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Publication numberUS2877019 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 10, 1959
Filing dateNov 30, 1950
Priority dateNov 30, 1950
Publication numberUS 2877019 A, US 2877019A, US-A-2877019, US2877019 A, US2877019A
InventorsKeister William
Original AssigneeBell Telephone Labor Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic game-playing machine
US 2877019 A
Images(7)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 10, 1959 w. KElsTER 2,377,019

AUTOMATIC GAME-PLAYING MACHINE Filed Nov. 30, 1950 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 /N VE N TOR W. /fE/s TER ATTORNEY March 10, 1959 w. KEISTER 2,877,019

v AUTOMATIC GAMEfPLAyING MACHINE Filed Nov. 5o, 195o Y l 7 sheets-sheet 2 F IGA? v Loc/r our c/Rcu/r /A/l/E/VTOR W. KE 5 TE R @QQ/'sel A7' TORNE V March 10, I1959 4 w. KEISTER` l 2,877,019

AUTOMATIC GAME-PLAYING MACHINE:

Filed Nov. 50, 1950 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 MOVE RECORD/NG C/RCU/T /NVENTOR y W. KE/STER ATTORNEY v March 10, 1959 w, KEISTER A I 2,877,019

AUTOMATIC GAME-PLAYING MACHINE l Filed Nov. 50, 1950 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 SEQUENCE c/Rcu/T F /G.5

VNI/EN By W. KE/S TER A T TORNE V March 10, 1959 w. KElsTER 2,877,019

AUTOMATIC GAME-PLAYING MACHINE Filed Nov. 50, 1950 l 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 /N VEN TOR W. KE/S TER A T TORA/EV March l0, 1959 w. KEISTER 2,877,019

' AUTOMATIC GAME-PLAYING MACHINE Filed Nv. 50, 195o 7 sheets-sheet e /A/l/ENTOR W. KE/S TE R AT Tom/Ey' March 10, 1959 w. KEISTER 2,877,019v

. A AUTOMATIC GAME-PLAYING MACHINE Filed Nov. 5o, 195o 7 shee's-shet 7 F/aa ma /A/VENTOR W. KE/STER AT TORNE V United States Patent AUTOMATIC GAME-PLAYING'MACHINE William Keister, Short Hills, N. J., assignor to Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated, New York, N. Y.

Application November 30, 1950, Serial No. 198,277

8 Claims. (Cl. 273-130) This invention relates to electrical apparatus and ymore particularly to a machine for playing a game.

An object of this invention is to perform automatically the functions of one of the two players in the game variously known as Tick-Tack-Toe, Tit-Tat-Toe, T ick-Tack-Too,v Tit-Tat-Too, Three-in-a-Row or Noughts and Crosses.

A feature of this invention is .a multicell display board with means for displaying both the players and the machines selections.

Another feature of this invention is a pair ofelectromechanical devices, such as relays, individual to each of a plurality of display board cells.

Another feature of this inventionismanually operable switch means individual to each of'one of the relays in each cell.

Another feature of this invention is means for preventing the player from making two simultaneous moves or selections.

yA further feature of this invention is means operative after a player has made a selection for preventing any further effective selection by the player until the machine has made a selection.

Another feature of this invention is means for preventing either the player or the machine fromv selecting a cell that has previously been occupied.

A further feature of this invention is means comprising networks of the cell-relay contacts for continuously indicating the condition of diverse combinations of the cell relays.

vAnother feature of this invention is means for counting the moves made by the player.

A` further feature of this invention is means .for selecting those of the cell-relay contact networks which should be tested at any rgiven stage of the game.

A further feature of this invention is means for testing the cell-relay contact networks to ascertain if a winning play exists and for making the appropriate ymove if such a play is indicated.

Another feature of this invention is means for testing the cell-relay contact networks to ascertain if a defensive play exists and for making the appropriatey move if such a play is indicated.

Another feature of this invention is means for testing the cell relay contact networks to ascertain if any play other than a winning or a defensive play, i...e., a singular play, exists .and for making the appropriate move if` such as play is indicated.

lAnother feature of this invention is means for causing these tests successively to be performed in a preselected sequence.

