China Squares is the large strategic variant of China Grove, the same way that its twin game China Octangle is the large strategic variant of China Grove's twin game China Tangle. Its invention was inherent in and simultaneous with the invention of China Octangle.
Mandatory maximal placement together with the introduction of a group penalty, a number of points that must be subtracted from the score for every separate group, make China Squares a very cold game. The obligation to place the maximum possible number of stones at every turn, except for the swap offer at the first one, makes that players will often be forced to create new groups and collect the penalty points that come with them.
The history of its emergence is embedded in the history of China Octangle, and Tangle & Grove before that, so I'll suffice with redirecting you to the page About China Octangle.

Enschede, March 2023

christian freeling