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Brownian Motion

Games--Backgammon, Go, Chess, Card Games

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I won't play poker for much more than fun, but I'm good at backgammon, bridge, and hearts. Go is the most beautiful of games, and I have the board and pieces, but after about a dozen games played over the last 25 years I still stink.

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MvpBackgammon1.jpg

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I'll play anything, but I'm not a big chess fan, which usually surprises my friends. My favorites are probably Go and Scrabble. I usually don't have a lot of time for Go, so will usually play Othello (essentially a dumbed-down version) when I'm in the mood for that kind of thing.

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Of course I'm into chess, but bridge is a great game too. I'd play more if I could fine three others to make up a game.

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I like a card game that was taught to me under the name Screw Your Neighbor. Played w/two decks. 13 card piles (top card up), 5 in the hands, create Solitaire-like piles on the open table with cards from hand and (especially) the pile, first one to clear their pile out wins.

Sound familiar to anybody? Can't believe that that's the "official" name.

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I like a card game that was taught to me under the name Screw Your Neighbor. Played w/two decks. 13 card piles (top card up), 5 in the hands, create Solitaire-like piles on the open table with cards from hand and (especially) the pile, first one to clear their pile out wins.

Sound familiar to anybody? Can't believe that that's the "official" name.

We play a game of the same name when we play poker (like I'm doing tonight), but the rules sound different than what you're playing.

Here is the game we play. You only have one card, and pass it or keep it, depending on if you think it's not low.

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I like a card game that was taught to me under the name Screw Your Neighbor. Played w/two decks. 13 card piles (top card up), 5 in the hands, create Solitaire-like piles on the open table with cards from hand and (especially) the pile, first one to clear their pile out wins.

Sound familiar to anybody? Can't believe that that's the "official" name.

Ok...seems that this game is not the "real" Screw Your Neighbor, but is instead a variant of SKIP-BO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skip_bo which was originally entitled Spite & Malace.

Fun game no matter what the name, and not without a good bit of strategy built into it.

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Yeah, Spite & Malice, this is pretty much it right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spite_and_Malice which is too high-falutin' a name for the West Virginian old folks who taught me the game. Means about the same thing as Screw Your Neighbor though... :g

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I like a card game that was taught to me under the name Screw Your Neighbor. Played w/two decks. 13 card piles (top card up), 5 in the hands, create Solitaire-like piles on the open table with cards from hand and (especially) the pile, first one to clear their pile out wins.

Sound familiar to anybody? Can't believe that that's the "official" name.

I played a game called Screw Your Neighbor back in the late 60's. It was a variation of Crazy Eights, with extra added powers added to certain cards. As in Crazy Eights, the objective was to "go out" (get rid of your cards), but it was allowed to gang up on a player that was getting ready to go out. Great fun for stoned hippies! :rolleyes:

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I got caught up in the Backgammon craze in the 1970's, and became a reasonably skilled player. Even read a couple of books about Backgammon strategies. As I became separated from my usual gang of players, I eventually lost interest, and hardly played at all for 20 years. About 7 years ago, my brother (who lives across the country) and I began playing on line, and have become so totally addicted that we play twice a week for about 90 minutes a session. At a buck a point, I owe him about 450 bucks right now!

:(

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Used to play chess and backgammon, but without others around who share the interest, it's hard to keep up the skills. Same with cribbage and pinochle.

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The New York Times

Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

July 19, 2007

Computer Checkers Program Is Invincible

By KENNETH CHANG

For an exercise in futility, go play checkers against a computer program named Chinook.

Developed by computer scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada, Chinook vanquished human competitors at tournaments more than a decade ago. Now, in an article published today on the Web site of the journal Science, the scientists report that they have rigorously proved that Chinook, in a slightly improved version, cannot ever lose. An opponent, no matter how skilled, practiced or determined, can at best achieve a draw.

In essence, that reduces checkers to the level of tic-tac-toe, where the ideal game-playing strategy has been codified into a series of immutable rules. But checkers — or draughts as it is known in Great Britain — is much more complex, with 500 billion billion theoretically possible board positions; it is the most complex game that has been solved to date.

