Freestyle and Swap2 Gomoku Openings Gomoku, Connect6

5 replies. Last post: 2020-07-09

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Freestyle and Swap2 Gomoku Openings
  • ypaul21 at 2020-05-30

    Everywhere I read, it seems like the opening theory of Freestyle and Swap2 Gomoku are very well understood by good players. However, I have yet to find anything on it online. Does anyone have any resources for tactics and strategies for this game? I am especially interested in fair and not-so-fair openings with the Swap2 rule, but I wouldn’t mind reading about any aspect of the game.

    I know that there are a lot of material on Renju, like on renju.net, and an actual book published in English, for example, but for some reason, resources on the basic game seem to be quite obscure.

    Also, does anyone have anything on Connect6 openings?

    Thanks!

  • Chaosu at 2020-06-03

    I am not sure if there are many materials on swap 2. It creates many more possibilities and is meant to combat well researched swap openings. That’s why good understanding of game itself is required to understand swap2 well. 

    However there are lots of swap materials for sure and learning these openings will teach you main moves (so you know potential moves for swap 2 stone placement).  Polish players association accumulated lots of materials over the years and some of them you can find useful even without translator.

    Open gomoku (freestyle) is a sure win for starting player. You can find some renlib libraries here http://www.gomoku.5v.pl/index.php/gomoku-standard but I’m not sure if that method of learning is most useful for beginner. My guess is that it would be easiest to play some computer program which will be relentless in beating you (both as p1 and p2), where you can take back your moves and try a different one. Once you have some idea of how gomoku works, you could try studying openings here: http://www.gomoku.5v.pl/index.php/otwarcia-gomoku-swap Most of them are over 10 years old but should be helpful for beginner to show how different types of openings are played. 

    If studying openings (which may be tedious) is not for you, you can try finding a winning move in sample games. http://www.gomoku.5v.pl/index.php/zadania-gomoku There’s over 150 of them, but unfortunately not rated so easy and hard ones may be next to eachother. Solutions are in form of zipped renlib library, but games can be solved from browser. VCF stands for victory by continuing/continous fours (you are playing 4 in a row in every move with direct threat of winning in next move, forcing your opponent to defend) so they should be easiest. VCT is for attacking with threes (those usually can be defended with at least 2 different moves, but neither should matter if solved correctly). Combinations will be toughest, in general. 

    As for articles about gomoku, they are surely harder to find. Renju is played in Asia and Europe, while gomoku is considered competitive and a main game in fewer countries (mainy Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Russia). Other countries (Estonia) are renju focused but also participating in gomoku events. This is why there are more resources about renju and less about gomoku. You can find something to read at http://gomokuworld.com/gomoku/1 and http://gomokuworld.com/articles 

    I also recommend playing online at playok.com or playfive.net and maybe one day in a real life tournament too! There are few every year around Europe, with Championships played every second year. In fact, COVID epidemic cancelled two. I think you would be first British player in years!

    Let me know if you need any more help. 

  • ypaul21 at 2020-06-07

    Oh whoops, I only just noticed this reply!

    Thank you so much for that amazing writeup! You’re right that I was jumping ahead of myself, and there’s no point studying SWAP2 before SWAP, and there’s no point studying SWAP before freestyle. I am very interested in opening theory (it’s usually my favourite part of any game, although I am well aware that tactics in the middle game and end game are more important in almost every context). Your advice about playing with a strong computer player is excellent, and I feel that I can get much more out of a game vs a computer in this game than with, say, chess. I’ll try to look into it for sure!

    It definitely looks like I’ve just been searching in the wrong language! There’s very literature about Gomoku in English, and while I can read Japanese, the word ‘Gomoku’ appears to imply Renju in Japan today because the base game is just never played any more. Perhaps it’s time for me to pick up a little bit of the Polish language...

    I think this will keep me occupied for some time. Thanks again!

    I think I’ll always be keen to read about more things about Gomoku, so if anyone stumbles upon this thread in the future, please feel free to link me to more resources (in any language!).

  • Chaosu at 2020-07-09

    Another great link I found, maintained by Czech players: https://www.vcpr.cz/en/studying-online/

  • ypaul21 at 2020-07-09

    This is actually wonderful. I’ve been looking for gomoku problems for a while now. Thank you!

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