900Monkeys

About Kenté

Kenté is a board game for three players. It is also a balancing act. Each play you make helps out one of your opponents as well as yourself. It is not always obvious who to help at any given moment. But answering that question is the key to the game

Below, you will find links to purchase the game, downloadable rules, and sample games.

Tournament Rules

The rules downloadable above don't contain info on how to hold a Kenté tournament. Here's how it's done.

Let's say you have fifteen people in your tournament. Begin by dividing the players at random into five groups of three. Assign Black, White, and Green to the players at random. Each group plays a game. If there are any boards with a tie for first place, the game is played again with the same three players (colors again assigned at random) until there is a winner. Once the ties have been broken, we have five winners advancing.

But five does not divide evenly by three. To solve this problem, take the second-place finisher who had the highest score in the first round and promote that player to the second round along with the first place finishers. (In the event that two or more second place finishers tie for highest score, take the one whose opponenents' combined scores are the lowest).

We now have six players in the second round. Two games are played, with the two winners and the highest-scoring second-place finisher promoted to the third round.

Note that it will sometimes be necessary to take two second place finishers to the next round to arrive at a number of players divisable by three.

Once the third round is played, you might think you are done. You have a winner. But that is not the case. This first winner is just one of three who will play in the final round.

All the players except this first winner play again through a series of rounds to determine the second winner. A third winner is determined in the same way. At that point, the three winners play a final round to determine the overall winner.

What this means is that every player in the tournament has three chances to make it to the final round.

But you may have noticed a problem with this. When we run the tournament the second time, we only have fourteen players instead of fifteen. This is similar to what would happen if you started out with a number that wasn't divisable by three (say, sixteen).

In this case, you hold an elimination round to get to a number divisable by three. For example if you have fourteen players, you need to get to twelve, so you hold a round where only the two lowest scorers are eliminated.

Similarly, if you started with sixteen players, you would hold an elimination round to eliminate one player and get to fifteen.

Sample Games

Note that all of these games are played on the 11X11 board.

Game 1

  1. b02-BpW : e05-W|G : j10-GqW
  2. b03-WdB : d05-WbG : j09-W/G
  3. c03-B|W : d04-WdG : i10-W|G
  4. b10-BqG : d06-GqW : j08-W/G
  5. b09-GbB : c06-W|G : e07-GbB
  6. c09-G|B : b06-WbG : j07-GpW
  7. e08-BqG : j02-WbB : i07-WdG
  8. g07-GpB : g05-GqW : h10-W|G
  9. e09-BbW : j03-BqW : i06-W/G
  10. e10-BdW : i03-W|B : i05-WbG
  11. h03-BdW : j05-WpG : b07-GqW
  12. h02-Bbw : a02-WdB : a07-GdW
  13. g03-BpG : h09-WqG : a10-GbB
  14. f03-BbG : h08-WpG : a11-GdB
  15. b11-BpG : k02-WpB : g10-WbG
  16. e03-BpG : i02-WqB : j06-GdW
  17. e02-BqG : i01-WpB : k06-GqW
  18. d02-BdG : a06-WpG : g11-GqW
  19. d01-BbG : a01-WbB : f11-W|G
  20. d08-G|B : h01-W|B : PASS
  21. b01-BqW : PASS : PASS
  22. g01-BdW : PASS : PASS
  23. e01-BpG : PASS : PASS
  24. PASS : PASS : PASS
  25. SCORE -- 5 : 11 : 8

Game 2

  1. b10-BbG : g05-G/W : c10-GqB
  2. c09-B/G : g07-G/W : g08-GdW
  3. j02-BpW : j03-WdB : e07-B|G
  4. c08-B/G : h08-WpG : b02-GbW
  5. i02-B|W : h09-WqG : g09-GbW
  6. j10-BqW : i10-W|B : g10-G/W
  7. j09-BpW : i08-WdB : b04-G/W
  8. c07-B/G : b04-WqG : c02-G|W
  9. c06-GpB : d02-WqG : g04-GbW
  10. h02-B|W : h04-WqG : b06-GbB
  11. b07-BqG : h03-WpG : d01-GbW
  12. h10-WbB : 107-WbB : g11-GdW
  13. g02-B|W : a04-WdG : a03-GpW
  14. b11-BdG : j07-W|B : c11-GpB
  15. a07-BdG : k07-WpB : e01-G|W
  16. g01-BqW : k03-WqB : d07GdB
  17. k02-BbW : c04-WbB : e05-B/G
  18. k08-BdW : d04-W|B : f04-GqB
  19. i11-BpW : e02-WbB : f03-BpB
  20. PASS : g06-G/W : e06-BdG
  21. PASS : PASS : f06-GpB
  22. SCORE: 14 : 13 : 18

