odd-sized vs. even-sized boards Hex, Havannah

3 replies. Last post: 2003-01-09

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odd-sized vs. even-sized boards
  • Ed Collins at 2003-01-09

    How do the stronger players here feel about odd-sized vs. even-sized boards? For example, with all odd-sized boards, there is always a “middle” hexagon, and it's usually this hexagon my opponent chooses to occupy if he/she declines to swap my opening move. However, with an even-sized board, there IS no middle hexagon. Since I've read it's a very slight advantage to go second (and thus having the option to swap) wouldn't NOT having a middle hexagon be more of an equalizer to the game of Hex, and thus make for a better game? David, (and others) your thoughts please.

  • Bill LeBoeuf ★ at 2003-01-09

    I have thought along the same line as well, Ed, however, in the actual practice of playing a game it turns out not really to make any difference (double vs single center) because of the beauty of the swap option: if a single center portrays an advantage to swapping, simply start further away from the center to counter that advantage with your first move.

  • David J Bush ★ at 2003-01-09

    Yeah, if you think your opponent gets a slight edge by not swapping, regardless of what move he/she makes, then next game, make a slightly stronger initial move perhaps. I hope this makes sense. For example, it's no secret that I like to play 1.A3 (on 13x13 and probably other sizes as well), and that I will swap my opponent's 1.A3. (I also reserve the right to change my mind! :-) A 2nd move in the central cell is certainly a decent move, but “we have ways of dealing with that.” I have played several games that start 1.A3 2.G7 3.i7 4.i6 5.K5 for example. I don't see that even size would be better than odd size. But I do believe that a LARGER board should result in a more fair game, regardless of its parity. Trust the power of the swap rule!

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