Solution to You Shall Understand What Hath Befallen

by Ricky Liu and Reid Barton

Each of the given Othello positions can be reached by a unique sequence of moves. Pictured below are the game positions seven moves from the end, immediately before the highlighted move. (Columns are labeled by a-h, rows by 1-8.)

Game 1: d3 c5 d6 c3 f5 g5 f4 e3 b4 c7 c4 a4 e7 f8

Game 2: d3 c3 e6 d2 d1 e1 f1 d6 c6 f4 b4 d7 d8 c4 g4

Game 3: e6 d6 c3 f4 c4 b4 d3 d2 e3 f7 g5 h6 e7 e8

Game 4: f5 d6 c5 f6 c4 g5 g7 f7 e7 b5 h4 b3 a5 e6 a2

Game 5: f5 f4 g3 f6 f3 f2 g5 h4 d3 c5 g4 d2 c4 b4

Game 6: f5 d6 c5 f6 f7 b5 a5 b4 c3 a3 c7 d2 e1 e7 f8

Game 7: e6 f4 d3 d6 f6 g6 e3 d2 c6 b6 e2 e1 b7 a8

Game 8: c4 e3 f5 e6 d3 g5 h5 g4 f3 b3 d7 d2 a2 d6 d1

In each game, the seventh-to-last move is the unique move that flips pieces in two directions. Interpreting these two directions as semaphore gives one letter per game. Taken in order, these letters spell out the answer, SWAYINGS.