US 2799505 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
2 sheets-smet 1 July 16, 1957 N. DE H. I YoNs- GAME APPARATUS Filed July 9, 195s INVENT OR PNA@ @NME o wm July l16, 1957 N. DE H. I YoNs 2,799,505
GAME APPARATUS Filed July 9,-1955 f 2 sheets-sheet 2 ATTORNEYS United States Patent GAME APPARATUS Norman De Hauteville Lyons, Hyattsville, Mil.
Application July 9, 1953, Serial No. 367,005
9 Claims. (Cl. 273-136) This invention relates to game apparatus of the type used for playing chess, checkers or similar games wherein playing pieces are moved to different playing positions on a game board or similar playing surface.
In the game of chess, as well as checkers, there are two participants, each of whom is provided with a set of playing pieces which are identical except for color.
These playing pieces are designed to be moved to various positions on a game board or other playing surface, having a predetermined pattern of playing positions thereon, the participants moving their respective playing pieces in accordance with certain specified and well known rules. Participation in these games requires the physical presence of each player in order that he may observe the moves of his oponent and then make his own moves, and, so far as known, there is no satisfactory apparatus of this type which will permit the game to be played by persons who are physically separated.
The principal object of the present invention, therefore, is the provision of game apparatus of the indicated type by means of which the game of chess, checkers or the like, can be played by persons who are physically separated, as for example, by persons confined to different beds in a hopsital room, or to different rooms of a hospital or other building.
A further object of the invention is the provision of game apparatus of the indicated type in which each player is provided with a game board or other playing surface, and a complete set of his own and his opponents playing pieces and wherein means are provided for automatically indicating the moves of one player to the other player, whereby the latter may duplicate the moves of -one player on his own board. Y
A still further object of the inventionV is the provision of game apparatus of the indicated type in which each Vplayer is provided with a game board anda complete set of his own and his opponents pieces, and wherein means are provided for indicating on one of the boards a particular position to which a playing piece has been moved on the other board, thereby enabling the player using the one board to move hisiopponents playing piece to a corresponding position thereon. An auxiliary object of the invention is the provision of apparatus of this -type including means for rendering the stated indicating means inoperative when the player using the one'board has moved his opponents playing piece thereon to a position correspondingtothe position of the 4sarne play- Ying piece on the opponents board.
A further object of the invention is the provisiony of game apparatus ofthe indicated type including means for automatically indicating on one of the game boards,
playing Vpiece which has been moved on the other board, as well as the position fromwhich, yand Vto which, :ithas 4been moved. e v v Y. Another object of the invention-is the provision of game Patented July 1e, 1957 iCC apparatus of the indicated type including electrically connected, manually operable signal means, associated with each board, for selectively indicating various conditions of play.
A further object of the invention is the provision of game apparatus of the indicated type including a novel arrangement of circuits to facilitate playing of the game by participants who are physically separated.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description, taken with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Figure l is a plan view of one form of apparatus in accordance with the invention;
Figure 2 is a cross sectional view of one of the game boards taken on the line 2 2 of Figure l;
Figure 3 is a wiring diagram showing the electrical circuits of the device;
Figure 4 is an elevational view, partly in section, of one of the playing pieces used in playing the game of chess; and
Figure 5 is an elevational view, partly in section, of one of the playing pieces used in playing the game of checkers.
Referring to the drawing, the numeral 10 generally designates the apparatus of the invention, herein illustrated as applied in playing the game of chess or checkers. The apparatus comprises a pair of game boards 11 and 12 and since these are identical in construction only one will be described. It will be appreciated, however, that the description of one applies equally to the other.
Each game board preferably consists of a rectangular frame 13 having a translucent sheet of material 14 secured thereto, in any suitable manner, as by screws or the like. The translucent sheet of material 14 is divided into a playing area 16 and a non-playing area 17, the playing area being suitably marked as by lines 18 to delineate playing positions 19. Beneath each playing position 19 is disposed a signal device 20 and a magnetically operated switch 21. The signal device 20 preferably consists of an electric lamp which, when lighted, illuminates the playing position under which it is disposed.