Another feature of this invention is means to disable the machine to make further tests if an aflirmative answer is received in response to any one of the tests.

vA further feature of this invention is'means for indicating that the4 machine has won the game. and for preventing, the. making, of any plays, thereafter.

ice

.A Ifurther feature vof `this invention is means for 'restoring the apparatus to normal.

An understanding Vof the manner in :which the object of the'invention yis attained and va more complete understanding of the above-mentioned and other features of the invention may be obtained from the following discussion of the theory of operation of the apparatus and from the ensuing detailed description of a preferred embodiment `ot the invention, when read with reference to lthe-accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 shows a perspective 'View of the exterior of the preferred embodiment of the-invention;

Fig. 2 is a section taken upon a plane indicated by the line VZ-Z'inFig. 1 and `shows the-construction of one of the cells;

Pigs. 3 to 8 are circuit diagrams representinglthe construction of the preferred embodiment of the invention; and

Fig. 9 vis a diagram showing the proper arrangement of Figs. 3 to 8.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION In general, the game variously called Tick-Tack- Toe, Tit-Tat-Toe, Tick-Tack-Too, Tit-Tat-Too, Three-in-a-Row or Noughts and Crosses is one in which two players alternate in marking crosses and cyphers, respectively, in the nine `spaces of a figure formed by two pairs of crossed parallel lines, each player striving to fill three spaces in a row (column, row or diagonal) .with his mark. 'The apparatus Aconstructed in accordance with vthe principles of this invention performs the functions normally accomplished by one of the two. players. The playeris allowed kthe lfirst play Iandhis selection is displayed. The machine then 'responds `to make a selection, and its selection is also displayed. The player and the machine then proceed alternately to make their selections until one or the other wins or until a draw game has been reached. The circuits may b'e and preferably `are arranged so kthat the machine always wins or draws. Thefcircuits may also be arranged so that if the opponent accidentally or deliberately operates two or more keys at 7once the play will not be recorded and an alarm bell or lamp will be operated. A key .is provided 'to release ythe alarm and play may thenv be resumed. A 'master release key is provided` which will restore the 4machine to'normal at'any time.

rLet it be assumed that the player or opponent uses'- the mark or designation X and the machine uses the designation 0, and let it be assumed, for simplicity of theory and circuitry, lthat the player always plays 'rst.

In determining what yplay the machine should properly"l make at any stage of the game, the status ofthe gamemust be analyzed at that time. In some casesv the proper play can be selected without considering all occupied cells. be deemed generic to row, column or diagonal)I are occupied by the players Xs and the third cell is empty, a defensive play is made by placing an O in the empty cell. When two cells in a row are occupied bythe machines Os andthe third cell is empty, a winning play is Ymade by placing an O in the empty cell.

When two cells of a row (which shall herein` called singular plays since several alternatives of play are presented at this stage in the game.

The general scheme of operation for a machine may be predicated upon this analysis. The equipment is arranged to recognize and play all singularf winning and defensive plays. When theV machines turn to play arrives, the machine may function in up tothree stages of operation. The machine iirst tests for a singular play. Ifthere is no singular play the machine next tests for a winning play and if there is no winning play it proceeds to test for a defensive play. When any play is made the remaining tests are not performed. It will be seen that as a result of this sequential operation, a winning play is given preference over a defensive play.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION `In the drawings, the several circuit elements will either be designated by a three-digit number having its hundreds digit corresponding to the ligure number, or will be identied by a functional designation followed by the number of the ligure in parentheses, viz., the relay bearing the letter A in the upper left-hand portion of Fig. 3 will hereinafter be referred to as relay A(3).

Referring to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the face of the case 101 is provided with nine cells 102 in a coordinate array. Each cell comprises a face portion 103 of translucent material and two lamps 104 and 10S. In proximity to each of the lamps is a sheet of light polarizing material 106 and 107. A suitable partition 10S is .provided so that the light from either lamp 104 or 105 will only be transmitted through its associated polarizing medium. The two polarizing screens 106 and 107 are positioned ninety degrees out of orientation one with the other, e. g., screen 106 may be oriented to pass only the vertical component of the rays emanating from lamp 104 while screen 107 may be oriented to pass only the horizontal component of the rays emanating from lamp 105.

