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Games Of No Chance
by Richard J. Nowakowski
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"This book must be read by every serious student of two-person full-information games, and it provides an excellent presentation for anyone seeking a proper introduction to the subject." Solomon W. Golomb, American Scientist
"Some books make mathematics look like so much fun! This collection of 35 articles and a comprehensive bibliography is a marvelous and alluring account of a 1994 MSRI two week workshop on combinatorial game theory. This could be a menace to the rest of mathematics; those folks seem to be having such a good time playing games that the rest of us might abandon 'serious' mathematics and join the party...Even the technical terms are laced with humor." Ed Sandifer, MAA Online
Is Nine-Men's Morris, in the hands of perfect players, a win for white or for black--or a draw? Can king, rook, and knight always defeat king and two knights in chess? What can Go players learn from economists? What are nimbers, tinies, switches, minies? This book deals with combinatorial games, that is, games not involving chance or hidden information. Their study is at once old and young: though some games, such as chess, have been analyzed for centuries, the first full analysis of a nontrivial combinatorial game (Nim) only appeared in 1902. This book deals with combinatorial games, that is, games not involving chance or hidden information. Their study is at once old and young: though some games, such as chess, have been analyzed for centuries, the first full anlaysis of a nontrivial combinatorial game (Nim) only appeared in 1902. The first part of this book will be accessible to anyone, regardless of background: it contains introductory expositions, reports of unusual contest between an angel and a devil. For those who want to delve more deeply, the book also contains combinatorial studies of chess and Go; reports on computer advances such as the solution of Nine-Men's Morris and Pentominoes; and new theoretical approaches to such problems as games with many players. If you have read and enjoyed Martin Gardner, or if you like to learn and analyze new games, this book is for you.
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