Best Play in Fanorona Leads to Draw

Maarten P. D. Schadd, Mark H. M. Winands, Jos W. H. M. Uiterwijk, Hendrik Jaap van den Herik, Maurice H. J. Bergsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Fanorona is the national board game of Madagascar. The game's complexity is approximately the same as that of checkers. In this article, we present a search-based approach for weakly solving this game. It is a well-chosen combination of Proof-Number search and endgame databases. Retrograde analysis is used to generate the endgame databases in which every position with 7 or fewer pieces on the board has been solved. Then, a Proof-Number search variant, PN2, exploits the databases to prove that the game-theoretical value of the initial position is a draw. Future research should develop techniques for strongly solving the game.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-387
JournalNew Mathematics and Natural Computation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008

Cite this