Questions tagged [combinatorial-game-theory]

Two-player turn-based perfect-information games, surreal numbers, impartial games and Sprague-Grundy theory, partizan games

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6
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0answers
99 views

Does the Angel have to be really smart?

My question is about the computational complexity of the Angel's strategy in the Angels and Devils game, tl;dr does the Angel have a polynomial time strategy. I'm a big Conway fan, so as you can ...
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104 views

How does Conway's proposed compromise for constructing the real numbers in ONAG actually work?

I have also asked this question on Math Stack Exchange (link). In On Numbers and Games, after discussing the inclusion of the real numbers in the surreal numbers, No, Conway discusses the merits of ...
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1answer
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In theory, how would Oneiric numbers be defined?

Background I am not a professional mathematician. I am researching Surreal numbers & games for fun (I think they are truly beautiful). If this question is not appropriate here, I beg forgiveness &...
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1answer
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In the two-person Killing the Hydra game, what is the winning strategy?

My question is which player has a winning strategy in the two-player version of the Killing the Hydra game? In their amazing paper, Kirby, Laurie; Paris, Jeff, Accessible independence results for ...
8
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1answer
201 views

Free category with product and coproduct

Is there a known description of the free category with both product and coproduct ? That is given a small category $C$, I want to consider a category $U C$ which has product and coproduct, a functor $...
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1answer
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Are Conway's combinatorial games the “monster model” of any familiar theory?

This is related to this question about a "mother of all" groups, and so seemed like it'd fit in better at MO than MSE. If I understand the answer to that question correctly, the surreal numbers have ...
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Infinite positions in 3D chomp

I've recently come back to investigating ordinal chomp. See A winning move for the first player in $3 \times 3 \times \omega$ Ordinal Chomp for a definition. I made a new discovery, that the position \...
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Nimber $2^{2^k} - 1$ is a multiplicative generator of $[2^{2^k}]$?

Let $t = 2^{2^k}$, and consider the field $[t]$ of nimbers below $t$. For $k \leq 6$ one can check that $t - 1$ (in the usual arithmetic sense) is a multiplicative generator of $[t] \backslash \{0\}$. ...
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2answers
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What is the winning strategy in this pebble game?

Consider the following two-player pebble game. We have finitely many stones on a finite linear track of squares. We take turns, and the allowed moves are: move any one stone one square to the left, ...
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Suggestions for two-choice game played in ladder graph

I was just working on counting all the possible Nash Equilibrium solutions for a two-choice game played on a ladder graph (I got my results and all that for a generic number of players). And I was ...
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1answer
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Is following function a metric on the set of isomorphism classes of graphs with countably many vertices?

Suppose $\Gamma_1(V_1, E_1)$ and $\Gamma_2(V_2, E_2)$ are simple graphs with countably many vertices. And suppose $A_1$ and $A_2$ are initially empty sets. Suppose two players play the following game: ...
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Is Domineering on any finite approximation of the Sierpinski Carpet always a second-player win?

The game of Domineering can be played on any board consisting of some subset of $\mathbb{Z} \times \mathbb{Z}$. In particular, consider the boards $K_n$ generated by iterating the following inductive ...
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1answer
47 views

Perturbation of the value of a general-sum game at a equilibirium

Consider a general-sum game with $N$ players. Let $u_i(a_1, \ldots, a_N)\colon \prod_{i=1}^N A_i \rightarrow \mathbb{R} $ be the payoff of the player $i\in \{ 1, \ldots, N \}$ when each player takes ...
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2answers
864 views

Solution to simple mathematical game

Consider the following game (that I made up). Two players each attempt to name a target number. The first player begins by naming 1. On each subsequent turn, a player can name any larger number that ...
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Is this representation of Go (game) irreducible?

This post is freely inspired by the basic rules of Go (game), usually played on a $19 \times 19$ grid graph. Consider the $\mathbb{Z}^2$ grid. We can assign to each vertex a state "black" ($b$), "...
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3answers
203 views

Best strategy for a combinatorial game

Consider the following scenario. We have 20 balls and 100 boxes. We put all 20 balls into the boxes, and each box can contain at most one ball. Now suppose we are given 5 chances to pick 20 out of ...
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67 views

Strategy of Responder in Rényi Ulam Liar Games

I tried posting this in Math Stack Exchange but got no responses, so I figured I could try my luck here. My main concern is that I can't figure out how to get started on my "research" (bear with me, I'...
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Is there a well-posed definition of game on a graph? Or a well defined category of games on graphs?

