Nov 20, 2015

Not Made in Germany

Fred Horn sent me this old board game that he found in the collection at Slot Zuylen nearby the town of Utrecht.


The game is for two players, each moving alternatively.

There are nine pieces required on each side, each piece having a letter or a flag on it, and they must be placed along the first row of squares, so as to form the words 'england' on one side, and 'germany' on the other, with a flag at both ends of each word.

setup from original rules

Each piece moves one square in any direction, straight, diagonally, backwards, forwards or sideways.

Each player must gradually work all his pieces across the board, so that they form the words 'england' or 'germany' with a flag at each end on the last row of squares, and the one who first succeeds in doing this has won the game.

At the end of the game, the pieces must spell the words 'england' or 'germany' correctly to their respective players, while they are upsidedown to their opponents.

Any piece may leap over any other piece which is next to it, if there be a vacant square behind it, in any direction provided always that the square to which the piece moves is in the same straight line with the square from which it is moved.

A piece may also leap over a succession of any number of pieces provided that there is one vancant square between each.

A piece may leap over pieces of its own colour a well as the opponents pieces.

In leaping over a succession of pieces, the leaps are no bound to be all in the same direction, some may be diagonal, while others may be straight.

Leaping over pieces should be done as much as possible, as it enable the pieces to cross the Board much quicker than moving one square at the time.

No piece may move on to or over the ornamental square, but must cross the Boad through or over one of the two pain sqaures in the middle row.

No piece may be captured or removed from the Board,

It is not compulsory to leap over any piece.

Sep 14, 2015


A strategic Booard-Game for 2 Persons © Fred Horn 1982

by Fred Horn: In the early eighties of the last Century I came in contact with the famous game-inventor from New York mister Sid Sackson and we did exchange some ideas about games, but mostly I did, in those days by mail and sometimes with a telephone-call, provide information on (to him) unknown Dutch games out of my Colllection. I also send him some of my own invented games I had worked on in the years before, to get his valuable opinion and commentary. This game was an adaption of the game “Blue & Grey” out of his book ‘A Gamut of Games’ for  the ‘Dambord’ 10 x 10 which I had developed for Hans van Maanen as a possible item for his booklet “Geen Wolf en Zeven Geitjes”. But it was too complicated, because of the drawing on the board, for issue in that book. From Sid I got a nice review.

The goal is to bring your ‘Koerier/Courier’ from his start-corner to the opposite corner of the board
along the the squares with a blue line.


Game- Pieces:

Each Player receives 10 Pieces in his colour RED or YELLOW:
  • 1 Courier
  • 3 Guards
  • 6 Horsemen


The Courier is placed on the square in his Corner of the corresponding colour.

The 6 Horsemen are placed on the squares in the Outer-Court (of the Castle) with the corresponding colour.

The 3 Guards are placed on the following squares inside the Castle. For RED: A9; B9; B10 and for Yellow:  I9; J9; J10

Movement of the Pieces:

The Courier moves 1 square along the squares with a straight (no dots) blue line, always forward, in the direction of its Castle.
The Guards move over empty squares along a diagonal line 2 squares.
The Horsemen move over empty squares (jumping is not allowed) 1 square orthogonal and thereafter 1 square diagonal in the same move.
Only the Guards and the Courier are allowed to go into and stay inside a Castle.

YELLOW starts then Turns alternate.


If a Piece occupies a square with a blue line it blocks the movement of the Courier.
N.B. This means for the Couriers that they must take a different route through the middle.
If a Guard blocks the blue line in a Castle just in front of the Courier, he has to wait a Turn and than captures the blocking Guard.


The Courier cannot capture or be captured, only blocked.
Only inside the Castle a Courier is allowed to capture a blocking Guard à see above.

All other Pieces capture or be captured by ‘replacement’.
When it is possible in a Turn to reach the square occupied by an opponents’ Piece, this Piece may be captured (not obliged).
A Horseman can capture Horsemen and Guards outside the Castle.
A Guard can only capture Guards also inside the Castle.


The first Player reaching his opposite Corner, wins.
If RED manages to go to his Corner in the direct following Turn, it is a draw.

Sep 10, 2015


2 Asalto-like Games for 2 Players © Fred Horn  1982

Game I: Board and Startposition:

 Goal for White: To occupy all squares in the KASTEEL or To immobilize all Black Pawns so they cannot move.
Goal for Black: To reduce the amount of attacker-Pawns to 5 or less.

