Hex is usually played on a rhombic n×n board, but one can also try playing it on n×m parallelogram boards, where n is the number of rows, m the number of columns, and n ≠ m. For example, here is a board of size 3×7:
The problem with playing on such parallelogram boards is that the player with the shorter distance between her sides has a simple winning strategy, even when she moves second. To mitigate this, one can permit the player with the greater distance between his sides to place a certain number of stones on the board prior to the game. In particular, it has been found that Hex on a 7×9 board is a rather fair game, when Blue may start the game with two stones at once.
Size of minimal virtual connection on parallelogram boards
On a board of size n×m, one may ask what is the minimum number of stones Blue must place on the board prior to the game to guarantee a Blue win. Equivalently, one can ask what is the size of the minimal virtual connection between Blue's edges on an otherwise empty board.
The answer is known for certain small values of n and/or m: