Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Vol. 1
By Elwyn R. Berlekamp, John Horton Conway, Richard K. Guy,
Publisher: AK Peters, Ltd.
Number Of Pages: 296
Publication Date: 2001-01-01
Sales Rank: 397909
ISBN / ASIN: 1568811306
Manufacturer: AK Peters, Ltd.
Studio: AK Peters, Ltd.
Average Rating: 4.5
Total Reviews: 4
Nearly a quarter of a century ago, three mathematicians created the
first and definitive book on mathematical games. Now, this classic is
being republished in a completely revised edition, broken down into
four volumes to accommodate new developments and to reorganize the
material in the most accessible way. In Volume 1, the authors present
theories and techniques to dissect games of varied structures and
formats in order to develop winning strategies. The irreverent yet
highly effective style of the book, as reflected in some of the
reviews, makes reading a profitable pleasure. The inclusion of many
examples helps the reader to put
the mathematical analysis to immediate use.
Date: 2004-10-20 Rating: 5
These new editions have many new and interesting stuff that is not
included in the original outdated series. It contains many fresh ideas
that the authors recently discovered including those old ones. For old
ones the original volume has more to say...
Date: 2001-10-19 Rating: 5
Review: Geniuses and Games
This book is dazzling. It can be pretty tough going but it is well
worth the effort. You can always tell the work of a genius because it
illuminates the landscape and shows us things we have never seen
before. I design games for a living and this book rocks! Hackenbush,
Nimbers, games with 1/2 move advantage. Well illustrated. ONLY PROBLEM:
Where are volumes 2-4?
Date: 2001-03-01 Rating: 3
Review: Note - the volumes have been renumbered
This is a classic set of books, and greatly improved from the original
version. But if you're looking for the old Volume 1, this book will
disappoint. The second edition of Winning Ways is split into 4
separately published books. So THIS Volume 1 is just half of the old
Volume 1. Be prepared.
Date: 2001-02-24 Rating: 5
Review: Games come in many forms!
This is the most difficult collection of puns that I have ever read. Of
course, that has something to do with the fact that they are surrounded
by some of the most complex mathematical analyses of games that you
will find. The types of games that are examined are processes that have
the following general structure:
1) There are two players.
2) There are many different positions, with one singled out as the starting position.
3) Players move according to very specific rules.
4) The players move alternately.
5) Both players have complete information.
6) There is no chance element to the play. For example, dice are not involved.
7) The first player unable to move loses the game.
8) The game will always move to a state where a player cannot move, which is an ending condition.
The hardest part of the material is the notation, it is unusual
and absolutely necessary to understand the treatment of nearly all the
games. However, once you get over that, something that took me a couple
of passes, the games become interesting. Some of them turn out to be
trivial, although at first reading, that would not be your conclusion.
I also would caution you that this is not recreational mathematics in
its base form. These games and problems are nontrivial and most require
some serious thought, even when the result is simple. As I read through
these games and the mathematical examination of the consequences of
playing them, I was struck by two semi-profound thoughts.
1) The human mind can create a game out of just about anything.
Some of these games are nothing more than colored marks on paper.
2) Even simple rules can generate complex results. However,
mathematical analysis gives us powerful tools that inform us how to
win, or as the case may be, how not to lose, or to lose as slowly as
possible. Berklekamp and company have created a classic work that is a
must read if you want to understand game-like behavior. While not easy,
it is some of the most worthwhile material that you will ever read. I
read the first edition several years ago and found the going just as
interesting the second time. Published in Journal of Recreational
Mathematics, reprinted with permission.
Not registered yet? We'll like you more if you do!