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Reversi (also marketed by Pressman under the trade name Othello) is a board game involving abstract strategy and played by two players on a board with 8 rows and 8 columns and a set of distinct pieces for each side. Pieces typically are disks with a light and a dark face, each side belonging to one player. The player's goal is to have a majority of their colored pieces showing at the end of the game, turning over as many of their opponent's pieces as possible.



The modern version is based on the game reversi that was invented in 1883 by either of two Englishmen (each calling the other a fraud), Lewis Waterman or John W. Mollett (or perhaps earlier by someone else entirely), and gained considerable popularity in England at the end of the 19th century. The game's first known-to-be reliable mention is in 21 August 1886 edition of The Saturday Review. Later mention includes an 1895 article in the New York Times: "Reversi is something like Go Bang, and is played with 64 pieces."[1] In 1893, the well-known German games publisher Ravensburger started producing the game as one of its first titles. Two 18th century continental European books dealing with a game that may or may not be the one with which we are concerned are mentioned on page 14 of the Spring 1989 Othello Quarterly, and there has been speculation, so far without documentation, that the game has more ancient origins.

The modern rule set used on the international tournament stage originated in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan in the 1970s: the Japanese game company Tsukuda Original registered the game under the trademark name Othello. The name was selected as a reference to the Shakespearean play Othello, the Moor of Venice, referencing the conflict between the Moor Othello and Iago, who describes himself as "two faced" and more controversially, to the unfolding drama between Othello, who is black, and Desdemona, who is white. The green colour of the board is inspired by the image of the general Othello, valiantly leading his battle in a green field. It can also be likened to a jealousy competition (jealousy being the central theme in Shakespeare's play), since players engulf the pieces of the opponent, thereby turning them to their possession.[2]

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