Combinatorial math is now part of discrete math, as well as graph theory and/or stats in some math departments, but is universally winked at as the "fun" part of "recreational" math. As I'm sure you know that does NOT mean it is simple! Applications of chess combinatorials include asteroid defense, and applications of go math include the immune system, so even fun can have practical value.
Example for GO players: "When neither black or white can make eyes, there are no kos, and all liberties are simple dame, with two competing groups where shared liberties are less than two, the black or white group MUST die." (p. 249). I've reviewed and read dozens of go books, and very few give this level of detail and subtlety, let alone the combinatorial details!
Will help gamers understand math better, and mathematicians understand gaming better. The "bible" of game theory today, Maschler's (Game Theory), though wonderful, doesn't even mention combinatorial games except briefly in the zero sum chapter, and doesn't cover GO at all! So, if you're into combinatorial math and gaming (non chance, two person, zero sum, full information to be exact), this book rocks!
You might already know this, but this is the first in a series of three volumes containing scholarly articles on the topics. Just in case you missed them, the other two are: More Games of No Chance (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Publications) and Games of No Chance 3 (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Publications).
Highly recommended, requires undergrad level math or self study. A little linear algebra and group theory will help, but analysis and calculus are optional. Boolean logic and computer science are plusses.
Speaking of, a GREAT audience for this book would be big O, complexity, computer science, programmers and other IT folks. Some of the fun anecdotes would be great for job interviews in these fields, and not seen very often by the interviewer-- distinguish yourself!
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