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Hex Strategy: Making the Right Connections

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Cameron Browne

It it quite the best single-game book I have seen. If you love abstract games it is essential reading. --Kerry Handscomb, Abstract Game Magazine, Autumn 2000.    The book is a must for any recreational mathematician. --Ian Stewart, … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Cameron Browne
Publisher: AK Peters
1 review about Hex Strategy: Making the Right Connections

Strategies for a simple game with many subtle possibilities

  • Aug 1, 2000
Rating:
+3
While I had heard of the game of Hex, until I read this book, it had been of little interest to me. My interest in games like this extends very little beyond the analysis of strategies. In most cases, I find detailed treatments of tactics to be uninteresting and rarely complete an article much less a book. However, this time I read it completely and not just because I needed to for the review. I am not sure whether it is the game itself or the writers explanation, but my interest never wavered throughout. While many of the questions regarding the best next move had clear solutions, there were times when I did not believe that the given move was the appropriate one. However, once I read the explanation, there was no doubt.
It is this feature that most likely kept my interest. Some of the strategies are obvious and easily seen. The point where my interest was really generated was when the subtlety of play began to become evident. Seemingly foolish moves are suddenly understood to be brilliant ones that force the conclusion. It is easy to prove that every game must have a winner and also that there must be an optimal strategy that will guarantee victory. The problem of course is that the next best move that guarantees victory often appears as one of little consequence.
This is the first book about games that I have read from cover to cover in many years where my interest never wavered. I tackled most of the problems and came away with a deep appreciation for the game and the difficulty of play. It is strongly recommended.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission.

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