Pente is based on an ancient Japanese board game, known as Ninuki-Renju, which was invented thousands of years ago and was also known as Gomoku and also as Gobang. Today, Pente is more popularly known as 'Five in a row' and the main differentiating factor is that Pente allows capture of stones, unlike the other games it has been derived from.
The game is played on the same board as another popular game called Go. The board has nineteen rows and nineteen equal squares in each of them, and Pente came to United States only during the 1970s and became very popular during the 1980s when it was officially, marketed by the Parker Brothers Game Co. in the county. Introduced by Gary Gabrel, the new version, which is now the adopted version requires you to either form a sequence of five same coloured stones, or 'capture' five pairs of stones.
How to play Pente
Pente can be played by two to four players, who are required to place stones on empty squares on the board alternatively. Every player has different coloured stones in his/her stack and the main aim is to try and place five stones of the same colour, either vertically, diagonally or horizontally. The player with black coloured stones always makes the first move. Now the twist in the game is that, if two of your connected stones get surrounded by the opponent's stones, from any two sides, then that pair gets captured by that opponent. This is what gives Pente its exciting twist as players have to not only rack their brains in getting the sequence, but also in keeping their stones safe.
The success of Pente lies in its simplicity, there is not much to set up and it doesn't require you to follow a thousand different rules and regulations. Apart from this there are two different variations of Pente played all over the world. The first one is called Keryo Pente in which the object is to either capture three stones or connect fifteen stones and the first person to do this wins the game.
The next variant of Pente is the tournament version in which the second move of the first player should be away from the central grid by three or more intersections. This makes the game a little in the favour of the player who goes second, as in the normal version the first player has some unfair advantages.
You don?t have to do a lot to start playing Pente as all you needs is a Go board and some stones which you can easily find in the hobby shop. Plus, you can also try the online version, which costs you nothing, neither money nor effort. Just log on and start playing Pente.