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    Also known as Othello, this strategic board game uses round pieces with a different color on either side. When pieces of one color form a straight line between two pieces of the other color, the middle pieces are flipped over.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    Reversi last edited by Nes on 06/17/23 02:02PM View full history


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    Reversi, often known by the trademark name Othello and sometimes known in Japan as Genpei Go, is a two-player board game of English origin, believed to be dated back to the late 19th century. Along with its simplistic rules, it is known for its standard pieces, which are two-sided discs that can be flipped to show which player controls them. Although it is commonly played with these discs, it can be played with numerous types of pieces, such as flipping Scrabble pieces or swapping out go stones or checkers.

    Although the original game as played in limited capacity, the game became popular in the 1970's due to the commercialization of the Japanese trademarked variant Othello. Due to the trademark, modern adaptations often use the Othello aesthetic with the "Reversi" name. However, the German toy company Ravensburger AG has claimed ownership of the name "Reversi" in Europe since 2006, causing several companies to use their own unique name for the game in worldwide releases (such as either "Turncoat" and "Renegade" in Nintendo's Clubhouse Games video game series).

    It received numerous video game adaptations under either name, usually as part of virtual board game collections. Some notable games include the 1978 Nintendo arcade game Computer Othello and the Microsoft PC game Reversi (which was included in pre-3.1 installations of the Microsoft Windows operating systems). It also received some dedicated game consoles in the 1980's, such as Tsukuda Original's licensed clone of the Sega SG-1000 known as Othello Multivision.


    The game is usually played on a 8×8 gridded board, with each player taking turns placing discs (flipped to their color) on an empty space on the board in a way that "captures" lines of one or more opposing discs (flipping them to the player's color) between that disc and friendly discs that bound them (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally).

    The objective of the game is to control the most discs when no valid move can be made, either by one player (in the traditional rules) or by both players (in the modern rules, which also has players skipping their turn if they cannot make a valid move). In some earlier versions, each player had a 32 turn limit.

    The game received two major rule variations in the early 20th century, as noted in the 1907 Japanese book Sekai Yuugi-hou Taizen ("World Game Law Encyclopedia"):

    • In the traditional rules, players spend the first of four turns of the game placing their disc somewhere on an empty space in the center 2×2 area of the board without any capture. Local rules can change the game to start with a fixed pattern, either as a "cross" (White-Black, then Black-White) or in parallel. Modern rules, as well as the Othello variant, use the "cross" opening pattern.
    • In In the traditional rules, the game ends when one player cannot make a valid move. Local rules can change this so that players who cannot make a valid move forfeit their turn, with the game ending once both players forfeit their turns. Modern rules, as well as the Othello variant, use these local rules.

    Some local rules allow handicapping a player by having the weaker player start the game with a disc on one or more of the four corner spaces.


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    The modern version of the game is often known by the trademark name Othello (after the Shakespearian play of the same name), which was patented the early 1970's by Japanese businessman Goro Hasegawa. It was first marketed by Tsukuda Original, who owned the trademark at the time (later PalBox, now MegaHouse), and is known for its standardization of plastic Black and White discs and green gridded board.

    It has been widely believed that certain rule changes, namely the opening pattern and skip rule, are attributed to Othello. However, this was proven false with the Sekai Yuugi-hou Taizen and early accounts of a predecessor known as Genpei Go. The game's origins are debatable, with Hasegawa himself changing his stance multiple times (first claiming that Othello was devised as an improvement on Genpei Go, then decades later claiming that the game was invented independently in 1945).

    Hasegawa also established the Japan Othello Association at the time of release, soon organizing a yearly worldwide tournament known as the World Othello Championship. This was later organized by different organizations, with the current one being the World Othello Federation.

    The game received official derivations, including Mini Othello (with a 6×6 board), Grand Othello (with a 10×10 board), Eight Stars Othello (with the four corners of a 10×10 board cut out to form an octagon), and 4-ri Taisen Othello (a four-player version).


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