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Morelli (named for a character in Julio Cortázar's novel Hopscotch) is played on a board divided into 13 x 13 squares and coloured in concentric bands with the successive shades of the rainbow: outermost band of 48 squares in red, through orange, yellow, etc., to a single central cell (the Throne) in violet.

Two players — Black and White — begin the game with 24 stones each, disposed initially on the red band, and take turns to move one stone at a time. Stones enjoy the freedom of chess Queens, except that with every move they must come to rest on a band closer to the Throne. A stone flanked by two adverse stones (either orthogonally or diagonally) is captured and defects to the other player. The aim is to capture the Throne for one's own King by completing a 'frame' (i.e., a rotationally-symmetrical arrangement of four stones) around it at any distance. The Throne may change hands any number of times in the course of play, but whichever side's King is in occupation at game's end (i.e. when one player, on his turn, has no available move) is the winner. If the Throne remains neutral throughout, the game is drawn.

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Morelli

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