Chain Lightning


Chain Lightning is a two-player abstract board game played on a Go board that was invented by Andrew Juell in 2010.  This game is a member of the connection game family, including such game as Hex , Y , Havannah and Gonnect.


Chain Lightning is played on a Go board (19x19).  Smaller boards (13x13 or 15x15) can also be used by beginners or for quick games. The left and right edges are colored white while the top and bottom edges are colored black:

Object of the Game

The goal of Chain Lightning is to form a chain of your stones linking the opposite edges of the board marked by your color.  I.e. White should connect the West and East edges and Black should connect the North and South edges.  A corner is considered to be part of both adjoining edges. 

The "chain of stones" is defined differently for both players:

  • white stones are connected if they are horizontally, vertically or diagonally adjacent to each other;
  • black stones are connected  if they are horizontally or vertically adjacent (but not diagonally!).

No draws are possible in Chain Lightning.


The game begins with an empty board.

Each player has an allocated color: White and Black.

The game starts with a balancing phase in order to equalize the chances. During this phase the first player places any number of white stones on empty intersections of the board. When he passes the other player can choose to play with Black stones or to switch the sides and take the White stones.

After the balancing phase, players take turns placing stones of their color on any empty intersection of the board. White player puts two stones per turn and Black player puts three stones per turn.

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