set of distinct pieces for each side. Pieces typically are disks with a light and a dark face, each side belonging to one player. The player's goal is to have a majority of their colored pieces showing at the end of the game, turning over as many of their opponent's pieces as possible.

Contents

Origins

The modern version is based on the game reversi that was invented in 1883 by either of two Englishmen (each calling the other a fraud), Lewis Waterman or John W. Mollett (or perhaps earlier by someone else entirely), and gained considerable popularity in England at the end of the 19th century. The game's first known-to-be reliable mention is in the 21 August 1886 edition of The Saturday Review. Later mention includes an 1895 article in the New York Times: "Reversi is something like Go Bang, and is played with 64 pieces."[1] In 1898, the well-known German games publisher Ravensburger started producing the game as one of its first titles. Two 18th century continental European books dealing with a game that may or may not be the one with which we are concerned are mentioned on page 14 of the Spring 1989 Othello Quarterly, and there has been speculation, so far without documentation, that the game has more ancient origins.

The modern rule set, that used on the international tournament stage, originated in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan in the 1970s: the Japanese game company Tsukuda Original registered the game under the trademark name Othello. The name was selected as a reference to the Shakespearean play Othello, the Moor of Venice, referencing the conflict between the Moor Othello and Iago, who describes himself as "two faced" and more controversially, to the unfolding drama between Othello, who is black, and Desdemona, who is white. The green colour of the board is insipired by the image of the general Othello, valiantly leading his battle in a green field. It can also be likened to a jealousy competition (jealousy being the central theme in Shakespeare's play), since players engulf the pieces of the opponent, thereby turning them to their possession.[2]

A 2002 press release about the origins of the modern game makes no mention of the original version:[3]

"Othello was invented by Japanese game enthusiast, Goro Hasegawa in 1971. He chose James R. Becker, to help him develop and market the game. Inspired by the ancient Chinese strategy game 'Go', Hasegawa sought to create a game that was rich in strategy, but still approachable by the casual player. Becker simplified the game play, coined the tagline, 'A Minute to Learn...A Lifetime to Master' and named this new game after Shakespeare's classic play, because of the black and white disks. Othello was first introduced in Japan in 1973, by Tsukuda Original Co., who at Becker's suggestion organized the Japanese Othello Association."[3]

Goro Hasegawa, who wrote How to win at Othello, popularized the game in Japan in 1975.[citation needed]

Rules

Each of the two sides corresponds to one player; they are referred to here as light and dark after the sides of Othello pieces, but "heads" and "tails" would identify them equally as well, so long as each marker has sufficiently distinctive sides.

Originally, Reversi did not have a defined starting position. Later it adopted Othello's rules, which state that the game begins with four markers placed in a square in the middle of the grid, two facing light-up, two pieces with the dark side up. The dark player makes the first move.

Chess zhor 22.png
Othello zver 22.png
a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8
a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3
a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2
a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1
Othello zver 22.png
Chess zhor 22.png
Starting position

Dark must place a piece with the dark side up on the board, in such a position that there exists at least one straight (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) occupied line between the new piece and another dark piece, with one or more contiguous light pieces between them. In the below situation, dark has the following options indicated by transparent pieces:

Chess zhor 22.png
Othello zver 22.png
a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8
a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3
a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2
a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1
Othello zver 22.png
Chess zhor 22.png
Where dark may play

After placing the piece, dark turns over (flips, captures) all light pieces lying on a straight line between the new piece and any anchoring dark pieces. All reversed pieces now show the dark side, and dark can use them in later moves—unless light has reversed them back in the meantime. In other words, a valid move is one where at least one piece is reversed.

