From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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).


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.


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 a 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]


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 Vacant
 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] Since 2009 the opening rule being played is Yamaguchi.

Previous World Championships have taken place in the following places:

Title year Hosting city, country Champion Opening rule
1989 Kyoto  Japan Japan Shigeru Nakamura Swap opening rule
1991 Moscow  Soviet Union Japan Shigeru Nakamura Swap opening rule
1993 Arjeplog  Sweden Estonia Ando Meritee Swap opening rule
1995 Tallinn  Estonia Japan Norihiko Kawamura Swap opening rule
1997 Saint Petersburg  Russia Japan Kazuto Hasegawa RIF opening rule
1999 Beijing  China Estonia Ando Meritee RIF opening rule
2001 Kyoto  Japan Estonia Ando Meritee RIF opening rule
2003 Vadstena  Sweden Estonia Tunnet Taimla RIF opening rule
2005 Tallinn  Estonia Estonia Ando Meritee RIF opening rule
2007 Tyumen  Russia China Wu Di RIF opening rule
2009 Pardubice  Czech Republic Russia Vladimir Sushkov Yamaguchi opening rule
2011 Huskvarna  Sweden China Cao Dong Yamaguchi opening rule
2013 Tallinn  Estonia Estonia Tunnet Taimla Yamaguchi opening rule
2015 Suzdal  Russia China Qi Guan Yamaguchi opening rule
2017 Taipei  Chinese Taipei (not started yet) Soosõrv-8 opening rule

Team World Championships[edit]

Team World Championships in Renju have occurred every second year, since 1996.[6] Since 2010 the opening rule being played is Yamaguchi. The results are following.

Title year Hosting city, country Champion team
1996 Saint-Petersburg  Russia  Russia (Ilyin D., Peskov S., Sinyov I., Nikonov K., Kozhin M.)
1998 Yerevan  Armenia  Armenia (Poghosyan A., Stepanyan A., Kobzev A., Manukyan M., Dumanyan M. Gevorgyan H.)
 Sweden (Karlsson S., Jonsson P., Asplund B., Andersson T.)
2000 Tallinn  Estonia  Russia (Sinyov I., Klimashin A., Sushkov V., Salnikov P., Kozhin M.)
2002 Vadstena  Sweden  Russia (Salnikov P., Klimashin A., Artemyev S., Skouridin A., Semyonov V.)
2004 Tyumen  Russia  Russia (Sushkov V., Klimashin A., Chingin K., Nikonov K., Sinyov I.)
2006 Tallinn  Estonia  Russia (Sushkov V., Chingin K., Artemyev S., Savrasova Yu., Vershinin P.)
2008 Helsinki  Finland  Estonia (Taimla T., Oll A., Purk A., Soosorv A., Lents J.)
2010 Tokyo  Japan  China (Li Y., Cao D., Yin L., Xi Z.)
2012 Beijing  China  Japan (Ōsumi Y., Nakamura S., Kudomi T., Tamura K., Okabe H., Nakayama T.)
2014 Taipei  Chinese Taipei  Estonia (Taimla T., Hobemagi M., Soosorv A., Lents J., Meritee A.)
2016 Tallinn  Estonia  Estonia (Oll A., Taimla T., Hobemagi M., Pajuste R., Lents J.)

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. Since 2014 the opening rule being played is Soosõrv-7. The results follow.

Title year Champion Country
1982 Sapronov, Vladimir  Soviet Union
1984 Nosovsky, Alexander  Soviet Union
1985 Nosovsky, Alexander  Soviet Union
1991 Poghosyan, Albert  Soviet Union
1993 Poghosyan, Albert  Armenia
1996 Reims, Aldis  Latvia
1997 Tarannikov, Yuri  Russia
1998 Fedorkin, Oleg  Russia
1999 Fedorkin, Oleg  Russia
2000 Reims, Aldis  Latvia
2001 Nikonov, Konstantin  Russia
2002 Lunkin, Vitaly  Russia
2003 Chen Wei  China
2004 Sun Chengmin  China
2005 Barykin, Victor  Russia
2006 No gold awarded
2007 Epifanov, Dmitry  Russia
2008 Zhang Jinyu  China
2011 Balanova, Jelena  Latvia
2012 Potapov, Alexey  Russia
2013 Sushkov, Vladimir  Russia
2014 Sushkov, Vladimir  Russia
2015 Nikonov, Konstantin  Russia

See also[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. ^ "Team World Championship". Renju.Net. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]