  • White begins, than Turns alternate.
  • In his Turn White moves 1 Pawn 1 square to an adjacent empty square left or above.
  • In his Turn Black moves 1 of his Pawns along a straight line in any direction over empty squares to land on an empty square.
  • When Black can jump over a White Pawn during his move and land on an empty square after the Pawn, this Pawn is captured and removed directly from the Board.
  • When Black starting from that square again can jump over a Black Pawn he can do so and also capture this one and remove it, and so on till he cannot capture a Pawn.
Game II: Board and Startposition:

Goal for White: or To occupy all squares in the KASTEEL or To immobilize the Black King so he cannot move anymore.

Goal for Black: To reduce the amount of –attacker-Pawns to 3 or less.

  • White begins, than Turns alternate.
  • In his Turn White moves 1 Pawn 1 square to an adjacent empty square left or above.
  • In his Turn Black moves 1 of his Pawns along a straight line in any direction over empty squares to land on an empty square.
  • When Black can jump over a White Pawn during his move and land on an empty square after the Pawn, this Pawn is captured and removed directly from the Board.
  • When Black starting from that square again can jump over a Black Pawn he can do so and also capture this one and remove it, and so on till he cannot capture a Pawn.
  • Next to moving a Pawn, Black may also move his King 1 square in any direction within the KASTEEL. The King cannot capture.

Sep 7, 2015


Some HALMA-variants by Fred Horn   © Fred Horn 05-1983

45 Pawns in 3 colours Red; Blue; Green = 15 Pawns per colour

For 3 players:

VARIANT  I      

All 3 Players start with their Pawns in the Corner opposite the Circles in their colour.
Goal: Be the first Player to occupy all opposite circles in your colour with your Pawns.


All 3 Players start with their Pawns on the circles with their colour.
Goal: Be the first Player to occupy first all the fifteen points in the opposite corner. 


Like VARIANT  I , but a Pawn now can only move in its Turn over one or two empty points to the next empty point in that direction, or to an empty adjacent point.


Like VARIANT  II , but a Pawn now can only move in its Turn over one or two empty points to the next empty point in that direction, or to an empty adjacent point.

For 2 players:


Play is only with the Blue and Green Pawns.
Both Players start in a corner with their 15 Pawns.
Play is conform ‘normal’ Halma-Rules.
Goal: To occupy most points in the third corner.


Play is only with the Blue and Green Pawns.
Both Players start on the circles of their colour with their 15 Pawns.
Play is conform ‘normal’ Halma-Rules.
Goal: To occupy most Red circles.

Sep 5, 2015


Here are the rules of Brainline from the magazine Games & Puzzles.

Aug 10, 2015


A post by Fred Horn

A Checkers-like board game by Fred Horn © 1982

Game-Board  &  startsituation

 36  Disks ;  18 Black  and  18  White


=  White starts, then Turns alternate.
=  In his Turn a Player can either move or jump with 1 of his Disks (or “Sjek”s).
=  Moving is always forward to one of the two adjacents crossings when these are empty.
=  Jumping over an own Disk is too always forward to an empty crossing (direct behind
     the own Disk) in the direction of the jump.
=  Jumping over an opponents’ Disk to the next empty crossing can be done forward as
    well as backwards and is obligatory when possible.
    The opponents Disk is captured and removed from the Board.
=  In a Turn, multiple jumps are not allowed.
=  When the Player has more than one  option to capture a Disk, he may choose which
     one is for him the most valuable option.
=  When a Disk reaches the last row of crossings it is promoted, by placing another Disk
     of the same color on top, making it a “Sjek”.
=  A “Sjek” can move in any direction in a straight line over empty crossings, to land
     were it chooses, on an empty crossing.
     It is not allowed to jump over an own Disk, only when the “SJEK” can act like a normal
     Disk, thus jumping over an adjacent Disk and only  forward to an empty crossing
     direct behind.
=  When a “Sjek” in his Turn jumps over 1 (and only 1) opponents’ Disk, this Disk is
     captured and removed from the Board.
     If such a jump is possible it is obligatory.
=  Player who captures all opponants Disks WINS the game.
     When neither Player can reach this goal the game is a Draw.

Variant Rules: Play the game using the ‘normal’ rules for Checkers.


A post by Fred Horn

A board-game by FRED HORN © 1991

Goal of the GAME:

To conquer with one CAMEL the opponents green home-field or to capture the four opponents CAMELS, which are able to conquer the home-field.


1 board consisting of two parts, each with 11x5 fields and two additional parts, one 11x1 fields and the other 11x2 fields.



