Abstract strategy games are generally board games designed without any clear application to real life, or similarity to real situations. Usually, these games are perfect information games, with no element of randomness or chance. The most venerable of these games include chess and go, along with their lesser-known brethren such as mancala, shogi, chinese chess (xian'qi), and draughts (checkers). Other, more recent games, include Twixt, Othello (Reversi), Hex, Pente, and so forth. Generally, the more recent games have less developed professional systems, and are less thoroughly analyzed.

The fans of abstract strategy games argue that games of perfect information are the only way players can be sure that it is their skill which determines their results, and not blind luck. This is true; even in highly strategic games with random elements, such as bridge, many games are required to make sure that the best team actually wins. However, this leads to what some see as a major drawback: brute force calculations will eventually solve every perfect information game. Forget artificial intelligence, any perfect information game will eventually fall to advanced searching algorithms. Thus the much-publicised case of Kasparov vs. Deep Blue, and its subsequent impact on the public image of chess. Granted, games such as go, with its exponentially larger move tree, present a more daunting problem for programmers, but computer go programs will eventually reach the professional level of play. Of course, this doesn't change the fact that go and chess, and many other abstracts, are deeply strategic and interesting when played between humans, but it costs the games prestige and interest when a computer is the best player in the world.

The games themselves

Do note that this list is not exhaustive, and the games do differ in popularity, development, depth, and age.

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