Fun and Games

Fun and Games

Delightful diversions and sundry ways to waste time with style.


Metal Express. Gaming–the old fashioned way.

I am also working on a set of miniatures gaming rules for small skirmish actions set in ancient through medieval and possibly Renaissance times. The working title is “DEKSA”. Look for more info on this game system as it develops.


US Chess Federation. A delightful game I am occasionally good at.

An even better resource for learning about and playing chess is a new site called

One of my favorite “how to” sites for chess and learning to improve one’s game is Ward Farnworth’s Predator at the Chessboard
which has numerous essays that give clear, lively, easy-to-understand insights into the finer points of the game.


Computers have pretty much mastered chess, but Go… not so much.  An average human can still beat the best computers.

by Mindy McAdams has written a superb introduction to the game:What is Go? Also see her excellent How to Teach Go.

Slate and Shell. Has a good primer on the game.  They also carry books and tools for Go players.

A great place to play go with people from all over the world and learn from top players and coaches is the Korean Go Server (KGS to insiders).

Mathematical Recreactions

No, that’s not an oxymoron.  Solving a tricky puzzle or equation brings its own unique buzz.  At least for me.  Here are some favorite puzzles and brain-teasers:

SOMA. A classic puzzle game invented by Piet Hein.

Here’s a pretty good page on SOMA.  There’s also a cool applet that lets you play with the cube on your computer, although I prefer the analog experience myself.

Originally featured in a classic article by Martin Gardner in Scientific American, Polyominoes is a deligtful game with many possiblities, said to be a favorite diversion of science fiction author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke.  It’s easy to make your own set.  An explanation of the game by Eric Harhbarger is found here.

Here is a link to an applet that lets you play with polyominoes online.  and polycubes. Additional variations on a similiar theme.

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