# Questions tagged [combinatorial-game-theory]

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

172 questions
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### The infinite X in Conway's game of life

In Conway's game of life, take the initial position to be two infinite diagonal lines of live cells, with a single cell in common. Does this thing converge to a stable configuration? I.e., is the ...
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### Is there any superstable configuration in the game of life?

This question spins off of Gil Kalai's recent question on Conway's game of life for a random initial configuration. There are numerous configurations in the game of life that are known to be stable-...
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### Conway's game of life for random initial position

What is the behavior of Conway's game of life when the initial position is random? -- We can ask this question on an infinite grid or on an $n$ by $n$ table (planar or on a torus). Specifically ...
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### Mathematical model for Hanoi Towers

The strategy for the Hanoi Tower puzzle is quite simple. It is based on parity only. In an $n$-pieces puzzle, $2^n-1$ moves are sufficient to carry the whole pile from one pole to another one. My ...
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### Number of Configurations in the optimal Hanoi tower

There is a unique strategy how to move $n$ disks from the first rod to the second optimally and it takes $2^n-1$ steps, solution is obtained by simple recursion. I am interested into the following ...
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### Verifying the correctness of a Sudoku solution

A Sudoku is solved correctly, if all columns, all rows and all 9 subsquares are filled with the numbers 1 to 9 without repetition. Hence, in order to verify if a (correct) solution is correct, one has ...
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### Motivation and Intuition for Sprague-Grundy Theorem

I have read about Sprague Grundy Theorem and understand the proof of its correctness. However, I am unable to see the motivation behind the definitions. How do Sprague and Grundy know that they should ...
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### Generalized Sprague-Grundy Theorem

Hey, I know what is Sprague-Grundy theorem, but I want to know about generalized Sprague-Grundy (GSG) theorem ( which is used for games with cycles ). Apparently there seems to be very less ...
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### Principal maximal ideals in Z[x]/(F)

Is there some irreducible $F \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$ such that $\mathbb{Z}[x]/(F)$ has no principal maximal ideal? Equivalently, is it possible that the $1$-dimensional integral domain $\mathbb{Z}[x]/(F)$ ...
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### Open games formed by pasting together infinitely many clopen games

Throughout, I think of games and their underlying trees as the same: so a "clopen game" and a "well-founded tree" mean the same thing. Fix a sequence of clopen games $\lbrace T_i: i\in\omega\rbrace$. ...
270 views

### Equilibrium of random zero-sum game,

Hi, How to find, or at least express, the equilibrium of a zero-sum game with an $n*n$ payoff matrix (each player has $n$ strategies) and the payoff of the entry $(i,j)$ is $u(i,j)$. $u$ a random ...
138 views

### What is known about infinite diminished disjunctive compounds of loopfree partizan combinatorial games?

Background Basic theories of loopy (normal-play) games which may go on forever under the usual disjunctive sum (the game ends when there are no moves available for you in any component on your turn) ...
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### Sane bound on number of moves for Maker-Breaker game on $\mathbb R^2$ for $\{0,1,2,3,4\}$

The description below comes from József Beck. Combinatorial games. Tic-tac-toe theory, Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications, 114. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, MR2402857 (...
314 views

### a question on game of chess [closed]

In the game of chess,it is a proven fact that either of the three conditions hold: 1)white has a winning strategy 2) black has a winning strategy or 3)either of them can at least force a draw. It is ...
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### Calculating the Shapley value in a weighted voting game.

Given a special case of WVG (Weighted Voting Game) of $a$ 1s and $b$ 2s and a quota q, $[q:1,1,1,1..1,2,2,..2]$. I need help with calculating the Shapley value of a player with a weight of $2$ and a ...
880 views

### Generalized tic-tac-toe

We begin with $2n+1$ cards, each with a distinct number from $-n$ to $+n$ on it, face up in between the two players of the game. The players take turns selecting a card and keeping it. The first ...
424 views

### Resources-Aware Combinatorial Game Theory

First of all, I preemptively apologize if my question happens to be naive, I am no expert of CGT (or general game theory, for that matter). Now the question: **is there such a thing as the study of ...
837 views

### The game of removing two vertices in a graph

Consider the following impartial combinatorial game played with finite graphs: A move removes two adjacent vertices; and of course all edges connected with them. The game then continues with the new ...
712 views