Jonathan Schaeffer, a professor of computer science at the University of Alberta, set out on his checkers-playing quest in 1989, aiming to write software that could challenge the world checkers champion. He and his colleagues finished their computations 18 years later, in April.

“From my point of view, thank god it’s over,” Dr. Schaeffer said.

Even with the advances in computers over the past two decades, it is still impossible, in practical terms, to compute moves for all 500 billion billion board positions. Instead, the researchers took the usual starting position and then looked only at the positions that would occur during the normal course of play.

“It’s a computational proof,” Dr. Schaeffer said. “It’s certainly not a formal mathematical proof.”

Because of the vast numbers of calculations, the researchers had to painstakingly keep track of every bit of data. The miscopying of a single bit — the type of glitch that did occur every few months — could render their result incorrect if it were not caught and corrected.

Anyone can play a game against the perfect Chinook at http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook/. (It is limited to 24 matches at a time.)

The earlier incarnation of Chinook, relying on artificial intelligence techniques and the combined computing power of many computers, competed in the 1990 United States championship and placed second behind Marion Tinsley, the world champion who had won every tournament he had played in since 1950.

That achievement should have earned Chinook the right to challenge Dr. Tinsley, a professor of mathematics at Florida State University, for the world championship, but the American Checkers Federation and the English Draughts Association refused to sanction the match. After much wrangling in the checkers world, Dr. Tinsley and Chinook battled for the Man-Machine checkers title in 1992.

Dr. Tinsley won, 4 to 2 with 33 draws. Chinook’s two wins were only the sixth and seventh losses for Dr. Tinsley since 1950. In a rematch two years later, Dr. Tinsley withdrew after six draws, citing health reasons. Cancer was diagnosed, and Dr. Tinsley died seven months later.

In subsequent tournaments, Chinook handily triumphed over other human challengers, but the unfinished match against Dr. Tinsley left a lingering question of whether Chinook could claim to be the best of all time.

The new research proves that Chinook is invincible in the traditional game of checkers. But in most tournament play, a match starts with three moves chosen at random. In solving the traditional game, the researchers have also solved 21 of the 156 three-move openings, leaving a crack of hope for humans, at least for now.

For Dr. Schaeffer, the next game he hopes to conquer is poker. Next week, his program, Polaris, will take on two professional poker players in Texas Hold’em for the $50,000 man vs. machine world championship.

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twixt

My reply to this message was lost when the board crashed... anyway, I love that game and many of the others in the 3M line. Great stuff.

BTW, I had my best come-from-behind win in Twixt against a friend just a week or two ago - I was a split second from conceding.

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The New York Times

Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

July 19, 2007

Computer Checkers Program Is Invincible

By KENNETH CHANG

I've read some very interesting articles about the Chinook-Marion Tinsley rivalry. Unfortunately, I forget the sources, and a quick Google didn't turn up anything...

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Played chess a lot in college, and even made it to the quarterfinals in a tournament there one year. But after I graduated, the crowd that I used to play with vanished with it and I haven't played seriously for about 10 years. Love poker, esp. hold 'em, black jack and any sort of trivia game, esp Trivial Pursuit. I also love a good spades game, if I can get four players together. Used to have a group and we would get together once a week for years. But those peeps have moved on as well.

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I like a card game that was taught to me under the name Screw Your Neighbor. Played w/two decks. 13 card piles (top card up), 5 in the hands, create Solitaire-like piles on the open table with cards from hand and (especially) the pile, first one to clear their pile out wins.

Sound familiar to anybody? Can't believe that that's the "official" name.

Ok...seems that this game is not the "real" Screw Your Neighbor, but is instead a variant of SKIP-BO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skip_bo which was originally entitled Spite & Malace.

Fun game no matter what the name, and not without a good bit of strategy built into it.

Our family calls it Shit On Your Neighbor. Played it for 30+ years during the holidays.

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