Game 3

  1. g07-BqG : b02-WbB : b10-GqB
  2. j10-BbW : c02-W|B : b09-BbG
  3. f07-GbB : d02-W|B : c09-B|G
  4. f08-G/B : e02-W|B : f09-GdB
  5. g09-BpG : b03-WdB : j02-GpW
  6. g05-GbB : c03-BpW : j03-W/G
  7. h05-G|B : c04-W/B : j04-W/G
  8. i05-GpB : c05-W/B : d09-GqB
  9. c06-BqW : k10-WqB : i02-G|W
  10. c07-BbW : k09-WpB : h02-G|W
  11. b06-W|B : j09-BdW : g10-G/B
  12. e05-B|G : j08-B/W : g02-WdG
  13. f05-GqB : j07-B/W : f04-GpB
  14. e04-BdG : j06-BbW : g11-GdB
  15. i07-BqW : j11-WqB : a10-GdB
  16. a09-BpG : a06-WbB : e08-GqW
  17. a07-BqW : k06-WqB : k04-GbW
  18. i11-BbW : e01-WdG : g01-GpW
  19. h07-BdW : PASS : PASS
  20. c08-BdW : PASS : PASS
  21. h11-BpG : PASS : PASS
  22. e03-BbG : PASS : PASS
  23. d05-BbG : PASS : PASS
  24. SCORE. 12 : 13 : 17

Game 4

  1. e07-BdG : j02-WpG : b02-GdW
  2. g07-GpB : j02-G/W : c02-WpG
  3. e06-GpB : j03-WqG : c03-G/W
  4. b10-BpG : i04-GbW : g05-B/G
  5. g08-B/G : i05-G/W : g04-B/G
  6. d06-G|B : j10-WpG : i10-W|G
  7. g09-GqB : h10-W|G : c04-G/W
  8. c06-G|B : e05-GqW : g03-GpB
  9. f09-BbG : d05-W|G : f03-G|B
  10. b06-BdG : i06-G/W : h11-GpW
  11. f10-GqB : i07-G/W : h08-GbB
  12. e10-BbG : j07-WbB : i02-GdW
  13. b11-BqG : e04-W/G : f02-GqB
  14. a10-BbG : i09-WqB :e11-GqB
  15. d11-BbG : j09-WdB : i01-GbW
  16. b05-GpB : k08-WqB : f01-GpB
  17. a05-BdG : j01-WqG : a04-GpB
  18. f07-G|B : j11-WqG : g11-GbW
  19. PASS : b01-WpG : a1-GdW
  20. PASS : d03-WdB : e01-G|B
  21. PASS : k07-WpB : PASS
  22. PASS : PASS : PASS
  23. SCORE. 19 : 13 : 5

Game 5

  1. b02-BpG : j10-WpG : i10-W|G
  2. b03-G/B : 109-WqG : h10-GdW
  3. c03-BbW : i08-G/W : g07-W|G
  4. d03-B|W : i07-WpG : e07-WbG
  5. b10-BbW : j02-WqG : e08-W/G
  6. c10-B|W : i02-GbW : e09-WdG
  7. e03-B|W : i03-G/W : i04-GdW
  8. c09-BdW : j04-WpG : b04-G/B
  9. b05-BqG : c08-WpB : h03-GpW
  10. b08-BdW : b07-WpB : j05-GdW
  11. f03-WqB : j07-WdB : a02-GdB
  12. f02-BbW : e05-B|W : a05-GbB
  13. g02-WqB : g05-B|W : f09-GpW
  14. g01-BbW : d10-WqB : f10-GqW
  15. b11-BdW : c11-WpB : j11-GdW
  16. a07-BdW : i06-WqG : a01-GbB
  17. b01-BqG : h06-WdG : e10-WbG
  18. c05-B/G : b06-B|W : e11-GqW
  19. k07-BpW : k08-WdB : f07-W|G
  20. k06-BdW : d07-WqG : h07-W|G
  21. PASS : k11-W|G : j01-GbW
  22. PASS : k01-G|W : h09-GbW
  23. PASS : d06-G/W : PASS
  24. PASS : k04-WbB : PASS
  25. PASS : f05-B|W : PASS
  26. PASS : d09-WpB : PASS
  27. SCORE. 12 : 11 : 11

Game 6

  1. g01-GbB : g05-W|B : b10-GqB
  2. j10-BbG : e05-W|B : e07-GdB
  3. g08-G/B : j02-WbB : g09-GdB
  4. h09-BpG : j03-W/B : b09-B/G
  5. h07-G|B : d05-BdW : b02-GbW
  6. i07-GqG : c02-WqG : d06-GqW
  7. j04-WbB : d04-WpB : b03-GdW
  8. j05-BqW : c03-WpG : b04-GbW
  9. i06-BpG : h05-W|B : b05-GdW
  10. h10-BqG : k02-WpB : b06-GbW
  11. g10-G|B : c01-WpG : f10- GbB
  12. j11-BdG : b01-W|G : b07-GdW
  13. k10-BpG : a01-WbG :a02-GqW
  14. k03-BdW : f05-W|B : f11-GdB
  15. g11-BpG : i05-W|B : b08-BpB
  16. a08-BdG : PASS : a07-GpB
  17. a10-BbG : PASS : a11-GqB
  18. PASS : PASS : c07-W|G
  19. PASS : PASS : f07-GqB
  20. Score. 17: 25 : 19