The «Ovid’s Game» is mentioned in the works of the Roman poet Ovid. Imagine a game of tic-tac-toe (noughts and crosses). The game is played with red and blue counters (or coins) instead of X's and O's. Unlike tic-tac-toe, each player gets only three markers. When all of the markers have been played, the moves consist of sliding a marker into an empty square that shares a common wall with the square the marker is leaving. While the strategy of the game is subtle, the rules are very simple:
1. The game is for two players, each of whom has three counters. The counters for one player are different in color from the counters for the other player.
2. The playing board consists of nine cells, like a tic-tac-toe grid.
3. Players take turns placing their counters one at a time, anywhere on the grid.
4. After each player has placed three counters, the players take turns moving their counters. A move consists of shifting one counter into an empty adjacent empty cell. Diagonal moves are not allowed.
5. A player wins by getting three counters in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
6. Because the center cell is important in this game, the first player is not allowed to place a counter in the center on the first turn.
The key to this game is to place your counters to obstruct your opponent. Remember, although you can shuffle your counters around, you are not allowed to jump over your opponent’s counters, and you can only move one square at a time.