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Clean out the speculative and irrelevant crap from the Origins section[edit]

The first two paragraphs, and almost all of the third, in the Origins section, should be removed. They are nothing more than speculation and have nothing to do with Gomoku. This page is not the place for speculation on the history and names of Roman games. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 22 January 2016 (UTC) (Update: Seems to have been done. Thanks!)

someone explain this to me[edit]

In the 2nd example, it says move 20 is a blunder for white. It doesn't bother to explain this clearly. From how I see it, either side wouldn't matter. Black can force a win near the top of the game no matter how white places its stone. In fact, it may even have been preferable for white to have placed its stone on the left of that group of 3 near the bottom, as it prevents growth from the half blocked 3.

so- I don't get it.

+1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:08, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

What does the following paragraph in article mean

Beyond the most rank beginner ability, making two intersecting runs of three stones (each line open at each end), which is an automatic win for the player who makes the two lines, is illegal.

Which move is illegal?

Winning against me :-). Seriously, hope the rewrite helps. -- NickelKnowledge
Not really. Who says it's illegal? What defines "the most rank beginner ability"? How is it invalid? How do the rules enforce this? This could possibly be an opportunity for a formal exposition of the rule set you're using, similar to several of the other board game entries. Please take care to cite whose rules they are (is there some national or international association for this game?), since the rule you're expressing is clearly not universally-acknowledged (nor even universally-known -- I've certainly never heard this one). Care to take the challenge? -- Bignose
I think it is a universal rule, but it is usually not given to beginners. After a while, beginners realize that the game is pointless, because Black can force a win, and then they're given the additional rule. I doubt that there are "official" Gomoku rules or organizations; the closest serious game is Renju. --AxelBoldt
Serious renju players and organizers support gomoku because it's a reliable source of new strong renju players. All of the gomoku world championships held so far were organized by Renju International Federation. Renju player (talk) 07:45, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

It is a universal rule, especially when it comes with the 3,3 ban, and also an official one. Coaches actually teach this rule very specifically. HistoryManiac 09:26, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, You are messing Gomoku and Renju. The first one doesn't ban any of these: 3x3; 4x4; overline. The second game prohibits these moves only for black. There are some locally played variants with partial prohibitions but they don't have any impact on tournaments of the international level.Renju player (talk) 08:20, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Those numbers 10^105 and 10^70 seem inconsistent: if there are 10^105 possible board positions, how could there be only 10^70 possible games?!! --

The figures are accurate (they come from a paper written by Allis), it's an uncommon property of games and of the "olympic list" of board games only renju/gomoku has it, it's because each of the board positions don't have to exist in a seperate games. Also note that the number of board positions is an upper limit. --Imran 21:22 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Allis is talking about 15x15 gomoku. You have inserted (and reinserted) his figures in a place that is clearly talking about 19x19 gomoku. Also, Allis does not claim that there are about 1070 possible 15x15 gomoku games. He gives the figure 1070 as a crude approximation to the game-tree complexity of 15x15 gomoku, which is a very different thing.
You have inserted Allis' figures into a number of other articles, apparently making the same mistake in each case. You need to correct these, making it clear what the figures actually mean. --Zundark 09:13 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I missed the 15x15 board size. Game-tree complexity, unless I'm mistaken is the number of leaf nodes on a full game-tree generated from the games starting position, wouldn't the the number of leaf nodes (representing each route from a start position to an end position) be the same as the number of possible games ? --Imran 10:06 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Game-tree complexity (as Allis defines it) is the number of leaf nodes in a full-width search tree (from the starting position) that goes just deep enough to determine the outcome of a perfectly played game. For many games, including gomoku, this search tree is likely to be tiny compared to the full game-tree. --Zundark 10:35 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)
You're right, I should have read Allis' definition more carefully. --Imran 13:59 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Linguistic Trivia

1. The second character in gomoku is actually 'eye', not 'point' ('goban' means five points or, more literally, five count)

2. The alternate name is 'goban' rather than 'gobang'. There is no terminal 'ng' phoneme in Japanese so 'gobang' is not a possible contruct.

3. Another common name is 'gomoku narabei lenju' - literally 'five-eyes in-a-row assembled'. -- Norio 10:40 2 Sep 2004

With regard to your point 2: "Gobang" is not an official transliteration. It's a word invented by English speakers who heard a Japanese speaker say 五番. (In Japanese /n/ nasalizes the preceding vowel, which can cause it to be heard as /ŋ/ by an English speaker.) Gdr 20:16, 2005 Mar 17 (UTC)

Played on squares or intersections?[edit]

I've been taught Go and Gomoku in a Go club in Copenhagen.

While the stones are played on the 19x19 intersections in Go, I was taught to play them inside the 18x18 squares when playing gomoku. I got the impression that was how it was played in Japan, too.

A search on the internet suggests that both forms exist, but that the 19x19 version is the more common - certainly in computerized versions.

