Gomoku is one of the simpler and more popular versions of the ancient and widespread Oriental board game of “GO”. The players who are familiar with the GO game, may find it very easy to learn the game of Gomoku. However the game is very thrilling and challenging and requires the tactical skills and strategies of being able to master the game. The Gomoku can be played on the GO boards which has intersecting lines.

Origin of Gomoku

The game of Gomoku originated in China. The name Gomoku has derived from Japanese word, which is referred as gomokunarabe. Gomoku, the abbreviation for Gomokunarabe, has been formed by adjoining three separate words. GO which means five, Moku which means pieces and narabe which is often related with this sort of games, which means to line things up. The game is widely popular in different countries and the people call it by different names.

Playing strategies

Gomoku is a conceptual strategy board game which is also known as Five in a Row or Gobang. It is traditionally played with GO pieces which are black and white playing pieces of plastic and glass(earlier stones were used) played on board with 19 by 19 grids or intersections. In this board game the playing pieces once placed, cannot be removed or moved from board. This is the reason why the game is also called game of Paper and pencil.

Those having the black playing pieces make the first move, and the players continue with alternate moves in placing the playing pieces on the empty intersections.  Any player who gets to complete unbroken row of five pieces vertically, horizontally or diagonally is the winner.
Variations of the game.

There are different variations in the game of Gomoku. Some of these variations include:

  • The free style Gomoku is played with the basic rules of the game.
  • The Standard Gomoku refers to the game which requires positioning playing pieces of same colour in rows of five to win.
  • The three and three rules of the Game, bans certain move which simultaneously forms 2 open rows of three playing pieces, which means that the opponent player’s piece doe not block the row.
  • The four and four rules of the game bans any move that simultaneously forms two rows of four playing pieces.

Gomoku + also referred to as Caro, in Vietnam, implies that the players should have unbroken row of five playing pieces and this row should not be blocked at any of the ends. This rule is what makes Gomoku + more flexible and provides strong power of white pieces to defend.