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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The Ring Game on $K[x,y,z]$

I recently read about the Ring Game on Mathoverflow, and have been trying to determine winning strategies for each player on various rings. The game has two players and begins with a commutative ...
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A 20+ year old combinatorial problem - the cookie game

Learned about this not too long after the time of the original problem publication through a classmate who visited MIT one summer. http://faculty.uml.edu/jpropp/cookie2.pdf The problem goes as ...
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Maximum board position in 2048 game

A game called 2048 is making rounds on social media. I am trying to determine the maximum score attainable for this game. Let's assume WLOG that only 2s are returned (if 4s are possible the max score ...
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Guaranteed Checkmate with Rooks in High-Dimensional Chess

Given an infinite (in all directions), $n$-dimensional chess board $\mathbb Z^n$, and a black king. What is the minimum number of white rooks necessary that can guarantee a checkmate in a finite ...
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Three against the devil: a combinatorial game

A team of three sinners plays a game against the devil. They confer on strategy beforehand; then they go into three separate rooms, and there is no more communication between them. The play in each ...
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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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Number of moves to solve a flood-it/sock-dye game

[ Question based on the sock dye game ] [ Update: It appears that this game is better known as "Flood it" and is NP-hard. Also, "the number of moves required to flood the whole board is $\Omega(n)$ ...
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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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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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Average Scrabble graph structure: diameter?

Tonight a game of Scrabble ended in what I consider a very unusual graph structure, unlike this generic web image, which seems more typical: ...
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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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perfect play in 1-dimensional Minesweeper

In 1-dimensional Minesweeper with a known number of mines (that are distributed uniformly), is there a known somewhat-simple strategy for perfect play? When there are n cells and [0 or n-1 ...
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board game: 10 by 10 light bulbs, minimum switches to get all off?

Hy all! My problem is as follows: There's a board of 10 by 10 light bulbs. (So it's a square with 10 columns and 10 rows.) Every single bulb has got its own switch. However, something went wrong and ...
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Prime one heap Nim

I have been working on an interesting problem my lecturer mentioned recently. Prime Nim is a variant of the Nim game where you have a single pile with an arbitrary number $n\in \Bbb N+\{0\}$ of ...
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Determining the number of valid TicTacToe board states in terms of board dimension

I am attempting to find a closed form equation in terms of $n$, for the number of valid Tic-Tac-Toe board states (ignoring symmetry), where the board has dimension $n \times n ,\; 0 \lt n,\;n \in \Bbb ...
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“Infinito”, a combinatorial game with infinite width game-tree

I recently designed a combinatorial game (sequential game of perfect information) with an infinite branching factor, that is it has a game-tree of infinite width. I'm wondering how is it possible to ...
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Reference for combinatorial game theory.

What is a good reference material for elementary combinatorial game theory? By combinatorial game theory I mean chiefly the study of zero-sum, deterministic two-player games (perhaps even more ...
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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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permutation search game

Arrange the natural numbers $1$ through $n$ in a random order (the order is unknown and has a uniform distribution). Now make a sequence of guesses as to which number is in which slot, one number and ...
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Analyzing a class of vertex-deletion games

As part of the discussion on this question (Permutation Game Redux), a simple vertex-deletion game was proposed. The game is very simple. Disconnect. Players alternately remove vertices from a ...
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Strategy-stealing argument in generalization of positional game?

Suppose we have a set $\mathcal{F}$ and a family, $\mathcal{W}$, of non-empty subsets of $\mathcal{F}$. Alice and Bob are going to play a game using this data. Play proceeds with Alice and Bob ...
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Number of cycles in a grid such that each cycle traverse all the lines

Definition: An edge-component is a sequence of some consecutive collinear-segments. Consider an $n \times n$ grid-like arrangement of $2n$ lines. Is there any idea about the number of simple cycles ...
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Modify the rules of Gomoku (Five-in-a-row) or Connect Four type games to enforce the fairness among players

One colleague and me were discussing this problem during lunch today, and I did a little bit digging for several hours after returning to my office. Fact: For an $(m,n,k)$-game, there does not exist ...
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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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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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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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A Nim-like game with conditions and strategies

The game: Given $S = \{ a_1,..., a_n \}$ of positive integers ($n \ge 2$). The game is played by two people. At each of their turns, the player chooses two different non-zero numbers and subtracts ...
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Converting a Gomoku winning strategy from a small board to a winning strategy on a larger board

Gomoku is the game where Black and White take turns placing stones of their own color, and the winner is the player who first gets five of their own stones in a row. Black moves first. In Gomoku on ...
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In what way is combinatorial game theory connected to the rest of mathematics?

