# Posts published in “Game Theory”

Alice and Bob take turns playing a game, with Alice starting first.

Initially, there are n stones in a pile.  On each player’s turn, that player makes a move consisting of removing any non-zero square number of stones in the pile.

Also, if a player cannot make a move, he/she loses the game.

Given a positive integer n. Return True if and only if Alice wins the game otherwise return False, assuming both players play optimally.

Example 1:

Input: n = 1
Output: true
Explanation: Alice can remove 1 stone winning the game because Bob doesn't have any moves.

Example 2:

Input: n = 2
Output: false
Explanation: Alice can only remove 1 stone, after that Bob removes the last one winning the game (2 -> 1 -> 0).

Example 3:

Input: n = 4
Output: true
Explanation: n is already a perfect square, Alice can win with one move, removing 4 stones (4 -> 0).


Example 4:

Input: n = 7
Output: false
Explanation: Alice can't win the game if Bob plays optimally.
If Alice starts removing 4 stones, Bob will remove 1 stone then Alice should remove only 1 stone and finally Bob removes the last one (7 -> 3 -> 2 -> 1 -> 0).
If Alice starts removing 1 stone, Bob will remove 4 stones then Alice only can remove 1 stone and finally Bob removes the last one (7 -> 6 -> 2 -> 1 -> 0).

Example 5:

Input: n = 17
Output: false
Explanation: Alice can't win the game if Bob plays optimally.


Constraints:

• 1 <= n <= 10^5

## Solution: Recursion w/ Memoization / DP

Let win(n) denotes whether the current play will win or not.
Try all possible square numbers and see whether the other player will lose or not.
win(n) = any(win(n – i*i) == False) ? True : False
base case: win(0) = False

Time complexity: O(nsqrt(n))
Space complexity: O(n)

## Python3

Alice and Bob continue their games with piles of stones. There are several stones arranged in a row, and each stone has an associated value which is an integer given in the array stoneValue.

Alice and Bob take turns, with Alice starting first. On each player’s turn, that player can take 1, 2 or 3 stones from the first remaining stones in the row.

The score of each player is the sum of values of the stones taken. The score of each player is 0 initially.

The objective of the game is to end with the highest score, and the winner is the player with the highest score and there could be a tie. The game continues until all the stones have been taken.

Assume Alice and Bob play optimally.

Return “Alice” if Alice will win, “Bob” if Bob will win or “Tie” if they end the game with the same score.

Example 1:

Input: values = [1,2,3,7]
Output: "Bob"
Explanation: Alice will always lose. Her best move will be to take three piles and the score become 6. Now the score of Bob is 7 and Bob wins.


Example 2:

Input: values = [1,2,3,-9]
Output: "Alice"
Explanation: Alice must choose all the three piles at the first move to win and leave Bob with negative score.
If Alice chooses one pile her score will be 1 and the next move Bob's score becomes 5. The next move Alice will take the pile with value = -9 and lose.
If Alice chooses two piles her score will be 3 and the next move Bob's score becomes 3. The next move Alice will take the pile with value = -9 and also lose.
Remember that both play optimally so here Alice will choose the scenario that makes her win.


Example 3:

Input: values = [1,2,3,6]
Output: "Tie"
Explanation: Alice cannot win this game. She can end the game in a draw if she decided to choose all the first three piles, otherwise she will lose.


Example 4:

Input: values = [1,2,3,-1,-2,-3,7]
Output: "Alice"


Example 5:

Input: values = [-1,-2,-3]
Output: "Tie"


Constraints:

• 1 <= values.length <= 50000
• -1000 <= values[i] <= 1000

## Solution: DP with memorization

dp(i) := max relative score the current player can get if start the game from the i-th stone.

dp(i) = max(sum(values[i:i+k]) – dp(i + k)) 1 <= k <= 3

Time complexity: O(n)
Space complexity: O(n)