Rules of "Come on Sisyphos" Einstein forum

7 replies. Last post: 2007-05-05

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Rules of "Come on Sisyphos"
  • Ingo Althofer at 2007-03-24

    Let me start with the differences to

    EinStein wurfelt nicht.

    (i) Pieces do not have numbers.

    (ii) Dices are not involved.

    (iii) CoS is asymmetric.

    (iv) CoS may last many many moves.

    And now, the rules themselves.

    \\\\ Come on, Sisyphos ****

    Copyright Ingo Althofer, February 2007

    In principle, it is a quick endeavor for two persons

    from 6 years upwards. However, when Sisyphos has

    problems, the thing goes like a Volkswagen:

    it runs and runs and runs and …

    The two players move in turn. Sisyphos has five

    stones, the boss of the opposing team is

    directing three dwarves.

    The quadratic board has 5x5 squares.

    When using coordinates like in EinStein, so

    a,b,c,d,e for the columns and 1,2,3,4,5

    for the rows, then the stones of Sisyphos

    start on the squares e1,d1,e2,c1,e3, i.e.,

    in the lower right corner. The dwarves begin

    in the upper left corner, at a5,a4,b5.

    Sisyphos is winner, when one of his stones reaches

    the square a5 “in good time”. The dwarves are winners,

    when either one of them reaches e1 (the corner of

    Sisyphos), or when Sisyphos was not able for 60 moves

    to achieve his goal.

    Moves are in principle like in EinStein.

    When it is Sisyphos' turn, he moves one of his stones

    forward, either orthogonally (to the left or upward)

    or diagonally (for instance from d1 to c2).

    Analogously, the boss of the dwarves moves one of his

    pieces one step forward in direction to the camp of

    Sisyphos. Example: a dwarf on b4 may move to b3 or c4

    or c3.

    For both players, the target square of a move is not

    allowed to keep an own piece. (This is in contrast to

    EinStein, where self captures are allowed.) Is there

    an enemy on this square it is captured and taken from

    the board (temporarily).

    For both parties, sidesteps or backward moves are not allowed.

    Instead of a normal “push move” a player is also allowed

    to re-enter one of his offboard pieces. This has to be done

    on a free square and in the very back. When square e1 is

    free, it is Sisyphos' enter square. When e1 is occupied,

    d1 and e2 are the next candidate squares for enter moves

    by Sisyphos. When all three squares e1,d1,e2 are occupied,

    Sisyphos may enter on one of c1,d2,e3, and so on.

    Analogously, a dwarf has to enter on a5, when free.

    When a5 is occupied, a4 and b5 are the next candidate

    squares for re-entering. Are they also occupied (meaning

    that Sisyphos has a direct win), a3,b4,c5 may be occupied.

    It is not allowd to pass.

    Sisyphos has the first move. Come on!

    Attention: It is not mandatory to re-enter

    captured pieces immediately. Players are free

    to keep them in hand as long as they want.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ End or Rule ****************

    FAQ: Is it at all possible for Sisyphos

    to win against intelligent dwarves?

    My doctoral student Eiko Bleicher has done complete

    retrograde analysis of CoS which showed that Sisyphos

    indeed has paths to win. When both sides act optimally

    (Sisyphos trying to win as quick as possible,

    the dwarves trying to resist as long as possible)

    it takes Sisyphos 17 pairs of moves to reach the goal.

    In practice, however, most human players have hard

    problems to win in (comfortable) 50 or 60 moves.

  • Telestes at 2007-03-25

    Nice game idea Ingo!

    I would recommend to use the re-enter mechanism of CoS in EWN, too.

    einstein.ch.2.1.1 shows a clear tie between the top EWN players - so I think it's time for more complex EWN rules and re-entering would be a very good option.

  • Ingo Althofer at 2007-03-26

    Hello Telestes,

    > Nice game idea Ingo!

    Thanks for the flowers.

