by Anders Kierulf


That separate Swift project I hinted at in December? Time to announce what it is: an app for Othello (also known as Reversi).

Why Othello?

As a two-player board game, Othello is similar enough to Go that much of the Swift code for an Othello app can be reused for Go. But Othello apps are a dime a dozen in the App Store: who needs another one? Well, you do — you deserve better than the current crop of Othello apps.

Relevant experience

Most people associate me with only one game: Go. However, I do have a bit of history with Othello.

  • Computer Othello: My first Othello program played in a tournament in Santa Cruz in 1981, long before I first made it to the USA. My work on Othello got Prof. J. Nievergelt to introduce me to Go, and my Ph.D. thesis included a chapter on Othello (“Smart Game Board: a Workbench for Game-Playing Programs, with Go and Othello as Case Studies”).
  • Human Othello: I was Swiss Othello Champion in 1983, 84, 85, and 89, and United States Othello Champion in 1992. My tournament experience includes six Othello World Championships: Paris (1983 & 1988), Warsaw (1989), Stockholm (1990), New York (1991), and Barcelona (1992).

Unique combination

So yes, combining years of iPhone development, user interface experience from SmartGo, and expert knowledge of Othello, I do think I have something unique to bring to a crowded field of Othello apps.

I’ve been working on SmartOthello with designer Scott Jensen (@_scottjensen); it’s making good progress, and I have just started limited beta testing. I’m very excited about how it’s turning out, and what it means for the future of my Go apps.

More later. Meanwhile, you can sign up for news about SmartOthello at, and follow @smartOthello on Twitter or Facebook.

PS: I played in an Othello tournament in Los Angeles in March: 4 wins and 6 losses, definitely a bit rusty. At least I scored a 33-31 win against former World Champion Ben Seeley.