Reversi Openings

It is quite easy to lose control of the game in the first few moves. Play the wrong move and your opponent will be able to restrict your choice of moves to those that work in their favour. While the concepts discussed in the strategy guide may help guide your opening moves it is worth looking at some standard openings which appear to preserve the balance of control, at least for a while.

In each position the most recently placed disc is highlighted with a red dot. The expected difference in scores for each move were generated with WZebra's larger opening book and a look-ahead of 24 moves. Because of the two diagonal lines of symmetry there are at least 4 variations of each opening however only one of each is shown below. Where the development does not lead to another named position one or more "+" symbols are used to indicate progression. These illustrated openings generally follow promising lines according to WZebra however the game is not "solved" (unlike 6x6 Reversi) so these are only indications of the likely outcome for strong players following a particular line.

A list of the 77 named openings compiled by Robert Gatliff (of which 21 are shown here) follows in the last section of this page.

Reversed Reversi
I suspect that the main advantage that is gained out of the opening in the normal game is slightly better mobility than one's opponent. If we assume this to be true then some of the standard openings illustrated below are likely to be just as useful in the reversed game. However those openings which give your opponent early access to the useful C-squares (e.g. Tamenori) should probably be avoided or at least approached with caution.


Animated Openings, Tricks & Traps Etc.
While this page allows you to explore a few promising variations, the main section of this site now comprises of a JavaScript applet that demonstrates all the standard opening sequences, illustrates some of the potential traps that you can try to set or avoid and includes a selection of short wipeout games and some complete regular and reversed games.


Diagonal Opening
 









C4c3
Diagonal Opening










C4c3D3
Diagonal Opening +










C4c3D3c5
Diagonal Opening ++











C4c3D3c5B4
Heath/Tobidashi










C4c3D3c5B4d2
Heath/Tobidashi +










C4c3D3c5B4d2D6
Heath-Bat
 











C4c3D3c5B4e3
Heath-Chimney











C4c3D3c5B4d2E2
Iwasaki Variation
WZebra's scoring of Heath-Chimney with the larger book differs from the standard book
(+0 for d2/d6) which suggests that white should avoid developing to Heath-Chimney.

In the Iwasaki Variation the book scores +4 for white replying with B3. If you're playing black this may be a position to avoid - if you're white you may be able to capitalise.

From Diagonal Opening ++
   











C4c3D3c5D6
Cow










C4c3D3c5D6e3
Chimney
 
 











C4c3D3c5D6f4
Cow +











C4c3D3c5D6f4F5
Rose-v-Toth










C4c3D3c5D6f4F5d2
Tanida
 









C4c3D3c5D6f4
Cow Bat/Bat/Cambridge
 









C4c3D3c5D6f4F5d2B5
Aircraft/Feldborg

Parallel Opening
 









C4c5
Parallel Opening










C4c5D6
Parallel Opening
+
This opening is not recommended for white in the regular game. WZebra's book scores +6 for black replying with D6.
 

This may be a more worthwhile opening in the reversed game however I suspect it may still lead to poor mobility for white since the position normally favours black.


Perpendicular Opening
 









C4e3
Perpendicular Opening










C4e3F5
Perpendicular Opening +










C4e3F5b4
Ganglion/No-Cat
 









C4e3F6
Perpendicular Opening +










C4e3F6b4
Bent Ganglion










C4e3F5b4F4
Swallow

 











C4e3F6e6
Perpendicular Opening ++










C4e3F6e6F5
Tiger










C4e3F6e6F5g6
Aubrey/Tanaka











C4e3F6e6F5c5
Tiger +










C4e3F6e6F5c5F4
Tiger ++










C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6
Tiger +++










C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6F7
Rose-Bill










C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6F7d3
Tamenori
N.B. These continuations of the Tiger opening should probably be avoided in Reversed Reversi as white's move to g6 (in the diagrams above) gives black early access to the h7 C-square.
 











