11×11 Hex gameboard showing a winning configuration for Blue
Abstract strategy game
||30 minutes – 2 hours (11×11 board)
Hex is a
board game for two players played on a
hexagonal grid, theoretically of any size and several possible shapes, but traditionally as an 11×11
rhombus. Players alternate placing markers or stones (
Go stones make ideal playing pieces) on unoccupied spaces in an attempt to link their opposite sides of the board in an unbroken chain. One player must win; there are no draws. The game has deep strategy, sharp tactics and a profound mathematical underpinning related to the
Brouwer fixed-point theorem. It was invented in the 1940s independently by two mathematicians,
Piet Hein and
John Nash. The game was first marketed as a board game in
Denmark under the name Con-tac-tix, and
Parker Brothers marketed a version of it in 1952 called Hex; they are no longer in production. Hex can also be played with paper and pencil on hexagonally ruled graph paper.
Hex-related research is current in the areas of topology, graph and matroid theory, combinatorics, game theory and computer heuristics.