Two more sheets of polarizing material 109 and 110 and the translucent face portion 103 are juxtaposed. One of these sheets, such as 109, is oriented in the same d rection as sheet 106 and the other sheet 110 is oriented in the same direction as sheet 107. A portion of the material of sheet 109 is excised to form an X and a portion of the material of sheet 110 is excised to form an 0. When, therefore, lamp 105 is lit, the horizontally polarized rays therefrom will be unaffected by horizontally oriented sheet 110 but will be blocked by vertically oriented sheet 109. Since an X has been excised in sheet 109, however, an X will appear on the face 103 of the cell 102. Conversely, if lamp 104 is lit, an O will' appear on the face of the cell.

. Certain control switches and indicating lamps appear onthe exterior of the case 101. A key or button 111 is placed adjacent each cell and the player may select any unoccupied cell by depressing the one of the switches 111 associated therewith. Indicator lamp WIN(1) is arranged to light when the machine wins the game and indicator lamp AL1(1) is arranged to light if two of the switches 111 are operated simultaneously. Key or switch RL`(1) may be depressed to clear the machine if there is no win and key or switch AL( l) may be depressed in conjunction with switch RL( 1) to clear the machine at the end of the game if there be a win. If lamp AL1(1) lights indicating an improper play by the opponent, that play may be canceled and lamp AL1(1) extinguished by depressing switch AL(1), after which play may be resumed.

Referring now to the circuit diagrams of Figs. 3 to 8, when power is applied to the system, relay SR1(5) operates over a path from ground, No. 9 contact of relay P(4), conductor 401, winding of relay SR1(5) to battery. Relay SR1(5), in operating, connects ground through its No. 2 contact to operate relay SR2(5); relay SR2(5), in operating, connects ground through its No. 2 contact to operate relay SR3(S); and relay SR3(5), in operating, connects ground through its No. l contact, upper contact of key AL(5), winding of relay SR4(5) and to battery whereby relay SR4(5) is operated.

The players keys, buttons, or switches, identified by the designation 111 in Figs. 1 and 2, are shown in Fig. 3 as switches 311A to 3111. At the beginning of the game with all equipment in its normal condition, the player makes the rst play whereby an X is placed in the one of the nine squares A to 1 (Fig. 1) which the' player selects. He makes his selection by operating one of the nine keys 311A to 3111. Let it be assumed that the player desires to place his rst X in the upper lefthand or A square (Fig. 1) and therefore that he depresses key 311A. A circuit is thereby completed from battery, winding of relay A(3), operated key 311A, conductor 301, No. 6 contact of unoperated relay AX(3), No. 4 contact of unoperated relay AO(3), conductor 402, No. 8 contact of relay P(4), conductor 502, No. l contact of operated relay SR4(5), conductor 501 (represented by a dot-dash line) and to ground through the contact of switch RL(5). Relay A(3) is therefore operated over a circuit which includes back contacts of both the players or X relay AX(3) and the machines or O relay AO(3) individual to that square A( l) which the player has selected. As will hereinafter be seen, if the player had already selected this square, relay AX(3) would have been operated and if the machine had previously selected that square, relay AO(3) would have been operated. In either case, the above-traced operating circuit for relay A(3) would not have existed and the player therefore could not have selected square A(l). It will be noted that corresponding operating paths are provided for each of the other relays B(3) to 1(3) including the contacts of the asso'- ciated keys 311B to 3111, back contacts of the two associated cell relays BX(4) and BO(4) to 1X(8) 'and 10(8), conductor 402, No. 8 contact of relay P(4), conductor 502, No. l contact of relay SR4(5), to ground' on conductor 501. Since each of these operating paths in'- cludes a back contact of relay P(4) and since relay P(4) v is operated both throughout the time that the circuits are responding to the players selection and throughout the time that the circuits are operating to make and record the machines selection, as will be described hereinafter, no additional relays A(3) to 1(3) may be operated during those periods. The player is thereby pre-v vented from taking two no-n-simultaneous moves and is also prevented from interfering with the operation of the machine while it is performing the operations incident to the selection and recordation of its move. The means for preventing the player from effectively making two moves simultaneously will be described hereinafter. v

Relay A(3) locks operated through its No. 1 contact, conductor 302, lower contact of switch AL(5), No. 1 contact of relay SR4(S) and to ground on conductor 501. It may be noted that the other relays B(3) to 1(3). are provided with similar locking paths. Relay A(3), in operating, connects ground through its No. 2 contact and through the No. 2 back contacts of all of the other relays B(3) to 1(3), No. l contact of alarm relay AL(3), conductor 303, winding of relay P(4) and to battery whereby relay P(4) is operated. It will be noted thatV relay P(4) will also be operated if any other one of the relays A(3) to 1(3) is operated, in a similar fashion.

