Is there any case where an Othello (reversi) game would need to no more moves allowed? This happen to one of the two players leading to the other to play again is a common thing. Has it ever happened simultaneously to both in the history of the game while leaving positions blank? I mean one cannot move, the other cannot move but there is still room on the board.

EDIT I understand that when no moves are available the game is scored. What I am asking (as it has never occurred to me in the last 3-4 years I am playing the game is

Is there a possibility in which while the board is not yet full no more moves are available by neither of the two players?

How is this possible? Any examples of boards in which this is possible?

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    In reversi when this happens the game is not a stalemate. It is instead scored and the player with the most peaces wins. I am not sure if this is understood. Would you want a situation where the board is full AND has an equal number of stones?
    – Andrey
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 18:47
  • @Andrey edited my question so I could be more specific Commented Nov 1, 2014 at 7:35
  • You are still not making if clear if you need the game to end in a tie for the condition to be met
    – Andrey
    Commented Nov 1, 2014 at 20:35
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    @Andrey It does not matter how the game ends, tie or not. What I am asking is if cases exist in which the board is not completely full, both players still have pieces (the board is not completely white or black) and no move is possible by neither of the players. Thus ending the game abruptly Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 12:45

6 Answers 6


Yes, it is possible for neither player to be able to make a move without the board being full. The Wikipedia article for Reversi has this example from a competition:

enter image description here

There are also simpler examples where all the pieces are turned to the same colour (YouTube video).

  • I was asking for cases where it was not the same colour only. Thanks Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 14:11

This is very simple. If one corner is empty, but black has both edges and the diagonal, then black can't go in the corner, and neither can white.


"wipeout" is an example of such an ending, too! It's not something that happens to serious players, but it certainly happens to casual players.

  • in my question I specifically state in cases where both have pieces left Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 16:53
  • @JohnDemetriou I don't see anywhere in your question that you say you are asking for cases where both sides have pieces left. Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 20:19

enter image description here

Othello‘s rule book states in the final sentence “it is possible for a game to end before all 64 squares are fillled”. We just encountered such an edge case. White had the final move, and could not play. Game was called. Black won the game with 34 disks. White has 29.


othello stalemate draw

This game ends with a draw, neither player able to play.

  • This does not appear to add anything new to the question
    – Joe W
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 20:08
  • Although a valid answer, it was already answered and accepted. Maybe added as an edit to the accepted one? Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 14:44
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    This position is not reachable from the standard opening position: One of the four central squares is empty. Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 14:05

enter image description here This should more than answer you question i destroyed my friend 29-0 with picture to proof

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    Well I would like to see the last step before this :) Commented May 31, 2018 at 10:44
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    The asker clarified that he was only asking about situations where both players have pieces on the board; this comes across as more showing off a good game you had than an answer to the question.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 14:17
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    @GendoIkari While the OP mentioned in comments that they wanted a situation where both players have pieces on the board, they did not say so in the question. Comments are not the place to put clarifications of your question. If the OP wants examples with both colors, they should edit the question. As it stands, this is an answer to the question as asked. Commented May 31, 2018 at 20:00

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