(If you want to skip the reading and go straight to playing, head over to this link here to enable my skill and start playing! Do you think you can outwit Alexa?)

Not so fast! The objective of connect-four is pretty simple: get four pieces in a row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally before your opponent does. However, unlike tic-tac-toe, this game is far from trivial and took awhile to solve.

After being solved using non-brute force methods twice by two different, independent authors in 1988, the game was brute force solved in 1995. The conclusion is that the game is a force-win for the first player. However, the win is far from trivial to remember, and even the tiniest inaccuracies can change the evaluation from won to drawn, and even worse, to losing! You can learn more at this link here.

My skill relies on the non-brute force implementation, so it takes a little time to calculate before making moves. But don’t think it’s any easier to beat! :)