If any two of the relays A(3) to 1(3) are operated simultaneously, ground will be connected through contacts of the two operated relays to operate alarm relay Al(3). For example, if the player operates relays A(3) and B(3) simultaneously, ground will be counected through the No. 2 contact of relay A(3), No. 3 contact of relay B(3), conductor 304, winding of relay AL(3) and to battery. Relay AL(3), in operating, dis connects, at its No. 1 contact, conductor 303 from-the marrant-a 'contacts of relays A("3) to 13(3) to prevent the operati-cn cffrelay P(4) and also closes a circuiti-through itsy No. "3 contact to lig-ht lamp AL1(3 vRelayAL(3) locks operated 'through its No. 2 contact, conductor 305, No. 2 contact of relay SR4(-5) and to ground on conductor 501. Since the energizing circuit for relay SR4(5) includes ra vcontact of switch AL(5), the alarm condition can be corrected by operatingV switch AL'(5). The operation'of switch AL(5) removes locking ground from conducto'r 302so that all of the relays A'(3) to 1(3) which are operated will be released. The operation of switch AL(5) also disrupts the energizing circuit for relay SR4(5), b'ut that relay is vslow to release to ensure lthat all of the relays A(3) to 1 (3) will have had time to release. The lrelease 'of vrelay 4SR4(5) releases relay -AL(3) to extinguish lamp AL1(3). When key AL(5) isl vreleased, relay SR4(5) will reoperate.

Assuming that only relay A( 3) has been operated and that relay P(4) in-the move'recording circuit of Fig. 4 has roperated in response thereto as above described, the ground on conductor 303 will be extended through No. l contact of operated relay P(4), conductor '403 which is 'multipled to a front contact of each of the relays A(3) to 1 (3), through the No. 4 contact of operated relay '(3), conductor 306, winding of relay AX(3) and to battery whereby relay AX(3) 'is operated. In a similar manner, had any other one of therelays B(3) to 1(3) been'operated, the ground on conductor 403 would have been extended through a front contactv of the operated one of the relays to the winding of the X relay BX(4') 'to 1X(8') individual thereto and individual to the selected eell.

Relay AX(3) locks operated through its No. 5 con- 'tact to ground on conductor 501. Relay `AX(3), in operating, interrupts, at its No. 6 contact, the previously traced operating path for relay A(3) lto prevent "sub- "sequent selection of the A cell by the player, and interrupts, at its No. 7 contact, the energizing path'` 'for relay -AO(3) to prevent the machine from subsequently 'selecting vthe A cell which is already occupied by an 05X.

y Relay AX(3), in operating, also connects ground through its No. 12 contact, conductor 308, lamp`AX(6) vto battery.v Lamp AX(6), which is the equivalent of lamp 105 in Fig. 2, is thereby lit to place an X lin the upper left-'hand or A cell (Fig. 1). It will be 'noted that had the machine selected this cell whereby relay l;A'O(3') would have been operated as will be described hereinafter, lamp A0,(6) would have been lit toA project an Ov on the'face ofthe selected cell. Similarly, had 'any vother X relay BX(4) to 1X(8) been operated, 'the corresponding lamp BX(6) to JX(6) would have been lit, and when the machine functions to operate any 'of the other O Vrelays BO,(4) to 10(8), the vcorresponding lamps BO(6) to 10(6) will be lit.

Relay AX(3), in operating, also performs certain other operations comprising the controlling of certain net- Works which determine the operation of the machine as will be seen hereinafter.

