For the next couple of weeks, we’re running this little story. I hope you will enjoy The Fouriad.

Connect 4 holds a strange pull over me and Robert, occupying the space that Chess traditionally has in people’s hearts. I love Chess but I am terrible at it; Connect 4 interests me infinitely more anyway. The perfect play for Connect 4 has been discovered, which means it is effectively a ‘solved’ game the way that noughts-and-crosses/tic-tac-toe is: there’s a guaranteed win pattern, which can only be deviated from if someone makes a mistake somewhere along the line. Unlike tic-tac-toe, though, it’s long and complex enough that you can’t just remember it after just seeing it once. The end result of which is a game that is still playable in terms of strategy and tactics, yet which can have its gameplay meta-studied by comparison to the perfect play as well.

That extra layer of comparison makes it way more interesting than regular, unsolved Chess in my book.