One of the traditional Japanese games is Gomoku which involves two players playing the game. Here the players need to place continuous 5 pieces of black and white stones on the board in any direction. The game board has got 15×15 grid lines where the players need to place the ball and play the game. When the player completes this task, he/she wins the game. Let us discuss how to play Gomoku game and understand the winning strategy.
How To Start The Game?
1. Divide the black and white pieces for both players evenly:
Gomoku is a game played using white and black pieces called stones. Here one player will have black stones, and the other will have white stones.
2. Start your game using black stone:
According to the game rule, one with the black stone must start the game. So, place one piece of black stone on the board at the line intersections formed by a grid of lines. In standard Gomoku, one can start playing the game by placing the stone on any intersections.
3. Alternate turns between players:
Soon after the player places the black stone on the board, it is the other player’s turn to place the white stone. While playing Gomoku tournaments, chess clocks are used to measure the turn length. Most tournaments’ time limit is 10 minutes per player in each game.
4. Aim to place 5 pieces on the same line:
It doesn’t matter in what direction you place the ball; you can consider it horizontally, vertically, or even diagonally. You need to place five pieces of stones on any unbroken line to win the game. Once you are done with this, you will be the winner of the game Gomoku.
The standard Gomoku game allows the winning lines with only 5 stones. Sometimes, rows with 6 or more pieces are known as over lines; hence, you shouldn’t count them.
Learn To Play The Game Strategically:
1. Think about your opponent’s turn:
When playing the live game, each player has only 10 minutes to finish the game. Regarding your opponent’s turn, you should think about the next move. Thus, utilize the opponent’s time and your time to play well. You can use this advantage especially when you are near the round’s end and also you both going timeless at the end.
When your opponent places four continuous stones, you should think of a way to block them. But you shouldn’t think about what you will do next in the game. Get the right idea to block your opponent and continue the game.
2. Concentrate on the first 10 moves:
The beginning of the game will tell you about how it will end the game. During the first 10 moves, ensure that you are planning in such a way as to have good moves. But engaging in a good position during the first ten moves will be easy for you. As time goes on, you will have fewer options to carry on.
While playing in a tournament, you can use more time at the beginning of the game to settle at good positions. At the end of the game, you can even move faster with fewer options.
3. Learn your opponent’s strength and style of playing:
When you are playing a live game, you should have keen notice of the opponent’s style of playing. Also, you should understand your opponent’s strengths to defeat them in the game. Sometimes, you played with the opponent before and remembered their playing sequences. Such ideas will help you to win the game against the opponent.
4. Block your opponent from achieving open 4:
Sometimes you may see the line of 4 stones with open spaces at the ends of the opponent’s stone pieces’ line. Ensure you avoid making such open 4 lines by your opponent to win the game. So, how do you block your opponent from achieving this? You need to block your opponent immediately when they reach the 3-stone line at both ends.
5. Make 2 attacking lines for an aggressive strategy:
One of the winning strategies that most players follow is the ‘fork.’ When you are playing try to make an overlapping line of stones that are having open ends to win the game.
In such a situation, you must create 2 potential lines of stones at one point intersection, known as a fork. It is difficult to handle this fork for your opponent, as they need to concentrate on your moves to block multiple threats.
6. Learn the concept of better players:
You need to search online for YouTube videos of experienced professionals playing Gomoku. You can improve slowly and learn the tricks behind this game to win at any player.
But you shouldn’t watch the game simply instead go for pausing at each move and understand them. After watching the game, you need to determine the overall strategy or plan.
Understand The Different Opening Variations:
1. Try the Pro rules for even gameplay:
In the Pro variation, the starting player should place the black stone at the center intersection point. After that, the other player can place the stone anywhere on the board.
Again, when it comes to the starting player’s turn, he should place the black stone at least 3 intersections away from the first one. So, the rest of the game will go as usual, and you can use these Pro rules to enjoy even gameplay.
2. To play evenly on the board, open with the Swap variation:
With a swap variation, the first player can put 1 white and 2 black stones on the board anywhere. So, here the second player will assign who can play and black for the remaining game.
The assigned player can take the white stone and place them anywhere on the board. Again the rest of the game proceeds with normal procedure, so the players can start placing stones on any intersection points.
The Bottom Line:
Now, you may get some idea of what the Gomoku game is about and how to play Gomoku. Learn the tricks and strategies before playing the game in tournaments. You can play with your friend and enjoy playing this game more.
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