Combinatorial game theory (abbreviated CGT) is the subfield of combinatorics (not traditional game theory) which deals with games of perfect information such as Nim and Go. It includes topics such as the Sprague-Grundy theorem and is tangentially related to the Surreal Numbers.

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Game placing numbers in increasing order

Let $k\leq m\leq 100$ be positive integers. Aaron and Britney play a game on a $1\times m$ board, using $100$ paper pieces numbered from $1$ to $100$. The game has $k$ turns. In each turn, Aaron ...
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Game of polygons

Initially, there is a polygon with N vertices drawn in the plane. The polygon is strictly convex, i.e., each internal angle is strictly smaller than 180 degrees. The vertices of the polygon are ...
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Gomoku on an infinite big board

I always used to play Gomoku in school on paper, and if we reached the edge of the field, we just put another one at that side. And now I just saw that black can always win on 1 15x15 board. But what ...
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Game replacing two numbers by mean

Alicia and Bart plays a game. Alicia first writes $100$ real numbers on the board. After that they move alternately; Bart goes first. In every move, the player chooses two numbers, erases them, and ...
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What to do with a random variable when we know its mean and variance but does not know which distribution it is?

Let Y be a random variable with mean μ and variance σ^2 where the support is (0, ∞). Suppose you are offered to play a game where you choose a number z between (0, ∞). If a realization of the random ...
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Commutative Algebra and Game Theory

Is there any relationship between commutative algebra and game theory? For example, have any tools in commutative algebra been applied to game theory? A text or reference would be ideal, but I'd be ...
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Characteristic 3 analogue of nimbers?

Finite nimbers are a way of turning the natural numbers (finite ordinals) into a characteristic 2 field. Addition in this field is found by writing the numbers in binary and adding without carry, ...
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Eating chocolate game on grid

Given is a chocolate of size $m\times n$. Anne and Birgitte plays a game, with Anne starting. In each turn, the player has to divide the chocolate into two rectangular parts along the lines, and eat ...
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5answers
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Game Theory - First move vs second move advantage?

This question came up in a lunchtime discussion with coworkers. None of us are professional mathematicians or teachers of math, and we weren't sure how to get the answer. I apologize in advance if my ...
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Nim Sum Game Variant

Suppose there are black and white balls in a box. The initial number of white balls is m and the initial number of black balls is n. This is a two player game. Each player can do the following taking ...
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Counting all possible board positions in Quoridor

I'm trying to figure out how many possible board positions there are for the game Quoridor. I think sorting out the legal positions from the illegal positions will be difficult, so to start I'm trying ...
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48 views

Pigeon-hole principle applied to the game of tic tac toe

In a game of tic tac toe, noughts and crosses are drawn inside an unoccupied cell of a 3 x 3 matrix by two players I, II in alternating moves. Player I draws crosses and Player II draws noughts. The ...
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How to write induction proof of Sprague-Grundy function for subtration game?

So lets say that S={1,2,3} I find the sequence of Sprague-Grundy function. How do I justify my answer using induction?
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N piles games with consecutive piles move

There are 6 piles of stones in a round configuration. In a single move, a player selects 3 consecutive piles, and removes some stones from 1 or more of these piles. (at least 1 stone must be removed ...
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What is the largest value one can get in game 2048 without new tiles appear

This is a simplified version of the famous game 2048. Given a 4x4 grids with some values chosen from {0, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048}. A value of 0 indicates that the position in ...
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Number of ways to shuffle a cardset with fixed top 4 while ignoring the suit

I am interested in the number of possible orders in a standard 52 card deck. There are $52!$ possible orders, if I care for suit and type. If I don't care for the suit / color of the card there are ...
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Relationship between regular Nim and Lasker's Nim

So I'm trying to do qn $6$ (on pg I-13) about staircase Nim in Game Theory by Ferguson Game Theory, Ferguson and it's asking to prove that $(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_k) \in P $ only if $(x_1, x_3, x_5, ...
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CGT: value of sum game is sum of values of games

I am involved in a little study about combinatorial game theory. The study makes heavy use of the fact that, at least in a simple combinatorial game called domineering, the value of the sum game is ...
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2answers
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Probability that 20 sided die beats 12 sided die with reroll

Alice rolls a 12 sided die (the faces labeled 1 through 12) and Bob rolls a 20 sided die (the faces labeled 1 through 20). After seeing their roll (but not the other person's roll), each person can ...
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countable subset of surreal games

Surreal numbers are the largest possible structure to have a complete order. Games are an extension of the Surreals which only admits a partial order. Along with being larger, smaller or equal to each ...
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How many possible board states in 2048?

I recently found out about the famous 2048 game. For those of you who don't know how it works, it consists on a 4x4 board on where tiles which are powers of 2 are placed. On every turn, you "swipe" ...
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Distribute the gold, silver and bronze

A pirate ship has 2015 treasure chests (all chests are closed). Each chest contains some amount of gold, some amount of silver and some amount of bronze. To distribute the gold, silver and bronze the ...
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Mex and Grundy Numbers explanation

I've been reading this small tutorial on Nimbers and game theory. Could someone explain why the mex rule governs the nimber of a game position? See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mex_(mathematics) ...
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Optimal strategy for this Nim generalisation?