If dark decided to put a piece in the topmost location (all choices are strategically equivalent at this time), one piece gets turned over, so that the board appears thus:

Chess zhor 22.png
Othello zver 22.png
a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8
a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3
a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2
a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1
Othello zver 22.png
Chess zhor 22.png
After dark play

Now light plays. This player operates under the same rules, with the roles reversed: light lays down a light piece, causing a dark piece to flip. Possibilities at this time appear thus (indicated by transparent pieces):

Chess zhor 22.png
Othello zver 22.png
a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8
a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3
a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2
a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1
Othello zver 22.png
Chess zhor 22.png
Where light may play

Light takes the bottom left option and reverses one piece:

Chess zhor 22.png
Othello zver 22.png
a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8
a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7
a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6
a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5
a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4
a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3
a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2
a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1
Othello zver 22.png
Chess zhor 22.png
After light play

Players take alternate turns. If one player cannot make a valid move, play passes back to the other player. When neither player can move, the game ends. This occurs when the grid has filled up, or when one player has no more pieces on the board, or when neither player can legally place a piece in any of the remaining squares. The player with the most pieces on the board at the end of the game wins.

In common practice over the internet, opponents agree upon a time-control of, typically, from 1 to 30 minutes per game per player. Standard time control in the World Championship is 30 minutes, and this or something close to it is common in over-the-board (as opposed to internet) tournament play generally. Defaulting on time results in a loss, and, where disk differential is used for tiebreaks in tournaments or for rating purposes, it is common procedure for the winner of defaulted contests to complete both sides' moves with the greater of the result thereby or one disk difference in his or her favor being the recorded score.

Illegal moves (where possible, not over the internet) also are addressed in the rules of tournament play.

Significant variants of the game, such as where the starting position differs from standard or the objective is to have the fewest pieces one's color at the end, are sometimes--but rarely--played.

Strategic elements

Strategic concepts in Reversi include corners, mobility, edge play, parity, endgame play and looking ahead.

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Corners

Corner positions, once played, remain immune to flipping for the rest of the game (because there is no other opposite color behind them to create a flip); thus a player could use a piece in a corner of the board to anchor groups of pieces (starting with the adjacent edges) permanently. Therefore, capturing a corner often proves an effective strategy when the opportunity arises. More generally, a piece is stable when, along all four axes (horizontal, vertical, and each diagonal), it is on a boundary, in a filled row, or next to a stable piece of the same color. Grabbing a corner prematurely may be a mistake, however, if in doing so the player leaves "holes" along the edge. These holes can be filled by the opposing player and could result in capture of some or all of the pieces along that edge. This renders occupying the corner largely useless.

Mobility

An opponent playing with reasonable strategy will not so easily relinquish the corner or any other good moves. So to achieve these good moves, a player must force his or her opponent to play moves which relinquish those good moves. One of the ways to achieve this involves reducing the number of moves available to the player's opponent. Ideally, this will eventually force the opponent to make an undesirable move.

Edges

Edge pieces can anchor flips that influence moves to all regions of the board. If played poorly, this can poison later moves by causing players to flip too many pieces and open up many moves for the opponent. However, playing on edges where an opponent cannot easily respond drastically reduces possible moves for that opponent.

The square immediately diagonally adjacent to the corner (called the X-square), when played in the early or middle game, typically guarantees the loss of that corner. Nevertheless, such a corner sacrifice is sometimes played for some strategic purpose (like retaining mobility). Playing to the edge squares adjacent to the corner (called the C-squares) can also be dangerous if it gives the opponent powerful forcing moves.

Parity

Parity is one of the most important parts of the strategy. In short, the concept of parity is about getting the last move in every empty region in the end-game, and thereby increasing the number of stable discs.

The concept of parity led to a change in the perception of the game, as it led to distinct strategies for playing black and white. It forced black to play more aggressive moves and gave white the opportunity to stay calm and focus on keeping the parity. As a result the opening books and mid-game were focused on black being the "attacker" and white being the "defender".

The concept of parity also controls how edge positions are played and how edges interact.

Endgame

For the endgame (the last 20 or so moves of the game) the strategies will typically change. Special techniques such as sweeping, gaining access, and the details of move-order can have a large impact on the outcome of the game. Actual counting of discs in the very final stages is often critical, and in human play an inaccurate choice for disk differential can be better than an accurate one in terms of the expected outcome.

