Combinatorial Games

Aviezri Fraenkel

Abstract


Roughly speaking, the family of combinatorial games consists of two-player games with perfect information (no hidden information as in some card games), no chance moves (no dice) and outcome restricted to (lose, win), (tie, tie) and (draw, draw) for the two players who move alternately. Tie is an end position such as in tic-tac-toe, where no player wins, whereas draw is a dynamic tie: any position from which a player has a nonlosing move, but cannot force a win. Both the easy game of Nim and the seemingly difficult chess are examples of combinatorial games. And so is go. The shorter terminology game, games is used below to designate combinatorial games.


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