Breaking Up a Chocolate Bar

 
Breaking Up a Chocolate Bar

Problem statement:

How many steps are required to break an m x n bar of chocolate into 1 x 1 pieces?
 
1. You can break an existing piece of chocolate horizontally or vertically.

2. You cannot break two or more pieces at once (so no cutting through stacks).

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You need mn – 1 steps.

By breaking an existing piece horizontally or vertically, you merely increase the total number of pieces by one.

You already have 1 piece, so need mn – 1 steps to get to mn pieces.