Which one is the more traditional? Is the 18x18 version just a local variant, or is it played in e.g. Japan too? --Niels Ø 09:24, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)

It is usually played on the intersections like most Orient board games although it is up to you if you decides to place them on the squares. However in tournaments, it is known to on the intersection. One think to note that though the English name derives from Japanese, its actual origin is somewhat hard to prove. Therefore, this game cannot be a purely a "traditional Japanese" game. HistoryManiac 09:22, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

First to solve?[edit]

In reference to wiki in other languages, a Japanese already solved the game before the one mentioned in this article. -- 06:00, 21 April 2006 (UTC)


Where can the solution be found? Viktor Allis is uncontactable.

Answer: Solutions were found by Computer, so it's hard to show you all positions. But you can trust this because there must be at least 10000 players around the world, who can prove a surewin on board-size 15x15 and bigger. I think there's a surewin on 13x13 too, but nobody would take time to prove it, because it's not interesting. Smaller board sizes would reduce the branch-factor and therefor less complex.

Gomoku is not fully solved[edit]

L. Viktor Allis only solved 1 start-position (Free-Style) where first player can place his first and second stones freely, the result is that the first player could gain more spaces and possible connections for his next stones. But if you use swap rule (or something like that) with some given stones on the board, you have to place these given stones carefully and well thought to get an even position. Voila! The game has gotten much more complicated and not easy to solve. The more "given" stones you can place the better position you can get to make the game harder to be solved.

According to the Connect6 FAQ, Renju has been solved too:

Theoretically, Black has been proved to win in the free style by Allis (1994) and Allis, Van den Herik and Huntjens (1996), and under Renju restrictions by Wágner and Virág (2001).

It's fair to say that the original Gomoku has been solved; some Gomoku variations aren't, though. —pgimeno (talk) 19:28, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

The algorithm[edit]

Could someone please rewrite the algorithm more clearly? I think only the author would really understand it as it is.

I have not read it, because I don't think I can use it. It's just a simple treesearch base on some basic game-knowledges. Now a day there's a strong Gomoku AI-tournament takes place every year, called gomocup. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:25, 22 February 2007 (UTC).

Unlimited grid[edit]

Is it still called Gomoku if it's played with pen and paper on an unlimited grid, or is this variant covered by another article? This is what's generally played at the recreational level, at least in Sweden (where it's called luffarschack). -- Jao 19:45, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Oh, we have the same recreation in Russia! We call it 5 in a row or simply Крестики-нолики (analogue of Tic-Tac-Toe). Infovarius 18:14, 19 July 2007 (UTC)


"It seems very likely that black wins on larger boards too." Really? So how likely is it that black DOESN'T win on a 15x15 sub-board of a larger board (while following the perfect strategy)??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

You are right, but I think people were not very sure about it at that time. You can change that sentence if you want to.

An answer: It is possible that Black could win on the 15x15 sub-board, but he can not take his good next move, because he must defend outside of the 15x15 because of a threat of White in outside of the 15x15. You can find the "extra set paradox" in many papers.

@ The answer is easy: Because you can't force your opponent to stay on your 15x15 sub-board. --Jobu0101 (talk) 16:50, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I restored some external links after they were removed. The internet servers were definitely unsuitable per WP:EL, but most of the others were OK and helpful. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:11, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

I restored the two online versions of the game after they were removed. These seem to be within the spirit of WP:EL as they allow a person unfamiliar with the game to play against a computer. Generally speaking, links to online games such as Space Invaders etc are discouraged, but Gomoku is not well known, and a computer version can be useful as a means of explaining how the game works. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:51, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I have removed them, because they have no information about the game. The rules they used are old classics, which are no longer played by professionals. This game is changing from time to time because professionals and computers can solve the beginning easily. But all the rules newly invented still fit the name of this game "Five Stones" and the basics, so the growd don't wanna have another name every time. There is no organization for this game yet but some public tournaments are being held every year in east europe and asia. You may get newest information about the rules from the Renju International Federation, or just join some game servers like, where professional players can be found. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The links to the online versions are still reasonably useful, but I do not want to get into an edit war over this. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 21:36, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I had another link with current rules to try out, but i forgot. I'll try to search for it next time, new comers should know about latests rules, because they are fairer and not solved. Some of them don't even touch it once they know this game is solved. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


Is Gobang another name for Pente, or is Gobang older then Pente? -- (talk) 22:24, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Citation about larger boards raising Black's advantage[edit]

The Analysis section says:

It seems very likely that black wins on larger boards too.[citation needed]

I believe that the correct reference for this is "Five-in-a-row" book (1981) by Goro Sakata and Wataru Ikawa, but I don't have access to it so I can't confirm it for sure. However they are also cited in Allis (1994):

A. In the early days the game was played on a 19×19 board, since Go boards have that size. This variant is still occasionally played. However, the larger board size increases Black's advantage (Sakata and Ikawa, 1981).

and in [1]:

Sakata and Ikawa (1981) mentioned that increasing the board size raised Black advantage. Hence, the standard board size was set to 15 × 15. Indeed, a smaller board lowers the complexity of the game and thus makes it easier to solve the game.