The signal devices or lamps 20 are mounted in a framework 22, supported within the rectangular frame 13. This framework is provided with a plurality of vertically walled cells 23, corresponding in number, shape, and size, to the playing positions, and disposed therebelow to direct illumination frfom a particular signal device onto the playing position with which it is associated. rlhe lamps 20 are carried by transverse members 24, and contact elements 25 and 26 may be provided for connecting them into the electrical circuits hereinafter described.
The magnetically operated switches 2l are of the single pole double throw type cach comprising a movable contact element 27 which is normally biased into engagement with a lower terminal 23. The movable contact Velement 27 carries at its outer end a magnet 29 adapted to be attracted by a magnet 30 of opposite polarity, mounted in the base of each of the playing elements 31 or 32. When the magnet 29 is thus attracted the contact element 27 moves upwardly into engagement kwith an upper terminal 33 of the switch 2l.
lt will be understood from the above, that there is a signal device 20 and a magnetically operated switch 21, associated with each of the playing positions on ea-ch of the game boards. Each of the signal devices and its associated switch, on one of the boards, is electrically connected with the correspondingly positioned signal device, .and its associated switch, on the other board, lin a manner hereinafter described.
cate various conditions of play to each other.
When the players are within hearing distance of one another as, for example, in the same room, the apparatus hereinabove described is all that is needed to play the game, since any conditions of play may be verbally-communicated between the parti-cipants. However, when voice communication is not possible, some other means must be provided whereby the participants may communi- In accordance Withthe invention, such means preferably comprise av plurality of interconnected, manually operable signal devices associated with the non-playing area of each board.
As clearly shown `in Figure l, the non-playing area of -e'ach board is provided with a series of blocks, 'delineated by lines, and desirably arranged in three rows as shown. The blocks in the first two rows,'herein designated by the numeral 35, have indicia therebelow indicating various conditions of play such as Check, Check Mate, Stale Mate, Out of Order, Game Foulded, Repeat Play, Remove Piece, Attention, King Checker, You Win, Time Out, and Sign Off fNow. Each of these blocks has a signal device 36 and `a switch 37 associated therewith, the signal device preferably being a lamp positioned below the block to illumi- 'nate same when it is lighted. The switches 37 are single 'pole double throw 'switches adapted tobe manually actuated by handles 38. Each signal device 36, and its associated switch 37, on'one of the boards, is electrically connected with the correspondingly positioned signal device 36, and its associated switch 37, on the other board, in a `manner to be described.
The blocks in the third row, herein denoted by the numerals'40, 41, 42 and 43, are designed to indicate (1) ywhich board has the play, and (2), the color of the playing piece assigned to each player. As herein illustrated, the blocks 40 and 41 indicate which board has the play, and, for this purpose, the block 40 is designed Ito be illuminated by a red'signal lamp 44, and the block 41 by a green signal lamp 4S. The lamps 44 and 45 on one board are connected to a single switch `46 of the double pole, double throw type having an actuating handle l47, and the corresponding lamps 44 and 45 on the 'other board are connected to a single switch 48 of the `single pole, double throw type having an actuating handle 49. The circuits which electrically connect these lamps, and the arrangement Vof the lamps therein, will be described hereinafter.
The blocks 42 and 43 indicate the color of the'playthe block 42 is designed to be illuminated by a white `signal lamp 50, and the block 43 by a black signal 'lamp 51. These lamps are electrically connected and controlled in the same manner as the lamps 44 and 45, the lamps 50 and 51 on one board being connected by a double pole, double throw switch 52 havingan lactuating handle 53, and the lamps 50 and 51 on the other board being connected to a single pole, double throw switch 54 having an actuating handle 55.