Placing the animals: CAMELS and DROMEDARIES are placed conform the drawing, as are the ROCKS. Direction of play of a players animals is indicated through their placing on the fields. Opponent animals are facing each other.
The ROCKS are blockade pieces and do not move.
Before starting the game players decide on which board they will play.
The standard-size is 11x11. Use the two parts of 11x5 and in between the 11x1 part.
By choosing the 11x12 board, use the two parts of 11x5 and in between the 11x2 part. The 11x13 board can be made by using the two 11x5 parts and in between both additional parts.
Moving the ANIMALS:
The CAMELS walk 2 fields orthogonal and then 1 field diagonal in all directions.
The DROMEDARIES walk 2 fields diagonal and then 1 field orthogonal in all directions. Pieces on the board, animals and rocks, are obstacles that cannot be passed when moving an animal. Each field can only be occupied by 1 animal.

The youngest player starts by moving one animal, after which move his turn ends.
The other player then moves one of his animals after which move his turn ends .
Players then have alternating Turns and in their Turn move one of their own animals.
Capture: An opponents animal can be captured when the move with a players animal ends on a field occupied by an animal of the opponent. Player decide if he captures or not.

  1. When all four opponents CAMELS, which are able to reach players home-field, have been captured the game ends and the capturing player wins.
  2. Conquering the HOMEFIELD: When, at the end of a move with a CAMEL, this CAMEL reaches the opponents home-field the game ends and the player who succeeded this Goal wins double.

Fred Horn

Aug 6, 2015


A post by Fred Horn

An abstract Board-Game for 2 Players from the late 19th Century

25 years ago, in 1990, I was asked by the Staff of “Slot Zuylen”, a Castle nearby the town of Utrecht, to come by to inventarize and sort out the contents of a coffer with old games, because they had heard about me as a “well known expert on games”.

The Castle had become a Museum focused on the family that had owned the place and this coffer was part of the former household and now in the Museum-collection. Everything in that coffer was mixed up – boxes, boards, pieces -, was a complete mess and the Staff had no idea what belonged to what and if the remnants were complete games.

Coming there they had already sorted out the Boards, thus I did start there with my investigation. A lot of the Boards belonged to (for me) known games like Chess; Dammen; Halma; Reversi etc., so I began trying to find the corresponding Game-pieces, gamerules, and if possible a (part of) box.
Puzzles –like a Tangram- and dexterity games –like Skittles- were also easy to sort out. 

Then there was also a beautiful game: THE NEW GAME OF THE WASP from J. Jaques & Son from London which was easy to collect together, board and rules and metal bees and a wasp. Next to a Go-board, here obvious used for the game of Go-Moku (the Pieces were stored in a small box with that name!), there was also a Go-like-board with a design of a kind of bastion in the middle. Luckily the rules were there so I could trace the matching pieces for this game Fort Chitral. After some hours work I made a few notes, but unluckily I had no camera with me, so I could not take pictures. But I did write down the rules and the start for Fort Chitral.

Board and start position

Aim of the game
To occupy with 4 of your pieces the four squares of the Fort in the middle of the Board

  • Gameboard.
  • 36 identical Gamepieces in 2 colours (white and black), 18 of each colour.

  • White starts than Turns alternate.
  • In his Turn a Player moves one of his pieces.

    The movement of a piece is for the most like that in the game of Halma:
     or  - 1 step to an adjacent empty square, horizontal; vertical; diagonal,
     or  - jumping over an adjacent own* piece when the square directly behind is empty
              and multiple jumps are allowed, but not returning to the startposition.
  • When an opponents piece is trapped between 2 enemy pieces (Custodian capture) it is   captured and removed from the board. More than one capture in a Turn is possible.
  • When a piece ends after an own  move between 2 opponents pieces it is not captured and stays in play.
  • The first Player occupying the Fort (the 4 squares) in the middle with 4 of his pieces, wins the game.

N.B. note from F.H.: A Player perhaps also loses the game when he has only 3 pieces in play / the opponent has reduced his amount of pieces to 3.

* Note that this is different from the HALMA-rules.

Some pictures (the dice are not part of the game):


Aug 3, 2015


A post by Fred Horn

STRAAT, a one-time-game-idea by Fred Schuurhof

More about Fred Schuurhof (in Dutch):   
In September 1984, returning from my Holiday, one of my colleagues from the “Organisatie-Bureau van de Gemeente Amsterdam” where I was working, attended me on an Exhibition of Games that would take place within a short time at a small Gallery in the Jordaan- the workingman’s living part of old-Amsterdam-.

Thinking I would like it he already had put my name on the list to be invited. Not long thereafter I did receive a postcard in which the Exhibition was announced:

It was held in the Gallery BINNEN –Eglantiersgracht 31- and it turned out to be an Exhibition of only 4 Games.

