|WikiProject Board and table games||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
|WikiProject Hawaii||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
Odd dimension boards?
Under "Equipment", the article states that the board can be any dimension of rectangle. It's slightly odd that there is no mention of any particular sizes being traditionally preferred.
But more worrying than this is the statement under "Rules and Game Play", that there is always a two-by-two square of cells in the center of the board. This is only true for rectangular boards with both dimensions being even. If either dimension is odd, there will be no central two-by-two square, and the game can't be played by the rules stated.
Unfortunately, I don't know Kōnane, so I don't know whether odd-dimension boards are not allowed (in which case the "Equipment" section should specify that the board dimensions must be even) or whether they are allowed but have different legal opening voids from the even-dimensioned ones. Does anybody know the answer? At the moment, I can't access the PDF papers, and the other references don't address this question. (The Hawai`ian site is charming, though!) ACW (talk) 00:12, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
- ACW, my guess is modern competitive play is 8x8, and as you pointed out the article describes initial play based on even geo. This is from a letter to editor from Michael H. Dickman published in Abstract Games mag issue 12 (it also contains a good bibliography, including Emory, Kenneth P. "The Island of Lanai, a Survey of Native Culture". Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin (12, reprint of the 1924 edition): 84–85.):
Three boards in the British Museum (in Honolulu) are all 26 inches (66 cm) long but one of them has ten rows alternating six and seven holes (squares) for a total of 65; the other two have 12 rows of 15 holes each (180 squares). [...] Emory describes boards of 8x8, 9x9, 9x13, 11x11, 9x10, 10x10, 8x13, 11x13, 8x11, 13x15, 13x20, 13x13, and 15x15 (Emory, 1969). [...] The size of the board seems to have made a difference only in how long it took to finish the game. According to Emory, Kaahaaina Naihe preferred a board with 100 squares, and this is the size board that R. C. Bell has in The Boardgame Book [...]
For the playing rules I will quote Emory directly to avoid yet another layer of interpretation: "[...] Both players participate in setting (komo) the pebbles (ili) on the dots until they are all covered alternately with the black pebbles ('ka eleele' or 'ele') and the white pebbles ('ke keokeo' or 'kea'). Then it is decided who shall pick up the first ili, which must be one at the center (piko) one laterally next to it, or one at the corner. If the first person to choose picks up a black next to the center ili, then his opponent must pick up the white center ili; but, if he picks up a black corner ili, then his opponent must pick up a white one from one side or the other of the corner. [...]"