Computer opponents and research

Because of difficulties in human lookahead--peculiar to Reversi because of the apparent strategic meaninglessness of internal disks (This makes blindfold games almost impossible)--and the attractiveness of the game to programmers, the best Othello computer programs have easily defeated the best humans since 1980, when the program The Moor beat the reigning world champion. In 1997, Logistello defeated the human champion Takeshi Murakami with a score of 6:0. By comparison, computers also easily win against the best human players of English draughts (checkers), and in chess the best computers are now considerably stronger than the best humans; while average serious Go and Arimaa human players can still defeat the best computers.[citation needed]

Analysts have estimated the number of legal positions in Othello is at most 1028, and it has a game-tree complexity of approximately 1058.[4] Mathematically, Othello still remains unsolved. Experts have not absolutely resolved what the outcome of a game will be where both sides use perfect play. However, analysis of thousands of high-quality games (most of them computer-generated) has led to the strong conclusion (pending actual proof) that, on the standard 8-by-8 board, perfect play on both sides results in a draw.[5] When generalizing the game to play on an n-by-n board, the problem of determining if the first player has a winning move in a given position is PSPACE-complete.[6] On 4-by-4 and 6-by-6 boards under perfect play, the second player wins. The first of these results is relatively trivial, and the second dates to around 1990.

World Othello Championship

Year Location World Champion Country Team Runner-Up Country
1977 Tokyo Hiroshi Inoue  Japan N/A Thomas Heiberg  Norway
1977* Monte Carlo Sylvain Perez  France N/A Michel Rengot (Blanchard)  France
1978 New York Hidenori Maruoka  Japan N/A Carol Jacobs  United States
1979 Rome Hiroshi Inoue  Japan N/A Jonathan Cerf  United States
1980 London Jonathan Cerf  United States N/A Takuya Mimura  Japan
1981 Brussels Hidenori Maruoka  Japan N/A Brian Rose  United States
1982 Stockholm Kunihiko Tanida  Japan N/A David Shaman  United States
1983 Paris Ken'Ichi Ishii  Japan N/A Imre Leader  United Kingdom
1984 Melbourne Paul Ralle  France N/A Ryoichi Taniguchi  Japan
1985 Athens Masaki Takizawa  Japan N/A Paolo Ghirardato  Italy
1986 Tokyo Hideshi Tamenori  Japan N/A Paul Ralle  France
1987 Milan Ken'Ichi Ishii  Japan  United States Paul Ralle  France
1988 Paris Hideshi Tamenori  Japan  United Kingdom Graham Brightwell  United Kingdom
1989 Warsaw Hideshi Tamenori  Japan  United Kingdom Graham Brightwell  United Kingdom
1990 Stockholm Hideshi Tamenori  Japan  France Didier Piau  France
1991 New York Shigeru Kaneda  Japan  United States Paul Ralle  France
1992 Barcelona Marc Tastet  France  United Kingdom David Shaman  United Kingdom
1993 London David Shaman  United States  United States Emmanuel Caspard  France
1994 Paris Masaki Takizawa  Japan  France Karsten Feldborg  Denmark
1995 Melbourne Hideshi Tamenori  Japan  United States David Shaman  United States
1996 Tokyo Takeshi Murakami  Japan  United Kingdom Stéphane Nicolet  France
1997 Athens Makoto Suekuni  Japan  United Kingdom Graham Brightwell  United Kingdom
1998 Barcelona Takeshi Murakami  Japan  France Emmanuel Caspard  France
1999 Milan David Shaman  Netherlands  Japan Tetsuya Nakajima  Japan
2000 Copenhagen Takeshi Murakami  Japan  United States Brian Rose  United States
2001 New York Brian Rose  United States  United States Raphael Schreiber  United States
2002 Amsterdam David Shaman  Netherlands  United States Ben Seeley  United States
2003 Stockholm Ben Seeley  United States  Japan Makoto Suekuni  Japan
2004 London Ben Seeley  United States  United States Makoto Suekuni  Japan
2005 Reykjavík Hideshi Tamenori  Japan  Japan Kwangwook Lee  South Korea
2006 Mito Hideshi Tamenori  Japan  Japan Makoto Suekuni  Singapore
2007 Athens Kenta Tominaga  Japan  Japan Stéphane Nicolet  France
2008 Oslo Michele Borassi  Italy  Japan Tamaki Miyaoka  Japan
2009 Ghent Yusuke Takanashi  Japan  Japan Matthias Berg  Germany

*This rivalling Monte Carlo world championship is usually not considered to be an official world championship. In official homepages it is called the first European Championship.

