Chapter Zero: Five Steps to Winning in Othello
Well, if you have read through the Basic Class and have come this far to read on to this next Intermediate Class, I would assume that you are ready and intending to take your game to the next level.
It is very common to see this sort of situation played out when Black as a more advanced player plays against a beginner playing White with both players refusing to move out of the center 16 square box. In this situation, Black has successfully performed Step One and minimised pretty well in the center and limiting the options that White has essentially to only 25% of the board as indicated by the arrows. In comparison, Black has a much higher mobility to more than double of White at 62.5% of the board based on the areas Black can play to.
|Diagram 0-A Diagram 0-B Diagram 0-C|
As the game moves on, Diagram 0-A is a possible result when White continues to try to grab all edges at the start of the game while Black continues to centralise. In Diagram 0-A, it is White's turn to play and it is shown that White has essentially 5 possible moves and just 2 safe moves (not an X-square or C-square move) marked by the green crosses.
|Diagram 0-D Diagram 0-E Diagram 0-F|
Diagram 0-D shows the end result after White has captured C1. Over here, what Black would really wish for is to be able to play a move to the A7 C-Square marked by the star which will result in White only having two choices to A5 or B7 marked by red crosses. Both these two moves will open two corners to A1 or A8 respectively for Black allowing Black to capture these two corners.
|Diagram 0-G Diagram 0-H Diagram 0-I|
Finally, in Diagram 0-G, Black is able to capture the corner A8 after White has played B7.
As mentioned in the Basic Class, corners are stable as well as all adjacent discs or diagonally layered discs from it. Thus, the consequent strategy for Black after it has obtained the corner A8 is to expand its influence using its strength which is the stable corner A8 in either the top direction or to the right of the board as shown in Diagram 0-H.
With that, I end off Chapter Zero of the Intermediate Class on how we should go about winning a standard game. Out of the Five Steps to Winning in Othello, the easiest steps would certainly be Steps Two to Five.
The main step that really gives us all problems is Step One which involves running your opponent out of moves. The following chapters will continue to explain how to carry out Steps Two to Five correctly and effectively while the Advance Class will talk about the hardest step which is Step One.