### Sliding blocks puzzle

Consider a 'game' played on a subset $S$ of an $n^2$ square grid as follows. There are 3 types of pieces, each occupying a square of $S$, 1 green, some red and the rest are blue, a move consists of ...
920 views

### Game on undirected graphs

One of my friends suggested the following 2-player game. ...
1k views

### Motivation for the Sprague-Grundy theorem

The Sprague-Grundy theorem states that every impartial combinatorial game under the normal play convention is equivalent to a (unique) nimber. What does the equivalence relation thus defined tell us ...
633 views

### Chomp! without the law of the excluded middle

Consider the following impartial combinatorial game, a generalization of Chomp! as mentioned in the paper by David Gale: At each step, we have a finite partially ordered set $S$. Player I or II ...
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### A modified divisor game

Consider a two player game. There are N balls marked 1 to N. A move consists of removing a ball n and all other balls which are divisors of n (including 1). The players alternate the moves. The one ...
11k views

### A Game on Noetherian Rings

A friend suggested the following combinatorial game. At any time, the state of the game is a (commutative) Noetherian ring $\neq 0$. On a player's turn, that player chooses a nonzero non-unit element ...
160 views

### Does a generalized Queen split the upper P-positions of Wythoff Nim into two new beams of P-positions?

Wythoff Nim is an impartial game where 2 players take turns in reducing the heights of two finite heaps of tokens. Two types of moves are allowed (I) Remove any number of tokens from precisely one ...
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### Traversing the infinite square grid

Starting somewhere on an infinite square grid, is it possible to visit every square exactly once, if at move $n$, one must jump $a_n$ steps in one of the directions north,south,east or west, and mark ...
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### Sets as Combinatorial Games

Just a few days ago my seemingly eternal and recurrent fascination for Conway's combinatorial game theory (CGT) & surreal numbers had a recrudescence, so I grabbed this excellent survey, and began ...
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### Proof of Upper bound of price of anarchy in local connection game

I am looking at the work by Fabrikant "On a Network Connection Game" (http://webcourse.cs.technion.ac.il/236620/Spring2005/ho/WCFiles/FLMPS_netDesign.pdf). This work presents a game-theoretic ...
1k views

### Is there a chess position equivalent to the Collatz conjecture?

Suppose we have an infinite board with a finite number of chess pieces. The question is whether white can checkmate black (without the after 50 moves it is a draw rule). Can you give an explicit ...
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### Rolling-ball game

The analyses in two recent MO questions ("recent" with respect to the original posting in 2011), "Rolling a random walk on a sphere" and "Maneuvering with limited moves on $S^2$," suggest a Rolling-...
636 views

### Bridge game with only one suit: strategy

This game looks like bridge, but 1- there are only two players Alice and Bob, 2- there is only one suit, whose cards are numbered $1, 2,\ldots,2n$. One deals each player $n$ cards. Therefore Alice ...
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### Characterizing the surcomplex numbers

Conway showed that the Field of surreal numbers ("${\bf No}$") is the maximal totally ordered Field. Later Jacob Lurie showed that the Group of all partizan games ${\bf Pg}$ is the universally ...
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### Checkmate in $\omega$ moves?

Is there a chess position with a finite number of pieces on the infinite chess board $\mathbb{Z}^2$ such that White to move has a forced win, but Black can stave off mate for at least $n$ moves for ...
345 views

### Has anyone seen this version of ring toss (combinatorial object) before?

In reference to a question on work of Westzynthius and another question relating to Jacobsthal's function, I have formed a game which I immodestly call Paseman's Ring Toss. I hope that it has been ...
407 views

### Approximate search space on a 5x5x5 cube with 3 different possible classes?

Hey all, I read the meta, and I realize this question might be pretty elementary for this site, but I'm having trouble computing this, and I know it won't take too much insight for someone to give me ...
13k views

### Winning strategy at chomp (a chocolate bar game)?

The game of chomp is an example of a game with very simple rules, but no known winning strategy in general. I copy the rules from Ivars Peterson's page: Chomp starts with a rectangular array of ...
If you wanted to measure the strength of, say, a chess player, the best way would involve knowing the true value of each position: then you could compute the frequency $W$ with which the player finds ...
Let $m,n,u,v \in \mathbb{N}$ be parameters with $m,n \geq 3$. Suppose two players play a game on a $m \times n$ chess board and we denote the squares of the board by the set of points $(i,j)$ such ...