All I ever found about this were natural language rules à la Asimov's three laws of robotics. The questions are straightforward questions: 1) Is there a well-posed mathematical definition of game on ...
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Game on groups (generalization of spinning switches puzzle)

Alice and Bob are playing a game as follows: Initially There're two subgroups $A,B$ of Sym(n) known to both Alice and Bob There're $n$ slots $S_1, \cdots, S_n$ and $n$ boxes $B_1, \cdots, B_n$. ...
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Bound for the additive period length of certain Sprague-Grundy functions

Let $\left( Y_x \right)_{x=0}^\infty $ be a sequence of finite subsets of $\mathbb{Z}$, and let $G : \mathbb{N}_0 \to \mathbb{N}_0$ be a greedy permutation, defined by $$ G(x) = \operatorname{mex} \...
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Combining a Nim-variation and Wyrthoff's game. How to find a winning strategy? [closed]

Wythoff's game is a variation of the classical Nim - There are two heaps and the players take turns either taking any amount from one heap, or the same amount of both heaps. The winner is the one ...
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2answers
136 views

Satisfier-Falsifier games

In a Maker-Breaker game, there is a finite set of elements $X$, and a family $F$ of subsets of $X$ called the "winning sets". Two players, Maker and Breaker, take turns picking untaken elements from $...
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94 views

A combinatorial number game

Alice and Bob play the following (base 10) number game. A target N is fixed, N being a positive integer. Alice then writes the number 1 on the blackboard. Bob responds with the number 2. Thereafter, ...
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1answer
134 views

What is the minimum worst-case length of an element removal game?

A game is played as follows. There is a set $X = \{1, \ldots, n\}$. Player 1 is trying to find a "locally minimal subset" $M \subseteq X$ - that is, player 2 has said that $M$ is good, and also that ...
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1answer
215 views

Combinatorial games with infinite paths, and generalized Sprague-Grundy theory

Generalized Sprague-Grundy theory has been used to analyze finite impartial loopy games with normal play. There is a nice short account by Mark S. in this answer. It was introduced by Cedric Smith in ...
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Is there only one meaningful definition of product of games?

Work in the context of combinatorial games as introduced by Conway. For surreals, the definition of the product is forced by the requirement that surreals should form an ordered field. Say, if $s' <...
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1answer
185 views

A set-family game

Two players, Green and Red, play a zero-sum game. It is parametrized by two integers $n\geq 0, k\geq 0$, and a finite family $F$ of sets of size $n$ (each set may appear multiple times in $F$). Each ...
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92 views

Length of optimal play in Hex as a function of size

Consider Hex on an $n \times n$ board without a swap rule, so that the first player wins. Assume the first player tries to minimize the length of the game, and the second player tries to maximize the ...
7
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1answer
293 views

A Bitwise Xor Problem

Consider a sequence $a_i$ defined by $$ \begin{align*} a_1&=p,\\ a_2&=q,\\ a_i&=a_{i-1} \oplus a_{i-2}+1, \end{align*}$$ where $\oplus$ is the bitwise xor operation. How can we give an ...
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2answers
233 views

How to describe the common boundaries between regions in a infinite Sudoku?

This relates to the answer to a question "Who wins two player sudoku?" and this awesome blog. A Sudoku can be $N \times N$ where $\sqrt{N}$ is a natural number because $N \times N / \sqrt{N} \times \...
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1answer
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Is there a position in infinite Go for which the life of a particular stone has transfinite game value?

As follow up to Checkmate in $\omega$ moves?, we can ask the same question about go. Is there a position on a $\mathbb Z \times \mathbb Z$ goban such that either black can kill a white group, but ...
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1answer
70 views

Effective way to find Nash equilibrium

Is there any good algorithm for finding Nash equilibrium point, for one and repeated game theory? Thansk a lot for giving me some guidance.
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4answers
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Alice and Bob playing on a circle

I want to solve this problem: Let there be $n \ge 2$ points around a circle. Alice and Bob play a game on the circle. They take moves in turn with Alice beginning. At each move: Alice takes ...
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1answer
624 views

Who wins the Rubik's cube game?

