Over the years, I had been playing matchstick puzzles, but it never really occurred to me to turn it into a game until, one summer we had a German guest stay with us. She did not speak English at all and no one in our household spoke German. Much of our communication was made up of sign language, actions, and the use of English to German and German to English Dictionaries.
One day our German guest drew the boxes for noughts and crosses (Tic-tac-toe), she placed her first cross and so we had a few fun games of tic-tac-toe. I then proceeded to change the same diagram by adding to the three-by-three grid, the familiar diagonal lines, and got seven one penny coins, I managed to get across the object of the game. She thoroughly enjoyed working on this puzzle.
After a time, I introduced some matchstick puzzles, again without either of us speaking a language common to us both. I would manage to get across the object and she managed to grasp the puzzle. Many hours of her stay with us passed in working at the various puzzles. It was apparent that she was enjoying herself! This experience made me think about compiling a book of puzzles some of which I had learned and some I made up.
I wanted it to be a game that would be accessible to everyone. “Matchsticks and Games” is exactly that, the booklet of puzzles with varying degrees of complexity, people of all ages can play on their own, in pairs or in groups.
“Matchstick and Games”, is an ideal icebreaker at any gathering, it is more than a game; it’s an indispensable teaching tool. Matchsticks and Games build confidence and communication skills, it is mathematical and possesses a dynamic approach to solving puzzles. It is educational, fun and it develops strategic thinking.
Here is an example of one of my favorite games:
It is called NIM. It’s believed to have originated in China. The basic version of the game starts with three rows of matches: three matches in the first row, five in the second row, and seven in the third row, as shown in the Figure below. Each player, in turn, has to pick up one, two but no more than three matches from any of the rows at one time. The Player who forces his opponent to pick up the last match is the winner!
Matchsticks and Games
To play all you need is two players and a few match sticks.
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