Relay P(4) operates at each proper play byl the opponent, in the manner above described, and relays Q(4), R(4) and 8(4) comprise a counting circuit operative torecord the successive moves by counting the operations of relay P(4). Although only the first step of operation of this move recording circuit is presently of interest, the operation of the circuit in response tothe successive operations of relay P(4) will vbe described in detail at this time.l At the first operation of relay P(4), as above described,r the ground on conductor 501 is extended through the No. 5 ycontact of relay P(4), conductor 404, No. 2 contacts of unoperatedrelays R(4) and 8(4), vconductor 405, winding ofrelay Q(4) and to battery whereby relay Q(4) is operated. At the ir'st release of relay P(4), hereinafterv to lbe described, thefground cnfeonductcr 501 is extended through'. the No.1 It Contact of relay 5(4), conductor '406, No `2co'nt'act of released relay P(4), No. 1 contact of. Voperated relay Q(4), winding of 'relay R(4) and t'o batterywherebyrelay R(4) is operated. During the time required for relay P(4)"to release and for relay R(4) to operate, relay Q(4) Vjis, held operated over a circuit from ground von conductor 501, No. 3 contact of relay Q(4), conductor 404, No. `2 contacts of unoperated relays R(4) and 8(4), conductor 405 and to battery through the winding of relay Q(4). When relay R(4) becomes operated, the locking path for relay Q(4) comprisesthe No. 4 contact of released relay P(4) and theNo. 3 contact of relay Q(4). On the sevc-v ond operation of relay P(4), the locking 'pathr'for relay Q(4) is disrupted and relay Q(4) releases. Relay R(4), however, is' held operated over a circuit including ythe No. 1 contacts of relays '8(4) and R(4). The above sequence of operations and the-subsequent operationsof the counting circuits in response to the successive operations of relay 'P(4) are shown in the following table in which the 'figure designation of the several relays has been omitted. The path over which each of the relays is operated or held operated is shown under the 'heading Circuit 'with a relay designation such as `P connoting that the circuit includes a front or make Acontact of that relay, and with a relay designation such as "P" connoting that the circuit includes a back or break contact of that relay.

Table l Action of Relay P 'Result Circuit First operation Q operates l P+R"IS F {R operates S+P+Q rst;4 release Q held operated.. glji's' Second Operation rls: jasig/ f S operates R-l-Pil- Q SCQM release yR and operated..- @+R Q operates P+ Sj- Third operation R held operated... Q31? Sheld operated. -R+S R releases .T Third release Q held-operated S held operated. ...i Q-l-S y F th l V A {t} releases; ..r....

our opera lon S held operated-.-

Fourthv release S releases Relay P(4), in operating, removes ground from con'- ductor 401 to release slow-to-release relay SRHS). "Relay SR1(5 in releasing, connects the winding of singular play relay SP( 5) through to networks of contacts ofthe cell relays AX(3)-AO(3) to JX(8)10(8), but `since there can be no singular plays with'only one move -having been made by the player, the performance Vof this function by relay SR1(5) is of no utility at this time. For convenience of circuitry and as predicated on 'an analysis of the game, vthe machine operates always lto take the center or E cell on its first move unless the player has selected that square on his first move, in which event the machine always takes, as an exemplary arrange ment, the upper lefthand or A cell. Thus, in this case, relay SEMS), in releasi11g,"c`onnects ground through its No. 3 contact, conductor S03, No. 5 contact of unoperated relay R(4), No. 7 contact of unoperated relay S( 4), con ductor 407, No. l0 contactof unoperat'ed relay yEX(7), No. 5 contact and winding of relay EO(7) and to lbattery whereby relay EO(7) is operated and lamp BO(6) is lit to place an 0 in the selected square. Relay EO'(7) locks operated through its No, 4 contact to yground on conductor S01. it will .be noted that had the player selected the middle or E cell on his first play, relay "EX'(7) would have been operated and the above-traced energizing-circuit for 4relay vEO'(7 would not haveexiste'd asraoie open. Howevenain thatvsituation, the ground on con-A ductor 407. would have been extended through the No. 9 contact of operated relay EX(7) to conductor 701, No. 7 contact of relay AX(3) and through the No. 6 contact and winding of relay AO(3) to battery whereby the upper left-hand or A cell would have been selected in response to the players selection of the center or E cell.

Relay SR1(5), in releasing, releases relay SR2(5) which releases relay SR3(5). The release of relays SR2(5) and SR3(5) causes the circuits to test successively for winning and defensive plays, but inasmuch as such plays cannot possibly exist at this time, the functioning of the circuit to perform these tests will `be described hereinafter.

