The Minesweeper Home Page
Since Microsoft Windows has been shipping with Minesweeper, this little brainteaser has become a very widely played game.
John Lowenthal has written a fascinating and thorough book on the strategy of the game, and you will soon be able to get a few extracts from the book. As an example, consider your first move. Anywhere you go, you have an equal probability of being blown-up (K/N where K is the number of mines and N the number of unknown squares). Yet all moves are not created equal: You have to consider what can happen next in order to decide if it is better to start in a corner, on the side, in the middle or somewhere else.
While the book was being written, I (Jean-Claude Chetrit) came up with a conjecture which I am planning to prove as soon as I can find a margin large enough... Definitions: At any time during the game, the squares which are revealed are called the land. The unknown squares are called the sea, except for those who touch the land and which are called the beach. Conjecture: At any stage of the game, the probability of being blown-up at sea is the same for any square in the sea. While this result may seem intuitively obvious, Jean Michel who does research in group theory for a living thinks that it is not, and that encourages me to work on the proof. I will soon write a new page giving the mathematical notation, exact conjecture and some preliminary results.
Finally, John Lowenthal wrote OPENsweeper, our own version of the game, which enables you to save or load positions, and which penalizes you for taking chances unnecessarily. There are many options for playing. Yes, I want to download OPENsweeper. (457,109 bytes).
Best time (for the full board) I know of personnally is by my friend Stacy Antokas who works at Antokas Graphics in the Village and has a best time of 77 seconds! If you know of some great times, please let me know and I' ll post them.
A couple people have responded, and Wacharin Wichiramala seems to keep a better Home Page for these best times. Currently Ricardo Galletti has the record with 55 seconds!