While official rules allow placing the queen on the very first turn, online play, community and tournaments prohibit it. Why? Does it provide an unfair advantage? Does it quickly lead to a draw? Can you give an example?

2 Answers 2


From Wikipedia on Openings,

Bee - Spider - Spider (in a V formation with the bee at the point): This is an aggressive quick-strike opening that allows the player the fastest possible opportunity to move (on the third turn if necessary); the Spiders can thus quickly block the opponent's opening pieces. In addition, if the opponent answers with the same or a similar opening, it provides the best opportunity to force a draw if necessary as the Bees are adjacent. For this last reason, tournament rules forbid the placing of the Bee on the first move, as this opening leads to a preponderance of draws. Bee-Spider-Ant is a common variation very similar in its mechanics.

Emphasis mine.

Bee - Spider - Spider
Bee - Spider - Ant

  • I'm sure this is right, but it would be great if you could explain why in a bit more detail, and also if you had an example game as mentioned in the question.
    – tttppp
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 16:16
  • 3
    @tttppp, The why is explained in great detail. (It's not my fault the reason is extremely simple.) I don't have an example since I've never played (though I own a copy and know the rules). Did you even try? The setup is described precisely.
    – ikegami
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 16:18
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    I was expecting an explanation mentioning something like first/second player advantage. Why would both players be motivated to open with the bee if it so often leads to a draw? I can't think of another game where something is actually banned because it often leads to a draw. I also think an example game could help to illustrate the tactics, even if it's a fabricated example.
    – tttppp
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 7:18
  • But if you disagree that these would make the answer better then don't worry about it-several people have already found your answer useful as it is, and maybe I'm just being slow! :-)
    – tttppp
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 7:20
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    Re "Why would both players be motivated to open with the bee if it so often leads to a draw?" Because it would place the second player at a great disadvantage if he didn't.
    – ikegami
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 13:47

Now when I have played a few dozen of games the answer is obvious. A piece is surrounded by 6 other pieces. When two bees are adjacent the 3 out of 6 surrounding spaces (one of each is the other bee) contribute to surrounding both of them. Because of this fact it's practically difficult (that is if your opponent's is decent) to surround your opponent bee and not surround your own at the same time.

Thus the draw is very likely if both opponents start with a bee.

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