I was curious about them, because I had never heard of or seen these Games, so these games could be a nice addition to my Collection.

HOUTEBAL and CYCLO were not that interesting for me, but the other two: TANG and STRAAT were exactly “my cup of tea” +abstract/strategic games+.

In the end I did buy all 4 games and they are now in the collection at Brugge and documented at the Dutch website: .

The complete story about TANG and the small firm COBRAIN (Jonathan Schouten & Paul Velleman) is something that will be told in the future, but during my research for that story I also tried to locate the small shop SPEEL that had published the game STRAAT.

But in the late 90th of the last Century the shop did not exist anymore and searching on the Internet was something you not even knew about!

When Rob van Linden put my information about these 4 games on HONG, he looked further and and found the name of the author of the Game: Fred Schuurhof .

With a website about his work as a photographer it was 1) easy to locate him  and 2) to make contact to get more information about him; his game; his shop.!

Let’s see what Fred has to tell after he received my message:

“ What an extremely surprising message I did receive from you. Indeed an echo out of the past from a long time ago. Very curious to find out the game STRAAT still do have some place somewhere. For me it is hidden in a dusty corner of my memory, although in some closet in the house I still keep a tangible sample.

In the 80th I was very busy for some years to handle with a friend the firm Speel, a game-manufactory with at most its own hand-made products. This was some reaction on my not so concrete (in those days) job as a youth-worker.

It was an intense and creative period for a stimulating firm, but it failed in its business sense.
For years I was deeply involved with the board-game Carrom, a dexterity game from India (some kind of ‘poor-mans-billiard’) trying to give it more attention in the Netherlands, but at a certain moment I could not combine it anymore with my daily job.

Although bringing in heavy PR and a lot of time the Dutch were not interested in Carrom after all.
With the factory we made Carrom-boards, but I also organized tournaments, even international ones, with people from Germany, Switzerland, India and even Sri-Lanka; I looked after all the work in the association: secretary;handling the journal etc.etc..

When it became too much I quit, but the game itself is still my passion and with a small group of friends we still play the game!

In 1988 we closed the shop and the manufactory and up to my retirement, in 2012, I started to work as a photogrpher for the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

Returning to STRAAT, this was an idea that came to my mind when the Gallery asked for something as part of their Exhibition on new games. To be fair, I did not play the game very much because it was hard for me to “image” both sides during play and lay down the pieces strategically. We did not produce the game in large amounts and as far as I remember it also sold poorly. At the end both the game and the firm Speel did die patiently.

Of course I do like the idea that somewhere the game is remembered, but for me it is something from the past and not a possibility for the future.

The game Straat was invented and submitted 30 years ago on the spur of the moment, but from that moment on I never looked after it. I think it still needs testing and developing, because it is a game asking for good memory and abstract-thinking to visualize and remember how the ‘lines’ go on both sides. For me it was (and is) too complicated.

When the game could be some inspiration for young inventors I will be more than satisfied.

I nearly forget to mention that this game is the only one we, the firm Speel, developed ourselves. At most we were busy manufacturing luxurieus, mostly wooden, designs of well-known board-games like backgammon; chess; halma; etc..

To end, I will mention the name of my friend and partner in business: Rob van der Wardt, still a good friend.                                                                                                                        “  

So far for Fred Schuurhof as his story goes. But what IS the game? 

Front side with removable transparent lid       

Mirrored back-side

This is the example of the game STRAAT that I bought at the Gallery BINNEN. Some time later I also bought a version, with blue in stead of black faces,  at “de Bijenkorf” a large department-store in Amsterdam.  Both are now in the Vlaams Spellen Archief in Brugge. F.H. 

The Idea behind STRAAT, playing in your Turn on the visible side as well as on the other –not visible- side of the Board, was for the time innovative.

I still do not know many games that explore this principle.

After all these complains of Fred Schuurhof about his game the funny thing of it is:

I played the game very often especially with mathematical interested friends. But it still is an unknown game in the world of abstract/strategic-games.

The game is nowhere mentioned in works on “Connection-Games”, but this omission can now be rectified and corrected on behalf of this article!

One of the few other ‘games’ with a similar principle is Alex Randolphs’s FAX, but that is more a puzzle than a game.

The problem here is to solve the puzzle at both sides, one side a H, other side a U:   

Gerhards Spiel& Design from Germany has published the game MOGULI from my friend Reinhold Wittig.

In this game you really play on both sides!:

And then there are all kind of games with magnetic devices and a hidden labyrinth underneath like GOBLIN’S GOLD from Jumbo.   
But with STRAAT I can only say: “Small – 10x10 cm board- Material à Great Game”.

