Trapping games on random boards

Riddhipratim Basu, Alexander Holroyd, James Martin, Johan Wastlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


We consider the following two-player game on a graph. A token is located at a vertex, and the players take turns to move it along an edge to a vertex that has not been visited before. A player who cannot move loses. We analyze outcomes with optimal play on percolation clusters of Euclidean lattices. On Z^2 with two different percolation parameters for odd and even sites, we prove that the game has no draws provided closed sites of one parity are sufficiently rare compared with those of the other parity (thus favoring one player). We prove this also for certain d-dimensional lattices with d≥3. It is an open question whether draws can occur when the two parameters are equal. On a finite ball of Z^2, with only odd sites closed but with the external boundary consisting of even sites, we identify up to logarithmic factors a critical window for the trade-off between the size of the ball and the percolation parameter. Outside this window, one or the other player has a decisive advantage. Our analysis of the game is intimately tied to the effect of boundary conditions on maximum-cardinality matchings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3727-3753
JournalAnnals of Applied Probability
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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