C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6F7d6
Rose-Bill +
 
 











C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6F7g5
Central Rose-Bill/Dead Draw
 

Named Openings

  Move Sequence Opening Name
  C4c3 Diagonal Opening
  C4c3D3c5B2 X-square Opening
  C4c3D3c5B3 Snake/Peasant
  C4c3D3c5B3f3 Lysons
  C4c3D3c5B3f4B5b4C6d6F5 Pyramid/Checkerboarding Peasant
  C4c3D3c5B4 Heath/Tobidashi
  C4c3D3c5B4d2C2f4D6c6F5e6F7 Mimura Variation II
  C4c3D3c5B4d2D6 Heath-Bat
  C4c3D3c5B4d2E2 Iwasaki Variation
  C4c3D3c5B4e3 Heath-Chimney
  C4c3D3c5B5 Raccoon Dog
  C4c3D3c5B6 Rocket
  C4c3D3c5B6c6B5 Hamilton
  C4c3D3c5B6e3 Lollipop
  C4c3D3c5D6 Cow
  C4c3D3c5D6e3 Chimney
  C4c3D3c5D6f4B4 Cow Bat/Bat/Cambridge
  C4c3D3c5D6f4B4b6B5c6B3 Bat (Piau Continuation 2)
  C4c3D3c5D6f4B4b6B5c6F5 Melnikov/Bat (Piau Continuation 1)
  C4c3D3c5D6f4B4c6B5b3B6e3C2a4A5a6D2 Bat (Kling Continuation)
  C4c3D3c5D6f4B4e3B3 Bat (Kling Alternative)
  C4c3D3c5D6f4F5 Rose-v-Toth
  C4c3D3c5D6f4F5d2 Tanida
  C4c3D3c5D6f4F5d2B5 Aircraft/Feldborg
  C4c3D3c5D6f4F5d2G4d7 Sailboat
  C4c3D3c5D6f4F5e6C6d7 Maruoka
  C4c3D3c5D6f4F5e6F6 Landau
  C4c3D3c5F6 Buffalo/Kenichi Variation
  C4c3D3c5F6e2C6 Maruoka Buffalo
  C4c3D3c5F6e3C6f5F4g5 Tanida Buffalo
  C4c3D3c5F6f5 Hokuriku Buffalo
  C4c3E6c5 Wing Variation
  C4c3F5c5 Semi-Wing Variation
  C4c5 Parallel Opening
  C4e3 Perpendicular Opening
  C4e3F4c5D6e6 Mimura
  C4e3F4c5D6f3C6 Shaman/Danish
  C4e3F4c5D6f3D3 Inoue
  C4e3F4c5D6f3D3c3 Iago
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E2 Bhagat
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2 Rose
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B5 Flat
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B5f5 Rotating Flat
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B5f5B3 Murakami Variation
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B5f5B4f6C2e7D2c7 Rotating Flat (Kling Continuation)
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B6f5 Rose-Birth
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B6f5B4f6G5d7 Brightstein
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B6f5G5 Rose-Birdie/Rose-Tamenori
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2B6f5G5f6 Rose-Tamenori-Kling
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c3D3e2D2 Greenberg/Dawg
  C4e3F4c5D6f3E6c6 Ralle
  C4e3F4c5E6 Horse
  C4e3F5b4 Ganglion/No-Cat
  C4e3F5b4F3 Swallow
  C4e3F5b4F3f4E2e6G5f6D6c6 No-Cat (Continuation)
  C4e3F5e6D3 Italian
  C4e3F5e6F4 Cat
  C4e3F5e6F4c5D6c6F7f3 Sakaguchi
  C4e3F5e6F4c5D6c6F7g5G6 Berner
  C4e3F6b4 Bent Ganglion
  C4e3F6e6F5 Tiger
  C4e3F6e6F5c5C3 Stephenson
  C4e3F6e6F5c5C3b4 No-Kung
  C4e3F6e6F5c5C3b4D6c6B5a6B6c7 No-Kung (Continuation)
  C4e3F6e6F5c5C3c6 Comp'Oth
  C4e3F6e6F5c5C3c6D3d2E2b3C1c2B4a3A5b5A6a4A2 F.A.T. Draw
  C4e3F6e6F5c5C3c6D6 Lighning Bolt
  C4e3F6e6F5c5C3g5 Kung
  C4e3F6e6F5c5D3 Leader's Tiger
  C4e3F6e6F5c5D6 Brightwell
  C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g5G4f3C6d3D6 Ishii
  C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g5G4f3C6d3D6b3C3b4E2b6 Mainline Tiger
  C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6F7 Rose-Bill
  C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6F7d3 Tamenori
  C4e3F6e6F5c5F4g6F7g5 Central Rose-Bill/Dead Draw
  C4e3F6e6F5g6 Aubrey/Tanaka
  C4e3F6e6F5g6E7c5 Aubrey (Feldborg Continuation)
     

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Version 1.20 - 08/11/2005