References

Further reading

External links

http://othelloclub.ning.com


Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Reversi
Box artwork for Reversi.
Developer(s) APh Technological Consulting
Publisher(s) Mattel
Designer(s) Greg Favor
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Board game
System(s) Intellivision
Players 1-2

Reversi is an old board game that dates back to the late 19th century. In the 1970s, it made a resurgence under the new name of Othello, thanks to the Japanese company Tsukada Original (see Othello (Tsukuda Original).) The license to publish the board game in the United States was granted to Mattel, who advertised the game as taking "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master." When Mattel was in the process of developing games for the Intellivision system, they decided to publish Othello for it. However, rival company Atari licensed the name Othello for their own game system, the Atari 2600, so Mattel switched to the classic name of the game, which had never been trademarked. So Reversi (TM Mattel) became the name of the cartridge.

Contents

Game play

To start a new game, you must select a) the board size, b) the number of players, and c) the skill level. For the board size, you may select a reduced board size of 6x6 which provides a timer of 15 minutes per player, a standard board size of 8x8 with a timer of 30 minutes per player, or an enlarged board size of 10x10 and a timer of 60 minutes per player. When selecting the number of players, you either select two players, or when selecting only one player, you must indicate if the player or the computer is to take the first turn. When selecting a skill level, you can choose between easy, medium, or hard, although this only has an effect on a single player game and determines how long the computer takes to find the best move possible.

Players take alternate turns placing one piece each time. At the start of the game, the first four pieces must be place in the 4 center squares of the board. Every piece must be placed adjacent to at least one different colored piece. Every move must result in reversing the color of at least one of the opponent's pieces. Color is reversed when pieces are bracketed in any vertical, horizontal or diagonal row. If a player cannot place a piece on the board he must forfeit his turn. When the board is completely filled, or there are no more legal positions to place a piece, the game is over (tie scores are possible). Digital clocks in each player's color show time remaining, and change to red numerals for "overtime". Players may choose to agree in advance on a time-limit rule or a game that continues until no further moves are possible.

For more information on how to play Reversi, and the strategies behind it, please see the Reversi guide on Wikibooks.

Controls

The control pad overlay

Number pad

1 2 3
6x6 board 8x8 board 10x10 board
4 5 6
vs. CPU
CPU starts
vs. CPU
Player starts
2 players
7 8 9
Skill Level 1 Skill Level 2 Skill Level 3
clear 0 enter
 

Actions

  • Control Disc: Press the edge of the Disc in the direction that you would like to move the cursor around the board.
  • Upper Action Keys: Press the upper action keys to place your piece in the square indicated by the cursor. The game will not allow you to make an illegal move.
  • Lower Action Keys: Press the lower action key to preview what your move would look like if you were to place your piece in the square indicated by the cursor.

Strategy

Game play screen
  • The corner squares are the best ones to occupy, because you can't be outflanked there. Try to get the corner!
  • If possible, don't place your pieces in squares adjacent to corners...they might give your opponent an opportunity to get those key positions.
  • The scoring lead will often change several times during a game. Don't get discouraged if you are behind! It is frequently desirable to have the lower score during the early stages of the game. Many of your opponent's pieces are scoring opportunities - right up to the end of the game.
  • Use the "Preview" feature to analyze your potential moves. As soon as you press a "Place Piece" action button, you can't change your mind!
  • If you want to see the computer's suggestion for your next move, press any key. The suggested move will reflect the skill level you selected at the start of the game. In two-player games, the suggestion will be accompanied by the computer's "thinking" sound.

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Reversi

Developer(s) Mattel
Publisher(s) Mattel
Release date Intellivision:
1981 (NA)
Genre Board Game
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
Intellivision
Platform(s) Intellivision
Input Intellivision Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Reversi is a game released for the Intellivision.

Gameplay

It is your basic game of Othello. In the game, you and your opponent must capture more pieces and territory than the other player by lining your colored piece with another of the same color with at least one piece of the opposite color between them, thus causing that piece or pieces to change to your color. The pieces can be lined up vertically, horizontally, and/or diagonally with each other. Try to capture the corners of the playing grid before your opponent can do the same, because this will give you an advantage.

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