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Department of Management
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

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Transitive Avoidance Games

Wednesday 6 May 2015
Mark Walters

4pm - 5pm, OLD 3.24, Old Building, Houghton Street 


There are many games where two players compete to be the first to make something -- one well known example is noughts and crosses: each player is competing to be the first to get three in a row. It is well known that all such games are either a draw or a first player win.

In this talk we look, instead, at games where the first player to make something loses. One natural example is the avoidance version of noughts and crosses, where the first to get three in a row loses.

It seems natural to expect the second player to have and advantage -- at least when the game is reasonably symmetrical -- but this turns out to be false. In this talk we discuss when the first player might have a win, and whether any general result can be recovered.