A Cellular Automaton for Blocking Queen Games

Abstract : We show that the winning positions of a certain type of two-player game form interesting patterns which often defy analysis, yet can be computed by a cellular automaton. The game, known as Blocking Wythoff Nim, consists of moving a queen as in chess, but always towards (0,0), and it may not be moved to any of k−1 temporarily “blocked” positions specified on the previous turn by the other player. The game ends when a player wins by blocking all possible moves of the other player. The value of k is a parameter that defines the game, and the pattern of winning positions can be very sensitive to k. As k becomes large, parts of the pattern of winning positions converge to recurring chaotic patterns that are independent of k. The patterns for large k display an unprecedented amount of self-organization at many scales, and here we attempt to describe the self-organized structure that appears.
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Matthew Cook, Urban Larsson, Turlough Neary. A Cellular Automaton for Blocking Queen Games. 21st Workshop on Cellular Automata and Discrete Complex Systems (AUTOMATA), Jun 2015, Turku, Finland. pp.71-84, ⟨10.1007/978-3-662-47221-7_6⟩. ⟨hal-01442483⟩

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