Renju

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Renju
Renju.jpg
Renju is played on a 15×15 gridded board. The playing pieces, called stones, are played on the grid line intersections.
Genre(s) Board game
Abstract strategy game
Players 2
Setup time Minimal
Playing time Casual games: 5 to 30 minutes; tournament games: from 10 minutes (renju blitz) to 5 hours or longer
Random chance None
Skill(s) required Strategy, tactics

Renju (Japanese: 連珠) is the professional variant of Gomoku. It was named Renju by Japanese journalist Ruikou Kuroiwa (黒岩涙香) on December 6, 1899 in a Japanese newspaper Yorozu chouhou (萬朝報). The game is played with black and white stones on a 15×15 gridded Go board.

Renju eliminates the "Perfect Win" situation in Gomoku by adding special conditions for the first player (Black).

Rules[edit]

Opening rules[edit]

Unlike Gomoku, Renju has a unique sequence of opening moves called an "opening rule". There are several certified opening rules. The list of requirements for new opening rules as approved by the RIF General Assembly in 2003 was:[1]

I. Traditions

  • The basic Renju rules must be kept.
  • The opening stage must not exceed 5 moves.
  • All 26 canonical openings must be possible and only 26 canonical openings can be possible.
  • All present realistic variants must be possible.
  • The moves located very closely near the edges of a board during the opening stage are not preferable.

II. Simplicity and attraction

  • New rules must be simple to study.
  • New rules must be simple to play for beginners. The situation when in significant part of cases a beginner will have the lost position already after the first 5 moves is not good.
  • The rules must be systematic and attractive.

III. Creativity

  • The number of possible creative variants must be significantly greater than now. These variants must be achieved under the optimal strategy of both players.
  • The chances of sides to win must be practically equal.
  • The situation when during the opening stage the player who make a move does not interested in the forming of equal and creative position is not preferable. (Example: indirect 2nd move in previous opening rules).
  • The rules must give the chance for both players to avoid the position after the opening stage well known for the opponent.
  • The knowledge of theory and deep own analyses must give an advantage but the player with a good imagination must have chances against this.

An example of such opening rule (namely "RIF opening rule") follows.

  1. The first player places 2 black stones and 1 white stone on the board thus forming opening pattern.
  2. The second player now chooses whether to play black or white.
  3. White then places one more stone on the board.
  4. Black places 2 stones on the board.
  5. White removes one of the two black stones from the previous move.
  6. White places a white stone.

After this sequence is complete, Black and White continue to take turns to place their stones.

The Extra General Assembly of Renju International Federation in 2008 created three new sets of rules for openings that are to replace the above old sequence of moves:[2] Soosõrv, Taraguchi, and Yamaguchi. Also a rejection system for their use was approved. The General Assembly of Renju International Federation in 2009 certified Sakata opening rule as proposed by Russia. The General Assembly of Renju International Federation in 2011 certified modified opening rules such as Taraguchi-N and Soosõrv-N.

Disallowed moves[edit]

There are certain moves that Black is not allowed to make:

  • Double three – Black cannot place a stone that builds two separate lines with three black stones in unbroken rows (i.e. rows not blocked by white stones).
  • Double four – Black cannot place a stone that builds two separate lines with four black stones in a row.
  • Overline – six or more black stones in a row.

Winning[edit]

Black can win the game only by placing five black stones in a row (vertically, horizontally or diagonally).[3]

White can win by either:

  • getting five (or more) white stones in a row
  • forcing Black to make a forbidden move (see above).

Renju International Federation[edit]

The Renju International Federation (RIF) is an international organization which was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in August 8, 1988. The main purpose of the Renju is to unit all the renju and gomoku national federations all over the world, organize international tournaments and other activities in renju and gomoku, and spread renju activities in the world. The federation carry out the General Assembly every two years.[4]

Members[edit]

The Renju International Federation was founded in 1988 by 3 founder members: Japan, Soviet Union and Sweden. Up to 2017, there have been 20 members in the Renju International Federation. The list of members follows.[4]

Member Year of joining Status
 Japan 1988 Founder Member
 Russia 1988 Founder Member[a]
 Sweden 1988 Founder Member
 Canada 2003 Member
 China 1996 Member
 Macau, China 2015 Member
 Chinese Taipei 1999 Member
 Czech Republic 2003 Member
 Estonia 1988 Member
 Finland 2003 Member
 Greece 2016 Member
 South Korea 2001 Member
 Poland 2009 Member
 Turkey 2015 Member
 Uzbekistan 1999 Member
 Armenia 1988 Idle
 Azerbaijan 1988 Idle
 Belarus 1988 Idle
 Latvia 1988 Idle
 Ukraine 1988 Idle
  1. ^ Russia has inherited the place of the Soviet Union since 1992.

