Focus was invented by Sid Sackson.

Focus is played on a square board with some of the corners removed. Here is the board with the pieces in the initial position. Players move, and must move, in turn. White moves first.

In Focus stacks of men emerge in any combination of colors. A stack is owned by the player who's color is on top.

  • On his turn a player moves a man or a stack of men horizontally or vertically, based on the number of pieces to be moved (e.g. one piece moves 1 square and a three-piece stack moves 3 squares). Stacks may be split in this process: a player may choose for instance to move only the top man (1 square) or the top two men (2 squares) of a higher stack.

  • When a stack grows over five pieces tall, the remaining men are removed from the bottom of the stack. Men of a player's own color become 'reserves' to be re-entered into the game at a later time, while pieces of the opponent's color are captured.
  • Instead of moving a piece, a player may choose to enter one of his reserves on any square of the board, whether vacant, or occupied by a piece of either color.

A player wins when his opponent cannot move a piece, nor enter a reserve on the board.

Note: Focus gave rise to Crossfire.

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An example game

Using the Focus applet
External links

Focus ©
Java applet © Ed van Zon