The manner in which the various signal devices and switches on one board are electrically connected to the corresponding signal devices and switches on the other board will now be described. 1n the wiring diagram of Figure 3, the signal devices, switches and electrical Vconnections of one board are shown on the left and Vthose of the other board are shown on the right. In
the illustrated embodiment a total of 82 wires connect the boards and these may be inclosed in any suitable type of cable as shown at 58 in Figure 1.
is quite satisfactory, and house current suitably reduced in voltage by a transformer, may also be used.
The lead wires 59 and 60 extend between the two boards and have branches 61 and 62, on the one board, and branches 63 and 64, on the other board, connected to the terminals of the switches 21, 37, 46, 48, 52 and 54 in the manner shown. Thus the lead wire 59 is connected to one terminal of each switch on each board by the branches 61 and 63 and the lead Wire 60 is similarly connected to another terminal of each of such switches by the branches`62 and 64. The third terminal of each switch on one board,'in turn, is connected to the third terminal of the correspondingly positioned switch on the other board through the signal devices associated with the switches. Thus each switch 21 on one board is connected with the correspondingly positioned switch 21 on the other board by a wire 64a which is also connected to the associated signal devices 20. The same is true of correspondingly .positioned switches 37 on the two boards yand signal devices 36 associated therewith.
In the case of the switch 46, which has four terminals, the third and fourth terminals are both connected to the third (terminal of the switch 48 by separate wires 65 and J66, the wire 65 being connected to the red lamp 44 on 'the left hand board and the green lamp 45 on the right hand board, and the wire 66 being connected to the green light y45 on the left hand board and the red light 44 on the yright hand fboard. Wires 67 and 68 similarly connect thete'rminalsof the switches 52 and 54 and the black and whitelights 50 and 51 on each board.
In Figure 3, the movable -contact elements of the switches A21 are shown in the `positions they normally occupy Awhen no playing lpieces are disposed on the playing .positions Vwith which they are associated. Under these conditions no current will ow through the lamps y20 and hence they will not light. However, when a playing piece is lpositioned above a switch 21, the magnet 30 of such playingvpiece will attract the magnet y29 of the switch causingthe movable contact element 27 thereof to move out of engagement with terminal 28 and into Vengagement withthe terminal'33. This closes the circuit through the switch and the lamp -20 associated therewith Tand through the correspondingly positioned switch, and
lampassociated therewith, on the other board, causing these lamps to lightfupand'illuminate the playing surfaces thereabve. lNow, under these conditions, if a playing 'piecevis moved to a correspondingposition on the other board, the movable -contact element of the switch 21 associated with such -position will be moved into engagement with the terminal 33 of such switch thereby opening'the circuit through the associated lamps 20 on each .piece andthecorresponding playing position on the other board-is unoccupied, both of su'ch playing positions will beV illuminated.
The switches 37 operate in a similar manner to open @and lclose the Ycircuit through the lamps 36 except that they are operated by hand, rather than magnetically. Thuseeither'playerfmay-selectively illuminate any of the blocks 35 to indicate a condition of play merely byactuatingthe handle of the vswitch'associated with the particular block'orfblocks Whichl-he-desires to illuminate.
The switches`46 and V48are also manually operated to ldirectcurrent selectively `through the lines 65 and 66 to indicate which board fhas the play. With the setting .of'theses'witchesshown in Figure 3, the current will .pass Vthrough"the-'line '65 'causing the red lamp 44 ony the 'leftfhand'boardjand'thelgreen'lamp 45 on the right hand board, to light. This will serve to indicate that the right ih'andboard'has the play. When the play on 'the "right hand boardhas been completed, the'switch 48 is r'nanually actuated to move the movable contact element thereof into engagement with the other terminal, thereby causing the current to pass through the line 66 to light the red lamp 44 on the right hand board and green lamp 45 on the left hand board. This serves to indicate that play on the right hand board has been completed and that the left hand board has the play. When the play onthe left hand board has been completed the switch 46 is manually actuated to again cause the current to pass through the line 65 to indicate that the right hand board has the play. This is continued until the game is completed and serves to expedite, and facilitate, the playing of the game.