World Championships[edit]

There are several world championships organized by the Renju International Federation.

Individual World Championships[edit]

World Championships in Renju have occurred every second year, since 1989.[5] The opening rule was Yamaguchi from 2009 to 2015, and has been changed to Soosõrv-8 since 2017.

The results of previous World Championships are following:

Title year Hosting city, country Gold Silver Bronze Opening rule
1989 Kyoto, Japan Japan Shigeru Nakamura Japan Hideki Nara Japan Toshio Nishimura Swap
1991 Moscow, Soviet Union Japan Shigeru Nakamura Japan Makoto Yamaguchi Soviet Union Aldis Reims Swap
1993 Arjeplog, Sweden Estonia Ando Meritee Japan Hideki Nara Latvia Aldis Reims Swap
1995 Tallinn, Estonia Japan Norihiko Kawamura Estonia Ando Meritee Russia Dmitry Ilyin Swap
1997 Saint Petersburg, Russia Japan Kazuto Hasegawa Estonia Ando Meritee Japan Takashi Sagara RIF
1999 Beijing, China Estonia Ando Meritee Russia Igor Sinyov Sweden Stefan Karlsson RIF
2001 Kyoto, Japan Estonia Ando Meritee Russia Vladimir Sushkov Russia Igor Sinyov RIF
2003 Vadstena, Sweden Estonia Tunnet Taimla Russia Vladimir Sushkov Estonia Ando Meritee RIF
2005 Tallinn, Estonia Estonia Ando Meritee Russia Vladimir Sushkov Russia Konstantin Chingin RIF
2007 Tyumen, Russia China Wu Di Russia Konstantin Chingin Japan Yusui Yamaguchi RIF
2009 Pardubice, Czech Republic Russia Vladimir Sushkov Estonia Tunnet Taimla China Cao Dong Yamaguchi
2011 Huskvarna, Sweden China Cao Dong Chinese Taipei Lin Huang-Yu China Huang Jinxian Yamaguchi
2013 Tallinn, Estonia Estonia Tunnet Taimla Japan Yuuki Oosumi Russia Vladimir Sushkov Yamaguchi
2015 Suzdal, Russia China Qi Guan Chinese Taipei Lin Huang-Yu China Lan Zhiren Yamaguchi
2017 Taipei, Chinese Taipei Russia Vladimir Sushkov China Zhu Jianfeng Chinese Taipei Lin Shu-Hsuan Soosõrv-8

Women World Championships[edit]

The Women World Championships started in 1997 and are played every second year, at the same time and place with the World Championships.[6] The results are following:

Title year Hosting city, country Gold Silver Bronze Opening rule
1997 Saint Petersburg, Russia Russia Irina Metreveli Russia Natalya Vasilyeva Russia Yelena Lebedeva RIF
1999 Beijing, China Russia Yulia Savrasova Russia Irina Metreveli Russia Yelena Lebedeva RIF
2001 Kyoto, Japan Russia Yulia Savrasova Russia Irina Metreveli Chinese Taipei Hsu Wen-Ching RIF
2003 Vadstena, Sweden Russia Yulia Savrasova Chinese Taipei Yang Hsiao-Yu Russia Irina Metreveli RIF
2005 Tallinn, Estonia Russia Oxana Sorokina Russia Irina Metreveli Estonia Maris Tuvikene RIF
2007 Tyumen, Russia Russia Tatyana Krayeva Russia Oxana Sorokina Russia Irina Metreveli RIF
2009 Pardubice, Czech Republic Russia Yulia Savrasova China Yao Jinrui China Hu Xi Yamaguchi
2011 Huskvarna, Sweden Japan Kazumi Arai Russia Irina Metreveli Russia Anastasja Oborina Yamaguchi
2013 Tallinn, Estonia Russia Irina Metreveli Russia Kira Lashko Russia Olga Kurdina Yamaguchi
2015 Suzdal, Russia Russia Kira Lashko China Wang Qingqing Russia Irina Metreveli Yamaguchi
2017 Taipei, Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Chien Yung-Hsuan China Wang Qingqing China Liu Xun Soosõrv-8

Team World Championships[edit]

Team World Championships in Renju have occurred every second year, since 1996.[7] Since 2010 the opening rule being played is Yamaguchi. The results are following.

