Othello: simple, but intense
Last updated on February 22, 2011 at 05:58 PM

Its tagline is “A minute to learn, a lifetime to master.”

Sometimes called “reversi,” Othello is among the simplest games ever created. But, as two players stare each other down over its green felt board, outwitting your opponent becomes as difficult as the most serious game of chess.

The game consists of checker-like playing pieces- one side white, one black. Beginning with two of each color on the board, players take turns placing their pieces. For a valid move, you must capture the other player’s pieces between yours. Whenever these pieces are surrounded, they are flipped to show your color.

The game ends when the board is full. Whichever color has the most pieces showing wins.

When I’m playing with my dad, the goal is always to destroy the opponent. Even if there are only four tiles showing the opposite color, we mourn the inability to completely wipe the other person from the board.

Like in chess, regular players get sucked into an expected strategy. When playing with an Othello newbie, erratic moves can lead to destruction.

Strategic advantage can be gained by capturing the corners. Minor objectives like keeping your opponent from the corners or working to paralyze his pieces are important.

One false move could completely doom your side.

But even when hope seems lost, Othello is fantastic because the outcome of the game can literally change in one move.

Avatar for seegull737
Bio: Simpson College's How-to guru, Zombie administrator and opera librettist recently became a grownup writing for The Telegraph Herald

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