Maybe someone who has the book can confirm that and add the reference. —pgimeno (talk) 19:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Why the name of the article isn't "gomoku"?[edit]

Practically all serious players of gomoku call it as such. Five in the row is a name used by those who play it just for leisure - not seriously in other words. Therefore the article should be "Gomoku". The reason I'm not doing these changes is that I'd mess it anyway. Fuseci (talk) 18:13, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I hadn't even noticed the move, which was made in October without discussion. —JAOTC 18:27, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Requested Move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 22:19, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Five in a Row (game)Gomoku — Relisted for further input. Jafeluv (talk) 08:35, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

I think Go Moku is a more common name for this game; also, Five in a Row can be confused with other entities. Difu Wu (talk) 22:08, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Weak Oppose WP:USEENGLISH --Cybercobra (talk) 11:23, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
    • If Go Moku is really the most commonly used name in English, I don't think USEENGLISH should be a reason not to move. I don't know whether Go Moku is in fact the more common name, though; no convincing evidence for that has been given. Ucucha 10:50, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Fixed my move request. According to Google trend, Gomoku is more popular search than five in a row. Go moku (separate words) is not search nearly as much. I would favour move to Gomoku. Difu Wu (talk) 22:31, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Comment: People will prefer "Gomoku" than "Five in a Row" because "Gomoku" is a non-ambiguity term, which won't lead Google to an irrelated result. That phenomenon is irrelevant to the statement "Gomoku is a more common name", only a search technic. --虞海 (Yú Hǎi) (talk) 12:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support After running a Google search restricted to English results, "gomoku" is indeed more popular than "five in a row" (which also gets a bunch of unrelated hits about some children's literature course of the same name). --Cybercobra (talk) 23:24, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Comment: according to the WP:RS Google is not a reliable source. --虞海 (Yú Hǎi) (talk) 11:52, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
No duh, but it's a decent indicator of popularity especially when no evidence to the contrary has been presented. --Cybercobra (talk) 20:33, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Five in a Row" is a more neutral name. "Wuziqi", "Gomoku" are native names but the game is worldwide. The NPOV rule comes before "common name" advice in Wikipedia, and no evidence show that "Gomoku" is more common than "Five in a Row". Policies first: before guidelines. --虞海 (Yú Hǎi) (talk) 11:52, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
In response to 虞海 (Yú Hǎi), I don't think this is an issue of NPOV. The game of Go, Go (game), is also worldwide, so do you want to rename it as 'Surrounding Game' per NPOV policy? (talk) 13:49, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    • "Gomoku" is far and away more popular in English as the name of the game: a mere 7,300 hits for "wuziqi" vs. 256,000 hits for "gomoku" vs. 244,000 for "five in a row" (with a significant portion of off-topic results) --Cybercobra (talk) 20:44, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment "Gomoku" currently redirects here. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 13:56, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak support "Gomoku" is probably the English language WP:COMMONNAME, although it is called other things as well. The first time that I came across a computer version of this game back in the 1980s, it was called "Gomoku". The reason for weak support is that rename/move debates can be circular, and other people might want to call the article something else in the future.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 21:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Support — All of the sources use either "Gomoku" or "Go-moku", so I don't see why we would want to be unique. As a matter of fact, I don't see any references to this game being referred to as "Five in a row" anywhere, which brings up the ugly possibility that the current page name and lead sentence is someones original research, a neologism, or a simple mistake. Problems all around here, it looks like.
    V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 03:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


what's the Cantonese pronounciation for this game? (talk) 04:34, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Japanese counter words[edit]

From the "Origin" section: "moku is a counter word for pieces" I can't find "moku" in the Japanese counter word article. Can somebody who actually does speak Japanese comment, please?--ospalh (talk) 15:29, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

NO!!!!!!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

"Moku" sure is a counter word, but basically only a Go term (in "二目の頭", "n目の差" et cetera), according to dictionaries :) Mulukhiyya (talk) 12:37, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Playing sites[edit]

It seems to me that it's not good to collect them on the main page. But if somebody is interested in those, maybe it's OK to store them here?

Agreed, the HTML5 version has very good graphics, but links to online games fail WP:EL and can set off listcruft.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 09:06, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Name of the rule[edit]

By the way, which spelling is correct - swap2 or swap-2? RIF site offers swap2: I'll change it in article.Renju player (talk) 08:09, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

17x17 variant[edit]

This variant is definitely popular here in Europe. That's why I can't seem to comprehend why it is not mentioned anywhere in the article. At least the German article, de:Fünf in eine Reihe mentions the 17x17 "version." -andy (talk) 14:10, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Nope. I am from Europe and I have played on all kind of sizes from 13x13 to 19x19. I cannot say which one is more popular, maybe you meant several websites or softwares support 17x17 in particular.

Opening rules again[edit]

Can somebody please write more about swap2? It is apparently the main opening rule of last world championships and is accepted by professionals for years already. This is an English article about this game and it should be up-to-date.

Seconded. The article is a mess. How about having a section that clearly explains the official rules? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:19, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Thirded. The paragraph about "fair opening rule" is completely unintelligible to anyone not intimately familiar with mathematical theories of board games. --BjKa (talk) 11:20, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

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