Mancala World
First Description: 2009
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Ivory Coast

Goré is played by the Guro in the Ivory Coast. The Guro are renowned for their rich mask and sculpture traditions. The game's most unusual feature is that captured seeds can be traded for pits. The game was first described by Jordi Climent Tondo in 2009. He wrote that it is one of the funniest mancala games.


Goré is played on a board which has two rows each of four holes with with six stones (ayla or "cow") per hole. Each player controls one row.


Initial Position

On his turn a player empties one of his holes and distributes its contents, one by one, counterclockwise into the ensuing holes. The sowing ends after a single lap.

If the last stone falls into an opponent's hole making its contents two or four, these stones are captured.

If this hole is followed or preceded (both directions are valid) by an unbroken chain of holes, which also contain two or four counters, these are also taken. Captures must begin in the opponent's territory, but multiple captures may continue into the player's own territory.

The move ends after a capture.

A player can offer his opponent to give him one, two or three of his holes (the player who offers them decides which ones). If his opponent accepts, these will become his opponent's territory, from which he can start a move. After that his opponent must put six seeds he had captured before in each hole he receives, adding them to the seeds that were already there.

A player can reject such an offer, but it is considered unfriendly and a victory achieved by rejecting such a trade would be called a "victory without glory".

If a player has nothing to move, he must pass until he can play again.

The game ends, when there are less than three stones in each hole.

The remaining stones are appropriated by the player who owns their holes.

The player who has captured most stones wins the game.

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© Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.