Hello everybody!

Me and admin came to a conclusion, that it would be good to teach all of You, how to play this game well. I'll be happy to share some of my knowledge with you.

First off, I'm gonna tell you the general rules, then I'll enter some strategy, deeper strategy and so on.

So, the game is played on 7x6 board (which means there are 7 columns and 6 rows) like this:

By teachme2play

I've also signed some of empty spaces to make you all familiar with connect 4 nomenclature.

To be precise: The starting moves may be A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1, or G1.

This will be binding. I will never again write those numbers and letters on the images given below. A2 will always be A2, and C4 - C4.

7x6 means we have 42 empty spaces, so every player will place 21 counters of his color on the board (unless he/she wins/loses earlier).

In order to avoid any in-game misunderstandings, I show you how looks my board, and how looks my opponent's board at the same time.

This is my board:

By teachme2play

While this is Your board:

Our positions are mirrored. So when I talk about yellow counter in A1 you see it as a yellow counter in G1. The same goes with red counter in B2 - for you it is a red counter, but in F2. Naturally, the yellow counter in D1 is the same for both of us - I see it in D1, and you see it in D1.

OK, we've managed to pass the most boring part of the tutorial (I hope you understand everything so far)

Let's start with some history. Connect 4, 4 Gewinnt, Puissance 4, Four in a row, and Czwórki, are a rather young game. Unlike chess, or backgammon, they are described for the first time in James Cook's Captain's log. It takes us back to the 18th century. This game's been solved in 1988 by James Allen, Victor Allis and John Tromp (independently). The all came to the same conclusion: the game is won for the white player, if played perfectly.

What does it mean? Who is "the white player"?

Well, white and black player notation comes from chess, and means:

white player - the player, who begins the game (makes the first move)

black player - the player who makes the second move

That means the game favours the white player. Why? Because if white player plays perfectly, and black player plays perfectly, still white player will win the game. So the general rule for white is not to make a mistake during the play (because it grants a win). While for black - play something that will trick the white player into making a mistake, which will enable the black player to win. Sounds easy? But it's not.

Whoever played this game can say that it's really difficult. I don't have either time or space to write down all the correct variants, but I'll try to point out several correct openings (also a chess term), because almost 90% players make mistakes during their first 4 moves.

There's only one winning move at the beginning - D1.

If any of you had mustrum, you would see something like this:

--=+=-- ,

where - is a loss for you, = is a draw for you, and + means you win the game (but only if you play well in your next moves)

To prove that white player has an advantage, after 1. D1, black player sees:

------- ,

which means that no matter where he will make his first move (A1, B1, C1, D2, E1, F1, or G1) the white player will have at least one move that will grant him a win.

Now I'll show you some positions that are perfect play for white (of course with the notification) 3 yellow moves (white player) and 2 red moves (black player):

I've divided the photos into groups. This one has first black's move 1. ... D2 (and all possible second black moves) Of course these aren't all correct variants for white (but almost all of them), but these are perfect play for white player.

1. D1, D2 2. D3, D4 3. D5

1. D1, D2 2. D3, E1 3. D4

Notice, that black could play 2. ... C1. It would be the same position, but mirrored (the effect is the same) so I'm not making the second photo, because it would be a waste of time.

1. D1, D2 2. D3, E1 3. E2

1. D1, D2 2. D3, E1 3. B1

1. D1, D2 2. D3, F1 3. D4

Again, I could replace 2. ... F1 with 2. ... B1, and the result would be the same.

1. D1, D2 2. D3, F1 3. F2

1. D1, D2 2. D3, G1 (or A1) 3. D4

1. D1, D2 2. D3, G1 3. E1

1. D1, D2 2. D3, G1 3. C1

Argh! That's enough for today!