Consider the following game: There are a number of piles of stones. On each turn a player can remove as many stones he likes (at least 1) from up to $N$ piles (at least 1). It is allowed to remove a ...
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Game involving points on $[0,1]$

You're given a list of $22$ points in $[0,1]$ (not necessarily distinct), and you're asked to select, at every iteration, $2$ points to be substituted by their midpoint. After $20$ iteration, you ...
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Winning strategies in multidimensional tic-tac-toe

This question is a result of having too much free time years ago during military service. One of the many pastimes was playing tic-tac-toe in varying grid sizes and dimensions, and it lead me to a ...
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Algorithm to multiply nimbers

Let $a,b$ be nimbers. Is there an efficient algorithm to calculate $a*b$, the nim-product of $a$ and $b$? The following rule seems like it could be helpful: $$ 2^{2^m} * 2^{2^n} = \begin{cases} ...
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Iterations of Pascal's Identity

Pascal's Identity states that $n \choose k$ = $n-1 \choose k-1$ + $n-1 \choose k$ since if one element is separated from the rest we can claim that either it is chosen (resulting in $k-1$ elements ...
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Probability of drawing at least 1 red, 1 blue, 1 green, 1 white, 1 black, and 1 grey when drawing 8 balls from a pool of 30?

Given a pool of 30 balls (5 of each color). When drawing 8 balls without replacement, what is the probability of getting at least one of each color? Related: Probability of drawing at least one red ...
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Subtraction Game

I recently read about the Nim Subtraction Game. I have a variant, Suppose you have N stones and two players Alice and Bob, who can choose to pick either 1 stones or K stones. If Alice plays first when ...
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Bernouilli trial with variable number of experiments

I'm kinda stuck on a probability problem I encountered in designing a game. Here is its description : I'm calculating the number of turns (Tf) before a integer variable (A) reaches 0. Each turn, A ...
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Brain teaser Strategic choice… [closed]

$X$ and $Y$ are playing a game. There are $11$ coins on the table and each player must pick up at least $1$ coin, but not more than $5$. The person picking up the last coin loses. $X$ starts. How many ...
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2 player game subtracting perfect squares from a given number

this is my first question on these forums. I apologize in advance if I've overlooked a rule or done something wrong. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I came across this problem, but it's been ...
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Proving something about the Game Nim

I was reading Elementary Number Theory and Its Applications by Rosen wherein I came across the problem (located on Page 31 summarized below) Consider the Game Nim. In this game there exist a finite ...
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Breaking chocolate bars game

About two weeks ago, a friend of mine taught me the following game without his knowing the answer. It may be famous, but I haven't known it. There are $N\ (\in\mathbb N)$ chocolate bars composed of ...
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Number of ways to make first move

Alice and Bob are playing a game. They have N containers each having one or more chocolates. Containers are numbered from 1 to N, where ith container has A[i] number of chocolates. The game goes like ...
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427 views

Optimal Tic Tac Toe algorithm without lookahead

Is there any algorithm for tic tac toe that does not rely on a lookahead algorithm that is perfect for any sized boards? Edit: For boards larger than $3 \times 3$, we have to find the best move for ...
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John Nash's Hex proof

I am reading a book on Combinatorial Game Theory that describes a proof by John Nash that Hex is a 'first player' win, but I find the proof very confusing. This proof uses a strategy-stealing ...
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Solving Chess - alternatives to brute force

It is well known that solving Chess is practically impossible using brute force methods. I'm interested to know if there have been any serious attempts using alternate methods. What theory and ...
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How can a Devil catch a Fool in the Angel and Devils game?

The Angel and Devils game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_problem) is a two-player game, played on an infinite chessboard (i.e. the integer coordinates of $\mathbb{R}^2$). One player is the angel, ...
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A game with stones and finding the winning set

For a positive integer $n$, two players $A$ and $B$ play the following game : Given a pile of $s$ stones, the players take turn alternatively with $A$ going first. On each turn the player is allowed ...
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The expected outcome of a random game of chess?

Imagine a game of chess where both players generate a list of legal moves and pick one uniformly at random. Q: What is the expected outcome for white? 1 point for black checkmated, 0.5 for a ...
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Complete vs Perfect infomation in Combinatorial game theory

In their book "Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays", Berlekamp, Conway, and Guy used as the 7th condition for a combinatorial game "Both players know what is going on; There is complete ...
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A game on a graph

Alice and Bob play a game on a complete graph ${G}$ with $2014$ vertices. They take moves in turn with Alice beginning. At each move Alice directs one undirected edge of $G$. At each move Bob chooses ...
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Saddle Points on Matrices

Let $n$, $m$ be positive integers. Suppose that $A$ is a $2$ x $n$ or an $m$ x $2$ matrix and that it has a saddle point. Show that among the saddle points of $A$ there exists at least one which ...
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Matrix Saddle Points and Dominance

I was teaching myself about dominance relations and saddle points after a friend of mine started discussing it with me and how it can be used in games. I wanted to know how to prove a problem like ...
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A nim-game variant

Suppose a bucket contains n balls. In each turn one removes some balls k from the basket. If first player removes even-number balls then second player must removes odd-number of balls and vice-versa. ...
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Upper bound on number of starting positions of a grid coloring game

Let's play a game! The game has the following rules: Let $G$ be a $N\times N$ grid. To each grid square $(x,y)\in G$, assign either $true$ or $false$; call this mapping $C$ (that is, if $(x,y)$ is ...
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Probabilistic game

Suppose a rich person offers you $\$1000$ and says that you can participate in $1000$ rounds of this game: In each round a coin is flipped and you get a $50$% return on the portion of your money that ...
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Reverse Hex board game winning strategy

I just wanted to know the winning strategy to this question: In a reverse Hex board game I know it means where the player who first forms a path between his/her edges loses. Find a winning ...