School of Mathematical Sciences

The Only Winning Move Is Not to Play: Tic-tac-toe and Other Positional Games menu

The Only Winning Move Is Not to Play: Tic-tac-toe and Other Positional Games

Speaker: 
Natalie Behague
Date/Time: 
Tue, 14/02/2017 - 12:00
Room: 
203

Most of us learnt at a young age that the game of 'Tic-tac-toe' (or 'noughts and crosses') ends in a draw, at least if both players play with a modicum of sense. At that stage, most of us probably wrote the game off, but perhaps we shouldn't have been so hasty. There are several natural generalisations of the game which are not so easy to play, and many basic questions about these are still unsolved. We will discuss some of the theory behind these and other positional games, such as 'Hex' and 'Sim', including providing answers to questions like 'how do you steal a strategy?', 'why is avoiding harder than achieving?' and 'who or what is Snaky?'