After the release of SR3(5), relay SR4(5) releases and removes the ground from conductor 302 to release relay A(3). Relay A(3) in releasing, interrupts, at its No. 2 contact, the energizing circuit for relay P (4) whereby relay P(4) releases. Since this is the rst release of relay P(4) relay Q(4) is held operated and relay R(4) is operated as hereinbefore described. Relay P(4), in releasing, also recloscs ground through its No. 9 contact to conductor 401 to cause the sequential reoperation of relays SRMS), SR2(5), SR3(5) and SR4(5). Relay SR4(5), in reoperating, again connects the ground on conductor 501 .through its No. 1 contact to conductor 502, No. 8 contact of released relay P(4) to conductor 402 whereby that ground is applied through back contacts of the unoperated ones of the cell relays AX(3)-AO(3) to .lX(8)-JO(8) to the respective keys 311A to 311]. The apparatus is now in condition for the next move by the player (the third play of the game). Since relays AX(3) and EO(7) are operated, the keys 311A and 311B are not supplied with ground so relays A(3) and E(3) can not now be operated, which is proper since the A and E cells are already occupied.

The player may now make his second play by operating one of the switches 3MB, 311C, 311D, 3111-7, 311G, 311H or 311]. Let it be assumed that he operates key 311] whereby relay J 3) is operated and locked operated. Relay I (3), in operating, connects the ground on conductor 403 through its No. 5 contact to conductor 313, winding of relay JX(8) andto battery. Relay JX(8) opcrates and locks operated through its No. 5 contact to ground on conductor 501. Relay JX(8), in operating, lights lamp JX(6), operates relay JX1(7) (which is provided to supplement the contacts of relay JX(8)), andv performs certain other network-completing operations as will be seen hereinafter.

Relay P(4) is reoperated in the manner hereinbefore described and this reoperation is recorded by the release of relay Q(4), as above discussed. Relay P(4), in opcrating, releases relay SR1(5). Relay SR1(5), in releasing, connects ground through its No. 3 contact to conductor 503, No. 4 contact of operated relay R(4), No. 5 Contact of unoperated relay 8(4), conductor 408, winding of relay M4(8) and to battery whereby relay M4(8) is operated for a purpose hereinafter to be described. At this stage of the machines operation the condition of the cell-relay contact networks is tested to ascertain whether a singular play, a winning play or a defen'sive play should be made.

SINGULARv PLAY Relay SR1(5), in releasing, completes a circuit from ground, No. 3 contact of relay SR2(5) (which is still operated due to its slow-torelease characteristics), lower (high resistance) winding of singular play relay SP(5), No. 1 contact of relay SR1(5) and conductor 504 which extends to front contacts of relays EX(7) and EO(7). Since relay EO(7) is operated, this ground will be extended throughvthe No. 8 contact thereof to conductor 702 which extends (in addition to other paths terminating at open relay contacts) to the No. 8 contacty of operated relay AX(3), conductor l315', No. l2 contact of operated relay JX1(7), conductor 703, No. 2 contact of operated relay M4(8), conductor 801, No. ll contact of unopr erated relay BX(4), and through the No. 4 contact and winding of relay BO(4)to battery. y

It will be seen that the machine has tested for a singular play, hasascertained that the player has selected cells A and J lsince relays AX(3), JX(8) and JX1(7) are operated, and has ascertained that the machine has occupied cell E since relay EO(7) is operated. It is apparent that a singular play is required. The machine has therefore prepared an operating circuit for relay BO(4) to select the B cell for its next move. Y

Since the above-traced energizing circuit for relay BO(4) includes the high resistance winding of relay SP(5), insufficient current will ow in the circuit to operate relay BO(4), but relay SP(5) is adjusted to operate under these conditions. Relay SP(5)v locks operated from battery, upper winding and No. 2 contact of relay SP(5), conductor 502, No. l contact of relay SR4(5) and to groundfon conductor 501. Relay SP(5), in operating, effectively shunts its lower, high resistance winding by applying ground through its No. 3 contact to conductor 504, whereby relay (4) is operated. Relay BO(4) locks operated to the ground on conductor 501 through its No. 5 contact and lights lamp BO(6).

