Initial board

Two players are opposed on a board of 64 squares made of 8 rows and 8 columns, by the mean of discs with black and white opposite faces. Before starting the game, 4 discs (2 white discs, 2 black discs) are put in the central squares according to the following drawing, and Black starts:

At start

Move execution

To play, a disc is put on an empty square, in such a way to outflank one or more lines of opponent discs which are captured by flipping them. In the next example, Black plays E6 and flips discs E2, E3, E4, E5; C4, D5; C6, D6.

Position before Black played E6

Opponents alternately play. When one of them does not have any legal move available, he must pass his turn. The game ends when nobody can play.

Win of the game

The player having the highest number of discs is declared winner. In case both players share the same number of discs, the game is a draw.

The score of the game is usually written as the disc numbers for each player, sometime as the disc difference. Remaining empty squares are generally added to the winner score.



Moves are written by their coordinates (A1...H8). Ajax, moreover, displays the first coordinate in uppercase for Black (F5... ) and in lowercase for White (d6... ).


Apart central squares and corner, designing a kind of square is not easy. Hence the following names have been given to them:

Square terminology

More ?

Above rules suffice to play... approximately; therefore, I suggest you to apply the recommandations of the next chapter Elementary strategy.

Ajax version 1.3 (05/09/2001 00:00)
Copyright 2000 Richard Delorme
All right reserved.
Othello is a registered trademark of Tsukuda-Original, licensed by Anjar and distributed in France (and some other countries) by Mattel.