Title year Hosting city, country Gold Silver Bronze
1996 Saint Petersburg, Russia  Russia
Dmitry Ilyin
Stepan Peskov
Igor Sinyov
Konstantin Nikonov
Mikhail Kozhin
 Estonia
Ando Meritee
Ants Soosõrv
Margus Tuvikene
Marek Kolk
 Latvia
Aldis Reims
Arnis Veidemanis
Nerses Grigorian
Eduard Voskanian
1998[a] Yerevan, Armenia
 Armenia
Albert Poghosyan
Armen Stepanyan
Mher Manukyan
Hovhannes Gevorkyan
Mher Dumanyan
Alexej Kobzev
 Sweden
Stefan Karlsson
Peter Jonsson
Anders Bertilsson
Bengt Asplund
 
 
-
2000 Tallinn, Estonia  Russia-1
Igor Sinyov
Alexandr Klimashin
Vladimir Sushkov
Pavel Salnikov
Mikhail Kozhin
 Sweden
Stefan Karlsson
Rickard Johannesson
Joachim Gaulitz
Tord Andersson
 Japan
Kazuto Hasegawa
Hideki Nara
Yoshimi Hayakawa
Hirouji Sakamoto
2002 Vadstena, Sweden  Russia-1
Pavel Salnikov
Alexandr Klimashin
Sergey Artemyev
Alexey Skuridin
Vladimir Semyonov
 Estonia
Ants Soosõrv
Tunnet Taimla
Johann Lents
Timo Ilu
Maris Tuvikene
 Sweden-1
Stefan Karlsson
Peter Gardstrom
Goran Holgersson
Linus Hermansson
Joachim Gaulitz
2004 Tyumen, Russia  Russia-1
Vladimir Sushkov
Alexandr Klimashin
Konstantin Chingin
Konstantin Nikonov
Igor Sinyov
 Estonia
Ando Meritee
Tunnet Taimla
Ants Soosõrv
Timo Ilu
Irene Karlsson
 Russia-2
Pavel Salnikov
Pavel Makarov
Sergey Artemyev
Vladimir Semyonov
Mikhail Kozhin
2006 Tallinn, Estonia  Russia-1
Vladimir Sushkov
Konstantin Chingin
Sergey Artemyev
Yulia Savrasova
Pavel Vershinin
 Estonia-1
Ando Meritee
Tunnet Taimla
Ants Soosõrv
Aivo Oll
Johann Lents
 China
Chen Wei
Wu Hao
Zhu Jianfeng
Ge Lingfeng
2008 Helsinki, Finland  Estonia
Tunnet Taimla
Aivo Oll
Andry Purk
Ants Soosõrv
Johann Lents
 Russia-1
Vladimir Sushkov
Egor Serdyukov
Konstantin Chingin
Yulia Savrasova
Alexandr Kadulin
 China
Cao Dong
Wu Di
Wu Hao
Chen Wei
2010 Tokyo, Japan  China
Li Yi
Cao Dong
Yin Licheng
Xi Zhenyang
 Estonia-1
Tunnet Taimla
Aivo Oll
Andry Purk
Ants Soosõrv
 Japan-1
Shigeru Nakamura
Kazuto Hasegawa
Hiroshi Okabe
Yusui Yamaguchi
Norihiko Kawamura
Taizan Isobe
2012 Beijing, China  Japan
Yuuki Oosumi
Shigeru Nakamura
Takahiro Kudomi
Kazumasa Tamura
Hiroshi Okabe
Tomoharu Nakayama
 China-1
Cao Dong
Zhu Jianfeng
He Qifa
Lu Hai
 China-2
Yang Yanxi
Chen Jing
Qi Guan
Chen Wei
2014 Taipei, Chinese Taipei  Estonia
Tunnet Taimla
Martin Hõbemägi
Ants Soosõrv
Johann Lents
Ando Meritee
 Chinese Taipei-1
Lin Shu-Hsuan
Lin Huang-Yu
Chen Ko-Han
Yang Yu-Hsiung
Lin Shih-Pin
Cheng Chih-Liang
 Japan-1
Shigeru Nakamura
Yoshihiro Iio
Nobuhiro Fukui
Ayako Tada
Yuuki Oosumi
Kazumasa Tamura
2016 Tallinn, Estonia  Estonia-1
Aivo Oll
Tunnet Taimla
Martin Hõbemägi
Renee Pajuste
Johann Lents
 China
Qi Guan
Lan Zhiren
Zhu Jianfeng
Chen Xin
Liu Yang
 Russia-1
Oleg Fedorkin
Vladimir Sushkov
Pavel Salnikov
Konstantin Nikonov
Dmitry Epifanov
Maxim Karasyov
2018 Saint Petersburg, Russia  China
Yang Yanxi
Zhu Jianfeng
Cao Dong
Liu Yang
Lan Zhiren
 Japan
Tomoharu Nakayama
Yudai Fujita
Yoshihiro Iio
Jun Koyama
Hiroshi Okabe
Maiko Fujita
 Russia-2
Vladimir Sushkov
Pavel Salnikov
Mikhail Kozhin
Denis Kachaev
Maxim Karasyov
Sergey Artemyev
  1. ^ In this year an Armenia-Sweden match was played instead of Team World Championship. The result is a draw between the two teams, but no champion title was awarded.