Since my University library lists Conway's "Winning ways for your mathematical plays in the section "recreational mathematics" alongside books on origami and puzzles, I wondered to what extent game ...
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Traversing the infinite square grid

Suppose we start at $(0.5,0.5)$ in an infinite unit square grid, and our goal is to traverse every square on the board. At move $n$ one must take $a_n$ steps in one of the directions, north,south, ...
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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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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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Integral of a function defined in the set of Surreal Numbers

Given ${\{C}\}\ $ the set of all the $Surreal\ numbers$, is it possible to define the integral: $$\int_a^b{dxf(x)}$$where $$a\in{\{C}\},b\in{\{C}\},x\in{\{C}\}$$ Thanks
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How many turns can a chess game take at maximum?

The shortest number of moves that a game of chess can have is 2, as far as I know: White moves pawn from f2 to f3, black moves ...
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Stone picking puzzle

Two players are playing a stone picking game. The players pick a stone from two pile of stone in turn. One can choose to pick any number of stones from either pile, or pick the same number of stone ...
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Why are the surreals considered “recreational” mathematics?

One of my college math professors once remarked to me that it was interesting that John Conway's two "biggest" contributions to math were both recreational: the Game of Life and the Surreals. No one, ...
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Splitting Stacks Nim

A game is played with two players and an initial stack of $n$ pennies ($n\geq 3$). The players take turns choosing one of the stacks of pennies on the table and splitting it into two stacks. When a ...
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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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Math and Logic of Infinite Chess

Hello could you help me in this... Two players (White and Black) are playing on an infinite chess board (extending infinitely in all directions). First, White places a certain number of queens (and ...
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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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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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clearing coins from a grid

There is two-dimensional grid with integer coordinates. We can do some moves by coins. If the coin is in point $(x,y)$ and point $(x+1,y)$ and $(x,y+1)$ are free from coins, we can remove coin from ...
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Notation for surreal numbers

On the sound of sounding ridiculous, but in the line of "There are no stupid quetsions": Is there a way to express $\omega_1$ (and in general $\omega_k$ with $k >= 1$ as a Conway game (that is ...
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Does a finite game that cannot be drawn imply a winning strategy exists?

The author of this page, about a simple game (Chomp) http://plus.maths.org/content/mathematical-mysteries-chomp makes the following statement: "One of the players is sure to have a winning strategy. ...
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Why does the strategy-stealing argument for tic-tac-toe work?

On the Wikipedia page for strategy-stealing arguments, there is an example of such an argument applied to tic-tac-toe: A strategy-stealing argument for tic-tac-toe goes like this: suppose that the ...
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Nim addition- binary addition without carrying

A nim addition table is essentially created by putting, in any cell, the smallest number not to the left of the cell and not above that cell in its column. However, I know for a fact that nim addition ...
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Which of the players will first draw a triangle?

6 vertices are given. No edges are given at first. Two players play the following game: the first player draws one black edge. Then the second player draws one green edge. Then the first player draws ...
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A puzzle on game theory

Bob and Alice are playing a game. They will start with an integer $n$. Alice goes first, in each turn, a player can choose an integer between 1 and 13 and that number is to be subtracted from $n$. ...
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Stone games again

Two players are playing a stone-picking game. There are some piles of stones. The number of stones in each pile is given. Every player takes action in turns as following rules: The one in his turn ...
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Motivation for the Sprague-Grundy theorem

The Sprague-Grundy theorem states that every impartial combinatorial game under the normal play convention is equivalent to a (unique) nimber. What does the equivalence relation thus defined tells us ...