Renju Connection games


Close-up of a game in play
Genre(s) Board game
Abstract strategy game
Players 2
Age range 8 and up
Playing time 30 minutes
Random chance None
Skill(s) required Strategy, tactics

YINSH is an abstract strategy board game by game designer Kris Burm. It is the fifth game to be released in the GIPF Project. At the time of its release in 2003, Burm stated that he intended it to be considered as the sixth and last game of the project, and that the game which he had not yet released, PÜNCT, would be logically the fifth game . However, an entry in his blog on 19 June 2005 suggests that he is reconsidering this.

Gameplay consists of moving rings to flip Reversi-like discs.



YINSH is played on a board shaped like a partial six-pointed star with 85 points. The main pieces are black and white rings, of which each player has five. Also used are a number of markers which are black on one side and white on the other (similar to Reversi pieces).


The object of the game is to remove three of one's own rings from the game. Since this is the goal of the game, getting closer to winning necessitates weakening oneself, which considerably complicates strategy as a move which brings one closer to winning the game may end up being a very poor move.

Placement phase

The game starts with an empty board, and proceeds in two phases. During the first phase both players, beginning with white, place one of their rings on the board on any point. Once each player plays all five of their pieces, this phase is over.

Movement phase

The second phase involves forming lines of five markers, with one's own color face-up. Once this happens (on either player's turn), that player removes the five markers, and also one of their rings. Once a player has removed any three of their rings, they win the game.

A move consists of the following:

  1. The player chooses one of their own rings to move.
  2. The player puts a marker, with their own color face-up, in the middle of that ring.
  3. The player then moves the ring (but not the marker) to any unoccupied space, straight along any line.

When moving a ring, the following rules apply:

It is possible, and not unheard of, to make a move which causes your opponent to have a line of five markers in a row. When more than one line is made in the same move, the player who just moved resolves her own lines (if any) first, and then the other player resolves his lines (if any) before making his next move. Lines are resolved one at a time, so if a single marker is shared by two lines, only one of those lines may be resolved (but the player chooses which).

If all of the markers are placed on the board before either player has won, the game ends, with the winner being the player who has removed more rings. If both players have removed the same number of rings at this point, the game ends in a draw.

Video games

No official online versions of Yinsh exist, but there are number of unofficial implementations. Notably the web-based and On mobile, there are a couple of versions, like Shyring for iOS, published in December 2014 and Minimal Y for Android, published in January 2014.