Renju World Championships via Correspondence[edit]

World Championships in Renju via Correspondence were held in 1982 to 1993 (by paper letters, later by e-mails), and now are played every year since 1996 with an exception in 2009, 2010 and 2016. Since 2014 the opening rule being played is Soosõrv-N.

The results from 1982 to 1993 are in the following.

Title year Champion Country
1982 Vladimir Sapronov  Soviet Union
1984 Alexandr Nosovsky  Soviet Union
1985 Alexandr Nosovsky  Soviet Union
1991 Albert Poghosyan  Soviet Union
1993 Albert Poghosyan  Armenia

The results since 1996 are in the following.

Title year Champion Runner-up Third
1996 Latvia Aldis Reims Lithuania Linas Laibinis Russia Igor Sinyov
1997 Russia Yuriy Tarannikov Latvia Aldis Reims Sweden Stefan Karlsson
1998 Russia Oleg Fedorkin Latvia Aldis Reims Japan Kazuto Hasegawa
1999 Russia Oleg Fedorkin Russia Alexander Nosovsky Russia Konstantin Nikonov
2000 Latvia Aldis Reims Russia Evgeniy Bobkov Russia Konstantin Nikonov
2001 Russia Konstantin Nikonov China Zhang Jinyu Russia Vitaly Lunkin
2002 Russia Vitaly Lunkin China Zhang Jinyu Russia Vladimir Dvoeglazov
2003 China Chen Wei Russia Sergey Filippov Russia Oleg Klimachev
2004 China Sun Chengmin Russia Alexey Potapov China Chen Wei
2005 Russia Victor Barykin China Zhang Jinyu China Lu Wenzhe
2006 No gold awarded Russia Dmitry Epifanov Russia Victor Barykin
2007 Russia Dmitry Epifanov China Zhang Jinyu Russia Anatoly Ustimov
2008 China Zhang Jinyu Latvia Jelena Balanova Russia Alexey Potapov
2011 Latvia Jelena Balanova Estonia Aivo Oll Russia Alexey Potapov
2012 Russia Alexey Potapov Latvia Jelena Balanova Estonia Aivo Oll
2013 Russia Vladimir Sushkov Russia Alexey Potapov Russia Viktor Balabhai
2014 Russia Vladimir Sushkov Russia Evgeniy Bobkov Russia Oleg Fedorkin
2015[8] Russia Konstantin Nikonov Russia Oleg Fedorkin Russia Pavel Makarov
2017[9] China Hao Tianyi China Qi Bo Russia Dmitry Epifanov

Computers and Renju[edit]

Free Renju was solved in 2001 as a win for the first player.[10] However, Renju with modern opening rules such as Yamaguchi and Soosõrv-N have not been solved.

The Renju World Computer Championship was started in 1991, and held for 4 times until 2004.[11][12] From 2016, Renju was added to the Gomocup tournament,[13] taking place every year, still active now.

The first program playing with human players in public competitions is Meijin-2000 developed by Oleg Stepanov, Russia. In 2000, Meijin-2000 played against human players in Moscow Open Tournament.[14] However, not until 2017 were the computer programs proved to be able to outperform top human players in public competitions. In 2017, there was a match between the world champion program Yixin[15] and the Taiwan's Meijin title holder Lin Shu-Hsuan, and Yixin won the match with 3-1.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Protocol of General Assembly 2003". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  2. ^ "The Protocol of Extra General Assembly 2008". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  3. ^ "The International Rules of Renju". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  4. ^ a b "The Renju International Federation". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  5. ^ "World Championship". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  6. ^ "Women World Championship". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2017-08-12. 
  7. ^ "Team World Championship". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  8. ^ "Results of the Renju World Championship Via Correspondence-2015". renju.net. 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2018-05-18. 
  9. ^ "Results of the Renju World Championship via Correspondence - 2017". renju.net. 2018-03-15. Retrieved 2018-05-18. 
  10. ^ J. Wágner and I. Virág (Mar 2001). "Solving Renju" (PDF). ICGA journal. 24 (1): 30—35. 
  11. ^ "Renju Computer World Championship". www.5stone.net. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  12. ^ "4-th World Championship among Computer programs". Nosovsky Japanese Games Home Page. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  13. ^ "Gomocup 2016 Announcement". Gomocup. 
  14. ^ "Renju Newsletter Januari 2000 - June 2000". renju.net. 
  15. ^ "Yixin, the Strongest Gomoku/Renju Engine in the World". AIEXP. 
  16. ^ "Lin Shu-Hsuan versus Yixin". AIEXP. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]