Hex (board game)

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Hex is a board game played on a hexagonal grid, theoretically of any size and several possible shapes, but traditionally as an 11x11 rhombus. Other popular dimensions are 13x13 and 19x19 as a result of the game's relationship to the older game of Go. According to the book A Beautiful Mind, John Nash (one of the game's inventors) advocated 14x14 as the optimal size.



The game was invented by the Danish mathematician Piet Hein, who introduced the game in 1942 at the Niels Bohr Institute, and also independently invented by the mathematician John Nash in 1947 at Princeton University. It became known in Denmark under the name Polygon (though Hein called it CON-TAC-TIX); Nash's fellow players at first called the game Nash. According to Martin Gardner, some of the Princeton University students also referred to the game as John (according to some sources this was because they played the game using the mosaic of the bathroom floor.). However, according to Sylvia Nasar's biography of John Forbes Nash A Beautiful Mind, the game was referred to as "Nash" or "John" after its apparent creator. John Nash was said to have thought of this game, independent of Hein's, during his graduate years at Princeton. In 1952 Parker Brothers marketed a version. They called their version "Hex" and the name stuck.

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