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Pente


A Resource Page...

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Links
World Champs
20th Anniversary Tournament
Where to Buy

Here is a list of some pente links I have found around the 'Net...

  • Here is a PDF scan of the original Pente instructions from the Hasbro website.  Another set of rules is availalbe on the Winning Moves website.
  • The wikipedia entry for Pente is not that bad.
  • BoardGameGeek is a great site for all things about board games, they have a page on Pente too.
  • Mark K. Mammel's five in a row games page has a link to the very good program that has gone through many updates, and info about his PBeM tournament.

  • A great pente info page from the Swedish Renju Association homepage.  Make sure you also check out the Pente Writings.
  • The best place to play real-time pente. Dweebo's Stone Games has a great java pente forum and plenty of links and downloads.

  • Several great pages about pente. JesWeb's site is in French, so use AltaVista's Babel Fish if you can't read French. (doesn't work too well)
  • The About.com has a page with some links on it too.
  • Here is a GREAT site that recently got recommened to me, It's Your Turn. Its a very functional web site where you can play many turns based games, including pente. Its almost the same idea as corespondence, play by mail/e-mail games. They host several tournaments a month, go ahead and check them out.

  • Here is a great forum where some great pente players can meet and discuss all things pente. It's in the Yahoo clubs section, appropriately called the Pente Club, it was founded by Aaron Fortune from Oklohoma City. Check it out, you have to sign up for a Yahoo user profile to join but you look at most everything as a guest.
  • Who would think of naming thier child Pente?

  • Another place to play pente is on Richard's Play by eMail server, here are the pente rules from that server.

  • This is the home of Bill's Pente Program. Its a really neat looking program written for Unix.

Pente World Champions

...thanks for the info by Tom Braunlich
1978 Dan Hooker
(Held in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The birthplace of Pente)
1979 Tom Braunlich
(Stillwater, Oklahoma)
1980 John Krenz, Tom Braunlich, Warren Taylor, and Rollie Tesh tied for first place.
(John Krenz was awarded the title on tiebreaks, without a playoff, Held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
1981 John Krenz
(Braunlich and Tesh did not play in this event as they were working for Pente Games, Inc. at the time)
1982 John Krenz
(This was the first important tournament of truly national scope, Held in Dallas, Texas)
1983 Rollie Tesh
(The biggest championship, a book on this event is available. Tesh had quit working for Pente Games, Inc. in 1982 and thus was eligible to play, Held in Boston, Massachusetts)

Parker Brothers took over the game in 1984 and did not sponsor any further world championships.

Also, Rollie Tesh is still the official world champion, not Bodo Konze. Bodo deservedly won the 20th anniversary tournament, and might be considered the best player in the world at this moment, but that tournament was a promotional event and shouldn't be confused with a serious event for the official title. There has been some talk of trying to arrange a match between Konze and Tesh at some time in the future, but such does not look likely.

Mark Mammel has a page that lists some results from more recent tournaments.

20th Anniversary Tournament

...thanks to Jeffery L. Graves for sending me this information

In 1978, Gary Gabrel simplified the rules of Ninuki-renju, a variant of Go-Moku, while retaining the complexity. He called it Pente. He copyrighted the rules, replaced the Go board with a decorated vinyl mat, rolled it up and put it in a mailing tube adorned with the game's name, and started selling it. The game became very popular, and there were a number of world championship tournaments in the late '70s and early '80s. After the 1983 world championship tournament in Boston, Gabrel sold the rights to the game to Parker Brothers.

Fast forward 20 years to 1998. It turns out that the early 1980s was Pente's peak. It appears that Parker Brothers never made much of a push to market the game, and the game is now licensed to a company called Decipher. No world championship or other major tournaments were held after the 1983 world championship. No one has heard much about Pente lately, although the game is still popular among strategy game enthusiasts. Several sites can be found on the Web which reference Pente. The familiar Pente tube can still be found at stores that sell games.

However, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the game, and presumably also to increase sales of the game, Decipher has packaged a new boxed set 20th Anniversary version of the game with a rigid game board and four sets of playing stones instead of two. They also sponsored a series of tournaments culminating in the 20th Anniversary Championship held October 17th in Oklahoma City at a restaurant owned by the game's inventor, Gary Gabrel.

The 20th Anniversary Championship was the first major tournament since the 1983 World Championship and a number of world-class players vied for first-place. Two former world champions played in the tournament, Tom Braunlich and Rollie Tesh. Tom Braunlich is the author of several books on Pente strategy and was the 1979, 1980 and 1981 world champion. Rollie Tesh was the 1983 world champion.

However, first-place in the tournament was captured by Bodo Konze of Austin, Texas, who had qualified by earlier winning the Austin City championship and the Tulsa championship. Konze won 13 of 16 games that he played at the finals, beating both Braunlich and Tesh three games out of four. Because of the inherent advantage enjoyed by the player who moves first in Pente, the tournament's rules required that a player must win a match by two games.

Where to buy...

 Winning Moves is currently producing two versions of the game in a box and in the classic tube.

BoardGamePrices.com is a great place to find games at online retailers.

Ebay is still always an option, this category had most of the sets, and here is a basic search for the word "pente".




This page first assembled 11 May 1996, last modified 12 Sep 2009
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