History of Othello
The origin of Othello is not known.
There is not any proof of rumours
that Othello arose from an old Chinese game called "Fan Mian"
(claimed in E. O. Harbin, "Games of Many Nations", Abingdon Press, 1954).
Lewis Waterman and John W. Mollett (both of London, England) both marketed
games with similar rules in 1880. Mollett's game was called Annexation and
was played on a cross-shaped board. Waterman's game was called Reversi
and played on the familiar 8x8 square board. It is unclear whose version came
first, but Waterman's board and name are in use today. Walter H. Peel wrote
a book, Handbook of Reversi, published by Waterman's firm Jacques
and Sons in London 1888, and this book was reprinted in various guises
over the next decade.
Reversi differs from Othello in two respects.
The modern rules of Othello were invented by Goro Hasegawa
In Reversi, the board starts empty, and in each of the first two turns each player plays a stone of his
own colour in one of the centre four squares. In Othello,
this is done for you, eliminating one of the
starting configurations of Reversi.
If you are unable to play at Reversi, you miss your turn.
However, once someone has used up all 32 of his discs,
the person with discs left gets to play all of the last moves.