Can you identify this game?

Derek Smith, professor of mathematics at Lafayette College, received the item pictured below as a gift from Diana Conway, John H. Conway's widow. It was found among Conway's many recreational possessions, but was not accompanied by any identifying information. Derek is curious if anyone recognizes it. Presumably it is some kind of game, though possibly it is some kind of puzzle. In case it is not clear from the photo, there is a 7x7 wooden board accompanied by some number of (but far fewer than 49) tiles, each of which fits snugly into one of the squares of the board. The tiles are dark on one side and light on the other, which is reminiscent of the game Reversi/Othello. The game was found in a plastic bag, so it's possible that some pieces were lost. I posted a query to the Board & Card Games Stack Exchange but did not receive any definitive answer. If you have information to share, please let me know.

Below is a short video demonstrating that the tiles can slide along the board, although not particularly cleanly.

Posted August 2021

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