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Othello is a strategy board game for two players, played on an 8x8 board (similar to chess and checkers). There are 64 identical pieces called 'disks' (often spelled 'discs'), which are light on one side and dark on the other—physically with an actual set, or conceptually via computer—to correspond with the opponents in a game. Othello starts with the center 4 squares of the board occupied with 2 black and 2 white pieces arranged diagonally. True Reversi starts with the board empty and the first 2 moves have to be played into the middle 4 squares with no captures. Thus Reversi can start with either a parallel or diagonal layout of the first 4 pieces. Typically computer versions start as per Othello but the name Othello was trade marked so they often call the game Reversi to avoid legal problems. The parallel opening has a very big influence on the game for experienced players but is seldom played. Reversi enthusiasts still play the parallel (or 'Reversi') opening as a variation to Othello. In most cases a game consists of placing all of these up to a full board, but exceptions occur if neither player has a legal move. Though the original rules of Reversi were such that each player was limited to using no more than half of the disks (those in possession at the start), this rule has long been out of common practice; and, if using a physical board and pieces, the player whose turn it is simply retrieves a disk that is in possession of the opponent as needed. This means that there is now only one way a player will pass (always involuntarily) rather than place a disk, while formerly there were two. Each player's objective is generally to have as many disks one's own color at the end as possible and for one's opponent to have as few—or, technically in consideration of the occasional game in which not all disks are placed, that the difference between the two should be as large as possible if the winner and as small as possible if the loser. However, simply winning is the basic goal, and maximizing the 'disk differential' is regarded as ancillary. (It may have more or less weight depending upon such things as tournament tiebreaks.)

Tags: otello chess.

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