The game was originally proposed by Göran Andersson, and was described as Crosscram in: Gardner, Martin. Knotted Doughnuts and other Mathematical Entertainments. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1986. 232-234. It can also be played using dominoes to cover up squares on a checkerboard, hence the name Domineering by which it is now more generally known.
It is related to the less-interesting game Cram, in which each player can make either vertical or horizontal moves.
It was described and analysed in: Conway, John Horton. On Numbers and Games. New York: Academic Press, 1976.