The switches 52 and 54 operate in a similar manner to control the white and black lights 50 and 51 to indicate which color playing piece is assigned to each player. With the setting of these switches shown in Figure 3, current will pass through the line 67 causing the white light 50 on the left hand board, and the black light 51 on the right hand board, to light. This will indicate that the player using the left hand board is assigned the white playing pieces and the player using the right hand board the black playing pieces. However, manual actuation of either the switch 52 or the switch 54 will cause the current to pass through the line 68 to indicate that the black playing pieces are assigned to the player using the left hand board and the white playing pieces to the player using the right hand board.
Operation In describing the operation or use of the apparatus, let us assume that the players are in different rooms of the same building, and that voice communication is not possible. One of the game boards is given to each player along with a complete set of playing pieces including his own and his opponents. The wires connecting the game boards, inclosed in a cable or sheath as previously described, may be disposed in a hallway, or in a conduit especially prepared therefor, or in any other desired manner. The lead wires 59 and 60 are then plugged in or otherwise connected to a source of electromotive force and the players are ready to proceed.
At this point, the player having the rig-ht of selection actuates the switch 52 or 54, as the case may be, to indicate which color playing piece is assigned to each player. The players then arrange their -own and their opponents playing pieces on their respective boards in the usual manner, following which the player having the right of selection actuates the switch 46 or 48, as the case may be, to indicate who has the first play.
The player having the rst play moves one of his playing pieces to a desired playing position in accordance with the established rules of the game. When the playing piece is thus moved from one playing position to another, the magnet Z9 of the switch Z1, associated with the playing position from which the piece is moved, is no longer attracted by the magnet 3i) of the'playing piece, and hence the movable contact element 27 of this switch is biased downwardly into engagement with the lower terminal 28. This closes the circuit through the associated signal device and through the correspondingly positioned signal device on opponents board thereby indicating to opponent, the position from which the playing piece has been moved. Also, as the playing piece is moved into the new playing position, the magnet therein attracts the magnet Z9 of the switch 21 associated with the new playing position, thereby closing the circuit to the signal device associated with the new playing position, as well as to the signal device associated with the correspondingly disposed playing position on opponents board. As a result of the movement of a playing piece on one board, therefore, two corresponding playing positions on each board will be illuminated to indicate the position from which, and to which, the playing piece has been moved, and it will beobvious to opponent, of course, that the particular piece moved is the one which occupies one of the lighted playing positions. When the player has completed his move, he actuates the switch 46 or 43, as the case may be, to indicate that the other board has the play.
On the board on which the play was made the playing piece which has been moved occupies the new position. On the other board, the corresponding playing piece occupies the old position, or the position from which the playing piece was moved on the other board. In order to bring the boards into conformity, following his opponents move, the player utilizing the other board now moves the playing piece to the new position as determined by the particular playing position which is illuminated and unoccupied. As the playing piece on the other board is moved from its old position the magnet 29 of the switch 21 associated therewith is no longer attracted by the magnet 30 of the playing piece and hence the movable contact element 27 of such switch returns to its normal biased position in engagement with the lower terminal 28. This breaks the circuit through the signal device associated with this playing position and'through the signal device associated with the corresponding playing position on the other board so that they are no longer illuminated.
As the playing piece reaches the new playing position, the magnet therein attracts the magnet 29 of the switch 21 associated with this playing position so that the contact element thereof moves into engagement with the upper terminal 33 of this switch. This causes the circuit through the signal device associated with the new playing position, and through the signal device associated with the corresponding position on the other board, to be broken. It will thus be apparent that when a move on one board is duplicated on the other board to bring the boards into conformity, that the signal devices, associated with the playing positions from which and to which the playingpieces are moved on each board, will be rendered inoperative.
The player utilizing the other board now makes his own move and the old and new playing positions on each board are illuminated as previously described. The player using the one board then moves the corresponding piece to a corresponding position on his own board which causes the lights associated with these playing positions to be extinguished. The players continue thus to move their own and their opponents playing pieces until the game is concluded.
