There has to be a winning strategy for the first person to move. It might not be possible to write the strategy down as a simple to follow rule-of-thumb. In terms of game theory it will always be possible to compute a tree of all outcomes from all moves to select a winning strategy, for a massive initial grid, this calculation might eventually become practically impossible. The article says that no one has yet found a 'strategy' - but playing a move that leads to wain is always a strategy.

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