I do finish with a picture of the original Rules (in Dutch) of STRAAT:                                 

Maybe someday we experience a Rivival of this most interesting Game.             

Fred Horn, 18 August 2013

Translated Rules in English

STRAAT is a Puzzle-game for 2 Persons.


16 Square Pieces, each on 1 side half-Black/half-White and on the other side 8 total-Black and 8 total-White.

Play-frame of 4 x 4 Squares from transparent material (glass/perspex/etc.) .

Transparent lid to cover the Pieces after filling the frame.


One Player takes the 8 all-White- the other the 8 all-Black-Pieces.

White starts. In his Turn a Player lay down one of his Pieces to his wish anywhere on the Board, according to the grid. The orientation is up to the Player.

When all Pieces have been placed, each Player counts his Straten (Streets) :
–a connection of opposite edges with his color-
place the lid and turns the Board over and also counts his Straten on the back.
Player with highest sum WINS.


A post by Fred Horn

An unknown Abstract Boardgame from Sweden            © Folke Eriksson  17/01/1966
When, more than 30 years ago, I did visit “Het Nederlandse Octrooibureau” (the Dutch Patent Office) in search for information on Dutch games that had been ‘geoctrooieerd’ (in some way like ‘patented’ in other countries)* I also found a Dutch Octrooi for a Swedish game:

Different from what is normal in a Dutch Octrooi not only “Industrial Handling” (How things can be manufactured and/or what kind of equipment must be used)* was described but also the Rules for the game had been recorded. This was due to the fact that it was translated from a Swedish Patent; filed Jan. 17, 1966, Ser.No. 521.003 for a: FOLDABLE GAME BOARD WITH GAME PIECE SEATING AND STORAGE MEANS.

This information comes from the registered Patent at the United States Patent Office where the game was accepted and patented on Aug. 19. 1969 under No. 3,462,150. I really have no idea if this game was ever published and brought on the market. But it has some nice features and it is a good game to play. But there was no name for the game. I gave it roughly the name of the authors’ home-town: TRANGALLA.

* In Holland the concept of “Patent” is not known. This is devided in two elements:

   1) ‘Octrooi” for Industrial Handling  and  2) ‘Auteursrecht’ for Ideas and Work of Art. To get an idea of what the game is, here is the accompanying drawing  to the Patent, giving a picture of the board and the text of what really was patented:


Which game can be played with this apparatus is in fact secundary to the Patent, but not for us. We are interested in the game and luckely enough the Rules are part of the Patent-description: 

Line 36: “The present game is played substantially according to the same rules as known games of the same kind. Assuming that the distinctive characteristics are the colours black and white, each of the two opponents, called Black and White, puts five pieces into the initial positions marked S 1…S 5   and    V 1…V 5  respectively in the drawings.“

So far for the Patent-text.


To reach first the remotest position on the opponents half of the board with your King.

  • Board, see Pict. 1.
  • 10 Pieces, all-in the form of identical cylinders;
  •      8 cylinders with a black bottom and a white upper face (soldiers);
  •      1 cylinder with a black bottom and black upper face (black King),
  •      1 cylinder with a white bottom and white upper face (white King).
  • Game-rules.

  • White takes the one complete white Piece (King)+ four other Pieces (soldiers); Black takes the one complete black Piece (King)+ four other Pieces (soldiers).White plays with the white sides up, Black with the black sides up.
  • Without showing the opponent your King, each Player places his 5 Pieces at the initial positions described in the Patent-text line 36. That means on the 5 positions of the two lines closest to the Player, ignoring the goal-position. Player has to remember which Piece is his King!
  • White begins than Turns alternate.

In his Turn a Player ‘moves’ one of his Pieces.
    Each move may comprise a movement:
    a) only 1 step forward or tranversely  (but not backward) along marking lines to an
        empty adjacent position.
   b) a jump over a (own or opponents) Piece standing on an adjacent position, provided
        that there is an empty position in alignment therebehind.
        In this way it is possible in one and the same move to jump over several pieces in a
        sequence in all directions (thus also backward) but it is not permissable to return to
        the initial position of that move.
        The opponents ‘ Pieces which are jumped over must be turned upside down so as
        thus to increase the number of the jumpers’ own Pieces.
        If the jumper jumps over the single-coloured King of the opponent this Piece is won
        and must be removed from the board.
        N.B. 1:  The opponent may not for the purpose of delay repeat a move more than
        N.B. 2:  If a soldier reaches the target (goal-position) it is lost and must be removed
                      from the board.