This game has two players, Spoiler and Solver. We start with a solved 3x3x3 rubik's cube (to make the problem easier). Solver and Spoiler take turns making 90 degree twists (starting with Solver). ...
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3answers
855 views

The Sudoku game: Solver-Spoiler variation

Consider the Sudoku Solver-Spoiler game, a natural variation of the Sudoku game recently appearing in the question Who wins two-player Sudoku? posted by user PyRulez. In that game, the players attempt ...
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2answers
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Who wins two player sudoku?

Let's say players take turns placing numbers 1-9 on a sudoku board. They must not create an invalid position (meaning that you can not have the same number in within a row, column, or box region). The ...
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3answers
739 views

The arithmetic progression game and its variations: can you find optimal play?

Consider the arithmetic progression game, a two-player game of perfect information, in which the players take turns playing natural numbers, or finite sets of natural numbers, all distinct, and the ...
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3answers
4k views

A game on integers

$A$ and $B$ take turns to pick integers: $A$ picks one integer and then $B$ picks $k > 1$ integers ($k$ being fixed). A player cannot pick a number that his opponent has picked. If $A$ has $5$ ...
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3answers
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Does knight behave like a king in his infinite odyssey?

The Knight's Tour is a well-known mathematical chess problem. There is an extensive amount of research concerning this question in two/higher dimensional finite boards. Here, I would like to tackle ...
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1answer
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Games in non-standard models

Has anyone studied Combinatorial game theory in non-standard models? In particular, we can work in either non-standard models of set theory, or we can work in non-standard models of arithmetic, where ...
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1answer
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How many Tic Tac Toe games are possible? [closed]

Consider the average game of Tic Tac Toe or Noughts and Crosses. The game is played on a 3 by 3 two dimentional board. The game is played by two people and each person is allowed to only add one type ...
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2answers
228 views

For which number of pairs is it an advantage to start in memory

Players A and B play memory starting with $n$ pairs of cards. We assume that they can remember all cards which have been turned. At his turn a player will first recall if two cards already turned ...
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4answers
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The 1-step vanishing polyplets on Conway's game of life

A $n$-polyplet is a collection of $n$ cells on a grid which are orthogonally or diagonally connected. The number of $n$-polyplets is given by the OEIS sequence A030222: $1, 2, 5, 22, 94, 524, 3031, \...
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1answer
875 views

Vanishing line on Conway's game of life

If the initial state of Conway's game of life is a line of $n \in [0,100]$ alive cells, then it vanishes completely after some steps iff $n \in \{0,1,2,6,14,15,18,19,23,24 \}$. See below for $n=24$. ...
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5answers
979 views

When is a game tree the game tree of a board game?

This question arises from what I find interesting in the recently asked question What is a chess piece mathematically? My answer to that question was that mathematically, game pieces are in general ...
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4answers
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What is a chess piece mathematically?

Historically, the current "standard" set of chess pieces wasn't the only existing alternative or even the standard one. For instance, the famous Al-Suli's Diamond Problem (which remained open for more ...
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1answer
242 views

Ordered Nim game

Consider the following variant of Nim: There are two players and $n$ piles of stones, with sizes $a_1,\dots,a_n$, such that $a_i\leq a_j$ for any $i<j$. A move consists of removing a positive ...
5
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1answer
290 views

What ordinal corresponds to the T(3)?

Let's play a game. You start with the ordinal $\alpha$ and I start with the empty sequence. Each turn, you decrease your ordinal, and I add a tree (where each node can have one of three labels), ...
9
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0answers
196 views

Two-player independent set game

Let $G = (V, E)$ be a finite graph, and $S \subseteq V$ initially be an empty set. Alice and Bob play a game, making moves in turns starting with Alice. A move consists of choosing a vertex $v \in V \...
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2answers
242 views

Study of Hex on the Torus

Hex is usually played on a parallelogram shaped board. What if you play it on a Torus? One thing I notice is that the idea of connecting opposite sides doesn't make much sense anymore, since a torus ...