World
Game
Of
Sprouts
Association

# Cal's Currajong: Sea Monster

Perhaps legend's sea monster is a garbled memory of an early sailor's glimpse into monstrous generality. But generality can be a good thing too, and if we want to sail far out into the infinitely blue ocean of sprouts, we will need magnetic compass and the crafted techniques of celestial navigation.

Thoughts such as these, and some recent analytical work I have done, inspired me to spend several hours last week at my favorite think tank facilitating evolutionary punctuation on the noosphere-cocktail napkin interface. The culminating ubernapkin bears the following chart:

 N Game Trapeze 16 1 F 15 0 F 14 0 0 13 1 F 12 0 F 11 0 0 10 1 F 9 0 F 8 0 0 7 1 F 6 0 F 5 0 0 4 1 1 3 0 1 2 0 0 1 1 1

In the second column, "1" means that an odd number of isolani will be produced in addition to any traps, for a game of N dots. "0" means an even number of isolani will be produced.

In the third column, "1" means any trapeze move to a pool of N dots will produce an odd number of isolani, in addition to any traps. "0" means any trapeze move will produce an even number of isolani. "F" means the trapeze artist can produce his choice of even or odd.

ANALYSIS (Find a shrink.) This chart did not turn out at all as I expected. I expected to find that player1 would have a great first move for 15 dots, 16 dots, and 17 dots, and again for 21 dots, 22 dots and 23 dots, and so forth. By "great" I mean an aggressive, looping move not spoiled by any trapeze reply, a move that would win both in normal and reverse play. But the chart indicates that no such move is available for 15 dots. Any way you loop in 15 dots, the chart says that player2 will have a trapeze move forcing an odd number of isolani. For instance,

15+ 1(16)1[2-8] 1(17)16[2,3]

Remember, player1 as warmonger needs an even number of isolani if there are any traps. Won't there always be traps? Well, let's think about it for another week. Maybe the chart needs revision.

--Cal Hudson, First World Champion of Sprouts