    > I would recommend to use the re-enter mechanism

    > of CoS in EWN, too.

    I do not favour introducing new variants of EinStein

    here. More than a year ago, K.D. Hoffmann made a

    similar proposal for a variant “ZweiStein” (see in

    the earlier part of this forum) - and after some

    discussion the tenor was: There are many many ways

    to put small changes into Ewn; and everybody may try

    such variants. However, the clearness of the basic

    rule set should remain -especially also, because it

    is so easy for newcomers to understand the formal rules.

    > einstein.ch.2.1.1 shows a

    > clear tie between the top EWN players -

    I am pretty sure that this is just by chance.

    Next time, there may be a clear winner again.

    (By the way, my 100-percent-win of einstein.ch.1.1.1

    did not happen because of superiority, but at least

    partly by luck.(

    > so I

    > think it's time for more complex EWN rules and

    > re-entering would be a very good option.

    Also, long ago Theo van der Storm proposed a nice Ewn

    variant with re-entering (maybe the discussion on this

    was in the forum of inetplay): The player who captures

    a stone of the opponent may freely decide whether to put

    it out or to place it on any free square of the board.

    Ingo.

  • Carroll ★ at 2007-03-26

    I think I play EinStein the way you should play CoS…

    Did you see some connections between the two games?

    Did you get this idea for some simple EinStein positions evaluation?

  • Ingo Althofer at 2007-03-27

    Hi Carroll,

    > Did you see some connections between the two games?

    Yes. Both are on 5x5 board. Move directions are

    identical, and the goal squares are the same.

    Main Differences:

    \* EinStein has dice, Sisyphos not.

    \* EinStein has numbers, Sisyphos not.

    \* EinStein is definitely finite, Sisyphos not.

    \* EinStein is symmetric, Sisyphos definitely not.

    Playing Siyphos makes most fun, when exactly one of

    the two players is experienced. The newby should play the

    role of Sisyphos and try to understand how to achieve his

    goal.

    And opening a secret: In my little 3-Hirn-Verlag the

    (laminated) game boards are a somewhat weak spot. In the

    second half of 2007 a very nice wooden board with 5x5 squares will

    be available. So, it is currently natural to broaden

    the portfolio of games for this 5x5 board. Customers

    will have to buy the (expensive) board only once, and can play

    several differnt 3-Hirn games on it.

    Ingo.

    PS: Our Sisyphos investigations did not help us to

    find better computer evaluations for Ewn.

  • William S. at 2007-04-29

    I think it would be interesting to have games of COS played in pairs, one game with player 1 as Sisyphus and one with player 2 as Sisyphus. Whoever wins their game(as Sisyphus) in fewer moves wins. Preferably if the game is played this way the “60 moves” rule should be removed and the dwarves should only be able to win if they reach e1, though I think this will be unlikely. This would also have the benefit of a simple komi-like handicap system where the stronger player would have a few moves added to their score in order to make a more even game.

  • Ingo Althofer at 2007-05-05

    William S. wrote:

    > I think it would be interesting to have games of

    > COS played in pairs, one game with player 1 as

    > Sisyphus and one with player 2 as Sisyphus.

    > Whoever wins their game(as Sisyphus) in fewer

    > moves wins.

    Interesting. When realized, it should be taken care

    that not one of the players has the opportunity

    to reach a draw by a mirror strategy.

    By the way: For me, the nicest way of playing

    Sisyphos in reality is to have two players of different

    levels of experience:

    Play is on one board only.

    The senior takes the dwarves.

    The greenhorn is Sisyphos. He will try and try and try…

    until he finally understands how to win. Then the session ends,

    and the greenhorn gets his/her (informal) Sisyphos diploma.

    He or her self may start to teach other Sisyphi.

    > This would also have the benefit of a simple

    > komi-like handicap system where the stronger

    > player would have a few moves added to their

    > score in order to make a more even game.

    Good idea.

    Ingo.

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