The origin of Othello

The first forms of the game Othello are to be found by the Chinese, who used to play a look-a-like version of the game. Together with the downfall of the Chinese Kingdom, Othello was doomed. Till, in 1888 `Reversi', a very similar game, was patterned in England. This was however based on a game, which was published in 1870, calling `Annexation', what still was being played on a regular chessboard. From that moment `Reversi' began to become popular, expecially in Europe and North-Amerika. But there was a lack of consistence. Several game-publishers introduced the game under different names. So `Reversi' started to lose fame.
In 1971 Goro Hasegawa, a Japanese bordgame-fanatic, had the idea to give Othello a revivial. With the change that Othello became a game full of stategies, but still open to the public.

After his `invention' the game was worldwide produced an several Othello-federations were born. Nowadays Othello is not only famous from the bord-games, but also on the net. Mostly under the old name `reversi', this has to do with the rights. The new name `Othello' was based on a Shakespeare's tragedy. In the tradegy there is a certain theme which is in fact the heart of the present game. The play caused a big commotion in 1604, the premiere of the play. It was normal that a brave (white) officer had to fight against the barbaric (Black) Moors. It wasn't an exception if those Moors were makes out as stupid, sly and even villainous. In the play Shakespeare changed those 2 opposites, and made a (stupid), still brave, black Moor Officer of the Venetian Kingdom, which bravely had to fight his enemy, but likewise had to fight his rival… the white sly Jago!
Goro Hasegawa hasn't come up with that name at all; but is directly taken from the play, based on the existing contrasts between black and white.

(based on text from Rene Boer)