If the Players both conquer the opponents’ King the game ends as a draw.
The first Player reaching the target (goal-position) wins the game.

Jun 11, 2015


23* moves

A line of stones may move in its own direction any number of spaces
up to its own length.  Any friendly stones encountered during
the move halt the movement.  Any same-direction line of opponent
stones encountered have the nearest stones killed by replacement,
the maximum number to be killed being the difference of the two
lengths, with the move stopping only after a maximum such kill
or before the first blank after any kill.

: A turn consists of
: EITHER   the placement of three NON-LINEAR stones on empty cells,
: OR        of one move of the above type, followed by a placement.

Whoever first makes a path joining three non-adjacent sides, wins.

|   abcdefghijklmnopqrstu    
|        . . . . . o         1
|       . . . . . o .        2
|      . . . . o o . .       3
|     . o . . . o o . .      4
|    . . o . x x x . . .     5
|   o o o o x x x x . . .    6
|    . . . x x x . . . .     7
|     . . o x . . . . .      8
|      . . . x . . . .       9
|       x . . . . . .       10
|        . . . . . .        11
|   abcdefghijklmnopqrstu   12

   ___ooo___       ___xxx___
1. ..  e6  n3      h7  k6  n5
2. m4  j5  g6      i6  l5  l7
3. c6  f5  o2      j7  m6  p5
4. f5:h7   g8      p5:j5   k4
5. p1  o4  e8      k4:h7   i8
6. e8:i8   f5      l5:i8   l5
7. l3  e4  a6      o6  j9  e10
8. resign



24* restricted (placements must be on different groups)

The stones are played on empty cells, with the stones
played in one turn finishing up in different groups.
Passes are always legal, and two consecutive 4-passes end the game.

To score, a tetrahex may not have any other friendly stones
touching it.

The winner is the first player to complete a set of tetrahexes
in his own colour; or if the game ends before this happens,
the player with most completed, or the 1st to have built
his final set if both players have the same number.

| abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxy  
|       . . . . . . o        1
|      o o o . x x o .       2
|     . . o . x x o . .      3
|    . . . . . . o . x .     4
|   . . . . . . . . . o x    5
|  x x x x . x o . . x . o   6
| . . o o . x o o . x o x .  7
|  . o . . . x o . o x x o   8
|   . o x . . x . . . o .    9
|    . . . o . . x o x .    10
|     . x o x . . x x o     11
|      o o x x . . o o      12
|       . . . . . o .       13
| abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxy

     ______ooo______ ____xxx______
 1.  -- -- h2  r12   p2 d6  v8 j12
 2.  j2 r2 m7  t12   o3 f6  l8 t8
 3.  q3 n8 d8  h12   k7 s7  m3 k11
 4.  p4 e7 o7  i11   n2 t6  h6 m9
 5.  s1 i3 e9  j10   b6 l12 q11 t10
 6.  x6 g7 x8  q13   t4 w5  s11 g11
 7.  u7 f2 u11 f12   w7 p10 l6 g9
 8.  u5 u9 r8  r10   resigns

The second player resigns because there's miai at v6 and s9

Jun 5, 2015


A line is >=2 friendly stones in any ortho-diagonal direction.
After the 1st full turn, a player may enter 3 stones (rather than 2)
if his opponent has a longer line than all his own, (recursively).

The winner is who finishes with the (recursively) longest such line.

 a b c d e f g h i    
 X x X x x x o . .   1
 . . . . x o o x o   2
 . o . x x . x o o   3
 . x x o x o o o x   4
 . o o o x o x o x   5
 . . . x o x o o x   6
 . . x o x o x o x   7
 . X x o x o . o x   8
 . o x x x x x x o   9
 a b c d e f g h i  

 1.  ..  e5      d4  f4 
 2.  e3  e7      e6  h6 
 3.  b4  g5      h4  d8 
 4.  i5  e1      f2  f8 
 5.  g3  g7      i2  h8 
 6.  c8  i8      g2  d5 
 7.  e2 e4 d6    h3  h5 h7
 8.  h2 d3 h9    b3  g6 
 9.  c4 c7 e8    c5  f7 
10.  i4 i6 i7    i3  i9 
11.  b1 d1 f1    g1 f5
12.  c9 f9 f6    g4 d7
13.  d9 e9 g9    b5 b9 
14.  b8 a1 c1    resign

Larger lines:
 xxx: 6 6 5 5 4...
 ooo: 6 6     4...

Feb 23, 2015


The goal is to form a group touching all three side colours.

