I think that you have hit on the key as to why this is such a difficult task. It is the definition of the winning conditions. You would think that the game is ideally suited to programming as there are only two types of pieces and it is played on a grid but how do you determine that a computer does not want to put down another piece or pass on a move? Any time there is a group of nine points (in a square) there is a possibility for surrounding an opponent and therefore, a point. Whether or not it makes sense to do so is up to the opinion of the player so how do you write code for an opinion? There must be a way to do it. I have been working on this problem for some time and you have shed some light! Thanks for the insight!
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