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abstract strategy game
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File:Akhilleus Aias Staatliche Antikensammlungen 1417.jpg|right|thumb|280px|Achilles and Ajax playing a board gameboard gameAn abstract strategy game is a strategy game in which the theme is not important to the experience of playing.WEB, Thompson, J. Mark, July 2000, Defining the Abstract, The Games Journal, July 27, 2017,weblink WEB, International Abstract Games Organisation, Abstract strategy games and other genres out of scope of IAGO,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110818060137weblink">weblink August 18, 2011, Many of the world's classic board games, including chess, Go (also called "wei-chi" and "baduk"), checkers and draughts, xiangqi (Chinese chess), shogi (Japanese version of Chinese chess), Reversi (marketed as "Othello"), Nine Men's Morris, and most mancala variants, fit into this category.WEB, BoardGameGeek, List of abstract strategy games, July 27, 2017,weblink WEB, International Abstract Games Organisation, The IAGO Hall of Fame,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100507004847weblink">weblink May 7, 2010, Play is sometimes said to resemble a series of puzzles the players pose to each other. As J. Mark Thompson wrote in his article "Defining the Abstract": There is an intimate relationship between such games and puzzles: every board position presents the player with the puzzle, What is the best move?, which in theory could be solved by logic alone. A good abstract game can therefore be thought of as a "family" of potentially interesting logic puzzles, and the play consists of each player posing such a puzzle to the other. Good players are the ones who find the most difficult puzzles to present to their opponents.Many abstract strategy games also happen to be "combinatorial"; i.e., there is no hidden information, no non-deterministic elements (such as shuffled cards or dice rolls), no simultaneous or hidden movement or set up, and (usually) two players or teams take a finite number of alternating turns.

Definition

Combinatorial games have no randomizers such as dice, no simultaneous movement, nor hidden information. Some games that do have these elements are sometimes classified as abstract strategy games. (Games such as Continuo, Octiles, Can't Stop, and Sequence, could be considered abstract strategy games, despite having a luck or bluffing element.) A smaller category of abstract strategy games manages to incorporate hidden information without using any random elements; the best known example is Stratego.Traditional abstract strategy games are often treated as a separate game category, hence the term 'abstract games' is often used for competitions that exclude them and can be thought of as referring to modern abstract strategy games. Two examples are the IAGO World Tour (2007–2010) and the Abstract Games World Championship held annually since 2008 as part of the Mind Sports Olympiad.WEB, Mind Sports Olympiad, Abstract Games, July 27, 2017,weblink Some abstract strategy games have multiple starting positions of which it is required that one be randomly determined. For a game to be one of skill, a starting position needs to be chosen by impartial means. Some games, such as Arimaa and DVONN, have the players build the starting position in a separate initial phase which itself conforms strictly to combinatorial game principles. Most players, however, would consider that although one is then starting each game from a different position, the game itself contains no luck element. Indeed, Bobby Fischer promoted randomization of the starting position in chess in order to increase player dependence on thinking at the board.WEB,weblink The birth of Fischer Random Chess, Eric, van Reem, The Chess Variant Pages, July 27, 2017, May 31, 2001,

Comparison

Analysis of "pure" abstract strategy games is the subject of combinatorial game theory. Abstract strategy games with hidden information, bluffing, or simultaneous move elements are better served by Von Neumann–Morgenstern game theory, while those with a component of luck may require probability theory incorporated into either of the above.As for the qualitative aspects, ranking abstract strategy games according to their interest, complexity, or strategy levels is a daunting task and subject to extreme subjectivity. In terms of measuring how finite a mathematical field each of the three top contenders represents, it is estimated that checkers has a game-tree complexity of 1031 possible positions, whereas chess has approximately 10123. This suggests that computer programs, through brute force calculation alone, should often be able to surpass human players' abilities. As for Go, the possible legal game positions range in the magnitude of 10170.

Champions

The Mind Sports Olympiad first held the Abstract Games World Championship in 2008 to try to find the best abstract strategy games all-rounder. The MSO event saw a change in format in 2011WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120722015047weblink">weblink July 22, 2012, yes, MSO XV Pentamind, August 28, 2011, Mind Sports Olympiad, restricting the competition to players' five best events, and was renamed to the Modern Abstract Games World Championship. It was again won by David Pearce.
  • 2008: {{flagicon|England}} David M. Pearce (England)
  • 2009: {{flagicon|England}} David M. Pearce (England)
  • 2010: {{flagicon|England}} David M. Pearce (England)
  • 2011: {{flagicon|England}} David M. Pearce (England)
  • 2012: {{flagicon|Estonia}} Andres Kuusk (Estonia)
  • 2013: {{flagicon|Estonia}} Andres Kuusk (Estonia)

See also

References

{{reflist|30em}}

External links



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