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Our gaming articles: Cram.

# Gaming article "Cram"

Cram reminds me of the paper game Tic-Tac-Toe. This game was named "Cram" - which means to jam or crush - because as the game progresses, there are less and less places for the stones on the board. At the beginning of the game the board is empty. The players move in turn, putting designated stones on any vacant space. The object of the game is to create a line of three stones horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. With that, your stones and your opponent's stones are counted. I have tested this game on 6x6 and 8x8 boards with the help of a computer and found that if the second player doesn't make a mistake, he always will be able to win. But making no mistakes only depends on the AI (Artificial Intelligence) level of the computer.

To clarify, we will mark (using X's) the most disadvantageous places on the board. These spots are located next to the stone, and two places away from the stone in all eight directions. (Fig. 1):

But if the stone is in the position b1, so the spot a2 isn't marked with a cross, then there is no place to put the third stone. Let's analyze this situation:

Here only the move c8 will lead to a win. With this move, we cover all vacant spots on the board above, and leave only two empty spots below, which can be dotted exactly with two moves. In figures 3 -7, you can mark (using X's) the losing spots and find the only winning move. Start with the moves that cover the most vacant places.

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