A turn is to move one stone then place one stone, either or both of which may be passed.  Placement is to empty cells. Movement is in a straight line, over friendly or empty cells, to an empty cell, a length equal to the hex-city-block distance of the departure cell from the centre.

Sample Game:

      OOO          XXX
 1.  swapped      i5 (#)
 2.  g7  --       f2   --
 3.  m5  --       l6   --
 4.  m5k3 h4      g5   f2c5
 5.  g7e5 f4      l6j4 i3
 6.  h4g3 h2      c5f8 g7
 7.  --   j2      g5h6 o5
 8.  j2l4 m5      o5l8 j2
 9.  g3i1 e9      l8o5 d8
10.  g9   --      o5l8 k1
11.  l4j6 j8      l8o5 k5
12.  k3o3 n4      o5l8 l6
13.  j6k7 m7      --   n6
14.  resigns

       @ @ @ @ @           
    ? . . o x . @       1. 
   ? . . o x . . @      2. 
  ? . . . x . . o @     3. 
 ? . . o . x . o . @    4. 
? . . o . # x o . .     5. 
 ? . . . x . x x . #    6. 
  ? . . x . o o . #     7. 
   ? x x . o x . #      8. 
    ? o o . . . #       9. 
       # # # # #       10. 

Jul 24, 2014


Progressive moves.

No two moves within a turn may be recursively kingwise connected.
Winner is whoever connects three sides, or makes a closed loop,
of recursively kingwise connected stones.

Sample Game:

X odd moves
1. e5
2. d4 d6
3. f2 f4 e7
4. e468  g7
5. g1 g8 fh6 c8
6. g3 acg5 dh8
7. h1 bd2 c4 f5 ch7
8. cegi2 b4 h5 f8 b9
9. i1 ch3 a4 b6 a8 gi9
10 c1 a2 f3 i3 i6 a7 c9
11 d3 f1 f7 a6 a9 i4
12 g6 e1 & wins (miai at d7 & i7)

. . o . O x x x x
o x o x o x o . o
. . x x . o o x o
x o x o o x . . x
o . o . x x o o .
x x . o o x O x o
o . x ! x x o x !
x . x o o o x o .
x o o . . . x . x
a b c d e f g h i

May 8, 2014


Same as classic Giveaway Chess except:

Each player moves twice except in the first move.
Any non-capturing turn must leave at least one piece closer to some enemy piece.
Inability to move is deemed equivalent to having no pieces.
Sample Game:

1.  ...   e3        b5   h5
2.  Q:h5  B:b5      R:h6 R:h2
3.  R:h2  B:d7 (F)  B:d7 Bh3
4.  R:h3  d3        Q:d3:e3
5.  B:e3  B:h7      R:h7 R:h2 (F)
6.  R:h2  Rh6       N:a6 Nb8
7.  Rh6   Nc3       N:h6 Ng8
8.  Kd2   Ne2       f6   f5
9.  N:f4  Ne2       Nc6  Nd4
10  N:d4  Ne2       Kd8  Kd7
11  N   & back      e5   Ba3
12  B:a3  Nf4       e:f  f3
13  g:f   Kd3       Kd6  Kd5
14: N:d5  N:c7 (F)  g5   g4
15: resigns

Final Position:

. . . . . . n .
. . N . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . p .
O . . K . O . .
. . O . . O . .
. . . . . . . .

This variant seems better than the standard giveaway chess. The only quirk is that it needs the 2nd rule so that the game is forced to converge to an end (it prevents turns where the players simply prevent zugzwangs by repeating previous board positions).

Feb 12, 2014

Gonnect for Sale

A bit of self promotion: Gonnect is a game I invented a dozen years ago. Quite probably my best.

Now there's a physical board for it by Nestor Games :-)


Sep 16, 2013

Three Games with the material of the game COM:POSITIE

[Fred Horn words]

In june 2013 Mr. Han Heidema, a friend but also the ‘editor in chief’ of the Dutch game-magazine SPEL!, called me and asked if I had ever heard of the game COM:POSITIE. He had found one at a church-fair, but without Rules and only a Box with board and gamepieces.  

