Othello Book of Brian Rose

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Othello: A Minute to Learn... A Lifetime to Master...

Brian Rose

"Othello" and "A Minute to Learn...A lifetime to Master..." are Registered Trademarks of Anjar Co., ©1973, 2004 Anjar Co., All Rights Reserved


Introduction

This is the most comprehensive book ever published on Othello strategy. Authored by the 2001 World Othello Champion, this book was written for anyone, from novice to expert, who wants to get better at Othello. Starting with a review of the rules, it builds up step by step from the basics of strategy to the advanced concepts used by experts. Whether you are looking for some help to win against your family or friends, or you hope to become the next World Champion, this book will help you win at Othello.

Acknowledgement

Part I

Part I of the book is written primarily with beginning and intermediate players in mind. It is meant to be read from beginning to end, with each chapter building on the previous ones.

Chapter 1: Rules and notation

reviews the rules of Othello and introduces the notation used in this book. While I expect that most readers will be familiar with the rules, I would encourage you to at least quickly read through this chapter, which explains the notation used throughout the book.

Chapter 2: Corners and stable discs

discusses the most basic strategies in Othello, namely taking corners and making stable discs. Knowing these strategies is critical to understanding the strategies which follow in rest of the book.

Chapter 3: Frontier discs and walls

covers the basic strategy which can force your opponent to give you corners and stable discs. Understanding this material can immediately give a tremendous boost to your playing strength.

Chapter 4: Introduction to openings

introduces openings and expands on some of the ideas in Chapter 3.

Chapter 5: Basic edge play

will show you how to play the edges, where making a mistake can easily cost you the game. Two critical concepts, pairs and tempos, are introduced.

Chapter 6: Basic endgame strategy

covers basic endgame strategy. Even for experts, the endgame is the hardest part of the game, and this chapter emphasizes winning in the easiest manner possible. The more difficult material on endgames appear in Chapters 8 and 13.

Chapter 7: Playing defense

discusses defensive plays, designed to prevent your opponent from making the sort of good moves that you are aiming for yourself.

Part II

Part II covers more advanced material; these chapters can be read in any order. Exercises appear at the end of most chapters. Some of these exercises will be difficult for novice players, but my hope is that the answers will provide you with further insights into good strategy.

Chapter 8: Even number theory

explores even number theory, also known as parity, which can make it much easier to find the right moves in the endgame. Using even number theory correctly is not easy, but it is important for anyone aspiring to become an expert.

Chapter 9: Tesuji Part I

cover “tesuji”, good moves to attack corners, that arise in certain positions which occur frequently enough to merit special attention.

Chapter 10: Tesuji Part II

cover “tesuji”, good moves like swindles and other tesujis that arise in certain positions which occur frequently enough to merit special attention.

Chapter 11: Book openings

discusses how to build your opening book. This chapter is designed mainly for players striving to become experts.

Chapter 12: Advanced midgame play

looks at midgame strategies at an advanced level. While some of this material is challenging, intermediate and advanced players should find something useful in the chapter.

Chapter 13: Endgame counting

goes into depth about how to count discs in the last few moves of the game. This chapter is by far the most difficult in the book, but even intermediate players should be able to understand the first section which explains how to count just the last two moves of the game.

Chapter 14: Becoming an expert

offers suggestions on how to become an expert at Othello. In particular, I highly recommend playing in over-the-board tournaments, where you can meet fellow Othello fans in face-to-face competition.

Chapter 15: Puzzles

contains “take-a-corner” puzzles. These puzzles are an excellent way to improve your ability to look ahead and have fun at the same time!

Chapter 16: Game analysis

analyzes a game from the finals of the 2003 World Othello Championship, showing how the various elements discussed in the book combine in a full game between the two best players in the world.

Appendix

The Appendix shows where to find resources related to Othello on the Internet.

Answers to Exercises

Glossary

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