Remember when you were a kid and spent a few hours of your life playing tic-tac-toe? But then you figured out what the best moves were, and that was the end of it. Expand that to 5 in a row, and you’ve got yourself a whole new game! Yes, we are talking about Gomoku.
Have you ever heard about this game? Or this is the first time you have got to know about it? Want to try it to put your brain to the test? But before that, we think you need to know: How to play Gomoku? That is the reason why we write this article. Keep reading through all of our words to get more immersed information about this game including its origin, rules, and playing strategy.
I. Gomoku – Origin of the game
Gomoku is a traditional Japanese board game for two people that is similar to but more difficult than the game tic-tac-toe. It is best played with a standard Go board. But you can also easily enjoy the game on the go without a Go board. At that time, you just need a graph paper, or you can draw relatively straight lines and you’re ready to go.
Gomoku is a five-in-a-row abstract game that is played on a 19-line board. The goal of the game is to get five stones in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. So what makes this game different from other games like checkers or tic tac toe? Well, for one thing, it’s possible to win by capturing your opponent’s stones because you’re always playing against someone else!
Gomoku is an ancient Japanese game that can be found in many Asian cultures. It’s also known as Gobang, Igo, and Ponukumu! So, what’s your favorite way to play Gomoku? As in the Japanese game Tengen, on paper with pencils and dice? Or maybe you’d rather play online or with a phone app that calculates all of your options before you make them!
Gomoku is a traditional Japanese board game.
Gomoku is supposed to be invented by an Italian person named Edmondo de Acimis in the period of 1890 and 1920 AD. Perhaps you’re wondering why this game is called ‘Gomoku,’ What’s the story behind this name?
There are two different theories about the origin of this game. The first is that it is derived from the ancient Japanese word “go,” which means “five.” Supporters of this theory claim that it’s because you have to get five in a row to win!
According to the second theory, Gomoku evolved from a Buddhist game played around 1000 AD that involved placing stones at the intersections of lines within specific boundaries (much like tic tac toe).
II. Gomoku how to play – Gomoku rules
As you may know, Gomoku is a board game that is played on a 19×19 squared board, (just like Go). There are a total of 361 intersections where a stone can be placed. Each player has 60 stones to place on the intersections, which they alternate doing. The player with the black stones is the one who starts the game.
Gomoku is played on a 19×19 squared board
The player with the black stones places the first stone on the central intersection of the board. On one of the eight intersections, the white player places his stone next to the black stone. The black player then does the same, and so on, until one of the two players has successfully aligned five stones of his own color.
The game ends when one player has achieved a line of 5 stones in a row vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. If neither player can create a 5-stone lineup after placing all of their stones, the game is declared a tie and they must start over. A Gomoku match is usually split into two innings, with the first inning going to the person who started with black and the second inning going to the person who started with white.
III. Gomoku how to win – Gomoku playing strategy
Unlike every other game, Gomoku is a strategic game that triggers the reasoning and arithmetic part of your brain. It would just involve some practice and this guide will help you out in stressful moves of the game.
Here are some best tips on how to win in Gomoku. To help you better understand all these playing strategies, we have divided them into three stages:
3.1. Before the game or preparation
- Know who you’re up against: When playing a live Gomoku game, you should learn everything you can about your opponent. Gomoku players all have their game history. Figure out their theoretical knowledge, personality, and mental fortitude. Or you can simply ask some players who are familiar with that opponent and gather as much relevant information as possible.
- Play with more experienced players and put them to the test. You must play with better players and compete with their minds if you want to improve. Playing weak players all of the time will not keep your mind challenged.
Gomoku is a strategic game that triggers the reasoning and arithmetic part of your brain
- Study the games of great players – don’t just look at the moves; try to think about why the player moved there and what his plan was after each move. You can even try to come up with a better move for the position later.
- In training, try to outplay your opponent rather than simply using an opening or scheme that he is unfamiliar with. Try to convince yourself that you are a better player than your opponent is. It’s a lot more satisfying than simply winning.
- Focus on your weaknesses if you are aware of them. You must train to improve flaws such as theory, positional game, and slow thinking, among others. Otherwise, your opponents will exploit these flaws against you.
- Play more live games, which are a completely different experience than playing online games. The intensity of the excitement, tension, and emotions is far greater than on the Internet. Training on the boards in real-time will help you get used to it and improve your live tournament ability.
3.2. During the game
1. Always block the opponent’s four before thinking. Don’t think about what this four would change in the position. If you want to keep playing, you only have one move left. After the move, you can consider the position.
Make use of your opponents’ time. Think about his and your move during his time, especially if you don’t have enough time at the end of a game; it will give you a significant advantage.
2. Always check the position after your opponent’s move instead of playing right away. Even if your opponent made the move you expected, don’t play your move with seconds (especially in live games), and make sure the position you counted in your head will develop in the same way on the board. Make a plan and stick to it/adjust as needed. Make a game plan and stick to it before the game.
3. Make a plan beforehand. Make a game plan and stick to it before the game. Try to stick to the plan with every move you make. Your opponent, for example, prefers to attack only. So the best strategy would be to allow your opponent to attack while controlling the position until your opponent has nowhere to build the attack. Then prepare to launch an attack on yourself.
4. Adjust your plan when needed. Don’t be afraid to change your strategy as the game progresses, but every move must be executed in accordance with your new strategy.
5. Consider the game’s future development and look for moves that will help in future positions.
As an example, consider how to block more effectively in the above picture. After the blacks, the white player has two options to set up the 18 stone. It can be placed either on the C5 or C7.
C5 may appear to be an obvious move. However, from a strategic standpoint, it is a horror film because it allows the black to occupy the space in the middle. The situation does not appear to be a white advantage after 19-f8. So, this is not a good block.
C7 is the correct block. This is a far superior move that allows the white to spread their options in the middle while preventing the black from winning in the corner.
Even if the black plays 19-d7, the white can still maintain control and build a strong position in the upper part of the board where the black has no moves.
This simple example demonstrated how thinking about the game’s future development can very easily prepare an advantage, or how a lack of this thinking can ruin the position and cause the game to lose pace.
7. When playing a long live game, try to relax your mind while your opponent is on the clock. Because it is difficult to concentrate for the entire 4 hours, you should think about something other than the game or don’t think at all. Take a walk and look at the other games.
8. Be inventive. When it’s your turn, you have the first idea within seconds and almost always stick to it. Once in a while, after finding the typical move that you would play (especially at the start of a corner game), try to play a new move that will refresh the game and may surprise the opponent.
9. Pay special attention to and spend more time on the first ten moves of the game, as they largely define the rest of the game. If you make a mistake at the start of the game, you will not be able to save it, even if you are the best player in the world.
Have fun with Gomoku
10. Be mentally and physically prepared. Concentrate on your game and try not to think about your daily problems. Rest and eat well. A good night’s sleep and a nutritious meal can improve your mood and performance more than great theoretical knowledge.
3.3. After the game
1. Have fun with the game, respect your opponent, appreciate the beauty of the game, and play fairly.
This is the final and most important piece of advice we can offer you. After all, Gomoku is all about having fun and enjoying the game. Fair play shows respect for sportsmanship and your opponent. Try to figure out what Gomoku is all about. On the other hand, fight hard and refuse to give up any move or game. When your opponents know that every game with you will be difficult as f*ck, they will respect you and try harder to beat you subconsciously.
Overall, Gomoku is sure to be a stimulating pastime for you and your friends, requiring you to engage just the right amount of your brain – neither too much that it becomes a task, nor too little that you become bored.
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