Mancala World
Other Names: Mancala-like CGT
Inventor: David Eppstein, 1996
Ranks: One
Sowing: Reverse
Region: USA

In 1996 David Eppstein proposed an interesting impartial one-rank mancala game. It is a disguised version of the Spel van de Deler, better known as Chomp in Combinatorial Game Theory (CGT), which was invented in 1952 by the Dutch mathematician Professor Dr. Frederick Schuh.


Eppstein's Mancala Game can be played with any number of pits which are filled in an arbitrary manner by some stones.

Eppsteins mancala.jpg

Possible Initial Set-up (as suggested by David Eppstein)

Both players move rightwards. At his turn, a player picks up any nonzero number of stones from a pit and all stones from the consecutive pits (even zero if the pit is empty), finally dumping all picked up stones in the last pit of the sequence. Each move is, therefore, determined by the location of the first pit, the number of stones picked up from the first pit and the number of pits in the sequence. All those three numbers may be chosen independently by the player.

It is not permitted to pass a move.

The first player who cannot move is declared the winner. A draw is not possible.


Eppstein, D. 
Mancala-like CGT question (E-mail). April 10, 1999.

External Links


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By: Ralf Gering
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