In the playing of the game of chess or checkers it is frequently necessary to indicate various conditions of play such as Check, King Checker, and the like.
This is provided for by the signal devices 36 and manually operated switches 37, associated with the blocks 35, whereby either player may indicate various playing conditions to the other merely by actuating the desired switch.
It will thus be seen that the present invention provides a game apparatus by means of which the games of chess and checkers may be played by persons who are physically separated so that voice communication is not possible. When the device is once connected to a source of E. M. F., the only thing necessary is for the players to move their own and their opponents pieces and when required, to press one or more of the manually operated switches for indicating any condition of play. These games may, therefore, be played as rapidly and easily as in the usual situation where the players are physically present to ob serve their opponents move and then move their own piece.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed herein, the invention is not to be construed as limited to the specific details illustrated and described except as included in the following claims.
1. Game apparatus comprising a pair ofA game boards each having a plurality of correspondingly disposed playing positions for reception of corresponding pairs of playinglpieces, a playingpiece for each position, a plurality of signal indicating devices, one for each playing position of each board, a plurality of signal actuating devices, one for each playing position of each board and each such'actuatingA device being uniquely associated with `a single playing position, an electric circuit inter-connecting each pair of actuating devices and the corresponding pair of indicating devices, each of the actuating devices Vin the circuit being operable byja 'playing iece to actuate both indicating devices when a playing position on one board is occupied by a playing piece and the corresponding -position on the second board is not occupied by a playing piece, said actuating devices being inoperative when both corresponding playing positions are filled and also being inoperative when both corresponding playing positions are empty.
2. Game apparatus comprising a pair of game boards veach having a plurality of correspondingly disposed playing positions for reception of corresponding pairs of'playing pieces, a plurality of signal indicating devices, one for each playing position ofeach board, a plurality of signal actuating devices, one foreach playing position of each board and each such actuating device being uniquely associated with a single playing position, an electric cir* cuit inter-connecting each pair of actuating devices and the corresponding pair of indicating devices, each of the actuating devices in the circuit being operable to actuate both indicating devices when a playing position on one board is occupied by a playing piece and the corresponding position on the second board is not occupied by a playing piece, said actuating devices being inoperative when both corresponding playing positions are lled and also being inoperative when both corresponding playing positions are empty.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the actuating devices are magnetically responsive and where playing pieces are provided with magnetic means for causing the actuating devices to respond.
4. A game apparatus of the type `set forth in claim 2 including interconnected manually operable signal means associated with each board for selectively indicating 'varivous conditions of play.
5. Game apparatus comprising a pair of game boards each having a plurality of correspondingly disposedplaying positions for reception of corresponding pairs of playing pieces, a plurality of vsignal indicating devices, one for -each playing position ofeach board, 4a plurality of switches one for each playing position of each board, Ya.
source of electric energy, each of said switches having a movable contact element engageable alternately with one of a pair of terminals and normally-biased into engagement with one of said terminals, circuit means connecting corresponding pair of said switches, energy source and corresponding pairs of indicators so that when one switch is in normal position and the other in abnormal -position, both indicators will be actuated; when both switches are in normal position, the circuit will be broken; when both switches are in abnormal position, the circuit will be broken; a playing piece for each position' and means on each playing piece for holding the corresponding switch in abnormal position when the playing piece is in playing position.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the switch holding means is magnetic.
7. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein each switch and indicating device are located beneath their respective playing positions on the surface ofthe game board.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the surface of the game board is translucent and the indicating device is a lamp.
9. Apparatus of the type-set forth in claim 5 wherein a switch means on one board is manually operable to selectively energize one of a plurality of signal devices on said one board and the correspondingly positioned signal device on the other board.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 927,583 Nelson July 13, 1909 994,218 Thrasher June 6, 1911 2,081,822 Kimbell -May 25, 1937 2,215,544 Condon et al Sept. 24, 1940 2,619,349 Abraha'mson Nov. 25, 1952