He thought it was some abstract game and that is why he called me. Curious, I tried to find out more about the game, so I phoned the firm COMPANEN. In their archive they still had 2 games and they were willing to give me one for the Games-Archive in Brugge. Han did pick up the game so he was able to make a copy of the Rules and afterwards handed it over to me. The game itself turned out to be a simple Trivia-game and the beautiful Board and Pieces were only used for a Tic-Tac-Toe-like counting system to get the winner. When Han gave me the game for Brugge he challenged me by saying: “You can do better, this is really something for you to invent an abstract game with these materials”. Do not say such things to me, because that absolutely triggers me to really go to work on the thing. And here is the result: 2 NIM-like games and 1 Strategic game (all games © Fred Horn  1 september 2013)

The material is a 6x6 square game board and a set of game pieces:


a NIM-game for 2 or 3 Players 

The method of play is a bit similar to a former game of mine: PLANKO from 20/3/2007. This is played on a GO-board and in his Turn a Player places 2 of his Stones on 2 adjacent ‘crossings’. These stones control the direct surrounding ‘crossings’ where it is further not allowed to place stones. The aim of this game is completely different à To control most ‘crossings’.

The Game Plan-A-Head starts with an empty Board.
All Game-pieces are sorted out in selections of 4 different colored Pieces: in total 9 selections.
Selection after selection must be played.

In his Turn a Player takes 1 Piece (if there are 4 he can choose any he wants; if there are 3 too; etc. ; the last one of a selection MUST be taken) and places it anywhere to his wish on the Board, except that: a Piece cannot be placed adjacent ( horizontal, vertical or diagonal) to an already placed Piece on the Board with the same color.

If played with 2 Players:
After a selection has been played the Player, who has played the last Piece of that selection, starts with the next selection.

If played with 3 Players:
Turns go clockwise and remain so after a selection has been played.

Player who can play the last Piece according to the Rules, WINS.

PICK Tw=O=ne 

The Game starts with a filled Board.      

Turns alternate.
In his Turn a Player MUST take at least ONE Piece from the Board.
Out of  a straight line ( rows; columns; diagonals; but also for example a1,b3,c5 form a straight line holding 3 Pieces) with:
  • Pieces in 3 colors or more than 3 colors in that line  the Player can take in his Turn 1 or 2 Pieces (of any color) out of that line and removes it/them from the Board.
  • Pieces in 2 colors in that line the Player can take only 1 Piece out of this line and removes it from the Board.
  • Piece(s) with only 1 color in that line stay put and cannot be removed.

N.B.: A Piece can be on the crossing of two lines (or three or even four) and must stay put on one. If  another line allows taking the Piece, this can be done!
N.B.: The Start-setup may be changed according to the Players wishes.

The Player who can take the last Piece from the Board, according to the Rules, WINS.


This Game is based on “an idea for a way of capturing” that I has been dragging along with me for some tenth of years:

“How can I use the way CANNONS capture in Chinese-Chess for a Game of mine?”

And within “a Flash of Inspiration” triggered by these materials of COM:POSITIE I think I do have a nice solution.

Both Players devide the Pieces in 2 sets of 18 Pieces in 2 colors
Player 1 gets the Red and Blue Pieces.
Player 2 gets  the Green and Yellow Pieces.
The Board is placed on the Table between the 2 Players.
Each Player now ‘lines up’ secretly a start-situation with his Pieces on the first 2 Rows on his side of the Board. 
N.B.: A screen may be placed in between on the middle of the Board, to be sure the opponent cannot see the other Players line-up. Remove the screen when starting play.
The 9 not used Pieces for the line-up became ‘Reserves’, to be used during play.

Aim of the Game:
To be the first Player with 6 of his Pieces placed on his last Row: or reducing the number of the opponents Pieces on the Board to less than 6.


Turns alternate.
In his Turn a Player MUST move one of his Pieces.
A Piece can move only forward (straight or diagonal) or sideways (left or right) ONE step to an empty square.
After moving (and only after that) a Piece may (this is optional, the Player can choose for not capturing) capture an opponent Piece.
Order of capture is: 
Red à captures Green à captures Blue à captures Yellow à captures Red  à captures Green,  etc..
Capture is ALWAYS through re=placement in a straight line  (horizontal; vertical; diagonal; forward as well as backwards or sideways) crossing, if there are, empty squares, BUT only One Piece of the other color of the Player has to be in between.

Next to each other, after Red’s move, are a Red, a Blue and a Green Piece, in that order.
Red can now decide to capture the Green. He removes the Green from the Board and places his Red Piece on that square.

Only        a) moving 1 Piece
or            b) a capture,
ends a Players Turn and the other Player is on.

When one of his Pieces has been captured and removed from the Board, the next Player must start his Turn (before moving) by placing one of his ‘Reserves’ on his first Row, if there is an empty square and if the Player still owns ‘Reserves’. If not, he continues his Turn by moving one of his Pieces.

The first Player with 6 of his Pieces on his last Row, WINS the Game.
A Player can also WIN when his opponent has less than 6 Pieces on the Board.