Wonder what’s the history behind this simple but fun game? Here it is…
Waterman patented the game Reversi in 1888, though he had been marketing games
earlier than that date. James Mollett contested the claim that Reversi was
Waterman's game, as he noted that the rules and play were very similar to
his own game invention, The Game of Annexation, originally published in 1870.
Mollett's Annexation game was played on a cross-shaped board, while Waterman's
Reversi was played on a normal chessboard.
It is Waterman's version which is still played today, though it has not had a continuous history of popularity. During one of its down cycles, Japanese inventor Goro Hasegawa reinvented the game, with very minor differences, and marketed it in 1971 as Othello. Most players became familiar with that version of the game.