Although the above-described singular play test and circuit functioning are representative of what occurs under any other unique one of the permutations of operation' of the several cell relays, the principles involved may be considered in order to assist in an understanding of the arrangement of the contact networks, and the reason for the provision of the move recording circuit vcomprising relays 8(4), 11(4), Q(4) and P(4) and of the move relays M4(8), M6(5) and M8(8).

` In ascertaining whether a singular play is required, a separate circuit may be provided for -e'ach possible condition. v

ience that relays JX(8) and .'iX1(7) are but one'relay) and wherein no other ones of the cell relays are operated, an individual circuit could be provided to extend through front contacts of those three relays and through back contacts of all of the other cell relays. Additionally, if the apparatus is to take affirmative action in ref spouse to the existence of the aforesaid condition, thev It is evident, however, that such an arrangement forl each of the possible singular plays would be inordinately extensive and complicated. Analysis demonstrates that the possible combinations may be classied according to the stage of the game in which they'occur. Thus, if only three plays have been made and it is ascertained that relays AX(3), EO(7) and JX(8) are operated, it is certain that no other cell relay is operated. The rst move by the machine (the second play) is determined as above described. The following table lists the possible combinations of operated relays prior to the fourth, sixth and eighth plays (prior to the second, third and fourth moves, respectively, by the machine) and the relay'which the machine should properly operate to select a cell in order to makea proper move.

Thus, for example, to ascertain the above. described condition wherein. relays AX(3), EO(7) and JX(8)' are operated (assuming for purposes of convenlfl Table IIa-#Positions requringsinrgzgla plays FOURTH PLAY (Three RelaysV Operated) Fourth Relay AO EX JX go AX E FX ho AX E O HX fo BX E O J X do BX EO GX fo CX EO HX do CX DX E O ho E O FX GX bo DX E O J X bo AX EO JX bo,fo, ho or do CX EO GX bo, fo, ho or do BX EO HX ae, co, go or jo DX EO FX ao, co, go or jo BX DX EO co or go BX EO FX an or jo E0 FX HX gn or co DX EO HX eo or jo SIXTH PLAY (Five Relays Operated) Sixth Relay AO BX EX HO J X do A O DX EX V F O J X bo AX BO CX EO HX do or fo BX EO GX HO ,TX do or fo AX DO EO FX GX bo or ho CX DX E O FO I X bo or ho EIGHTH PLAY (Seven Relays Operated) Eighth iRelay AX BO CX DX EO GO HX fo or jo AX BO CX EO FX HX .IO do or go AO BX DX E O GX HO A.T X fo or co BX CO EO FX GX HO JX i do or ao AO BX CX DX EO FO .IX `ha or go c CX DX EO FO GO HX .TX bo or go AX BX CO DO EO FX GX ho or`jo AX DO EO FX GX HX JO bo orco AO BX EO FX G O HX I X co or do AO CO DX EO FX GX HX 'jo or bo A0 yBX DX EX FO HO J X go AO BX CO EX GX HO J X e do AO BX CX EX FX GO HO do AO Q0 DX EX FO GX y HX bo AQ OX DX EX FO GO AJX' be The circuits may be simpliiied by extending the testing networks only through contacts on those relays which will be Operated at a given stage ofthe game. To do this, three additional relays are provided. Relay M4(8) controls thenetworks utilized on the 4fourth 'play (the second move by the machine); relay M6 (5) controls the networks utilized on the sixth play (the third move by themachine); and relay MSiS) controls the networks utilized onthe eighth play (the fourth move by the-nial'nne). The primary function of the move-recording circuit of Fig. 4 is to operate these move relays at the proper time. Thus, at `the beginning of the oper-ations incidcllft L0 the machine making its Asecond move, relay MMS) is operated through a back contact of relay 8(4), through a front .contact of relay R(4) and through a back Contact of relay R16), as above described. Whenrelay SR1@ reoperates, as will hereinafter be described, relay M4(8) is released. At the next move by the player, relay P(4) is reoperated and, as is shown inflfable I, supra, .at ,this stage all three relays Q(4), R(4) ,and T8(4) are operated. When relay SR1(5V) releases, therefore, a circuit is completed from ground through the No. 3 contact of relay SR1@ conductor 503, No. 4 contacts of operated relays R01) and 8(4), vconductor 410, and .through the winding of relay M6(5) -to battery whereby relay M6(5) is operated. After the machine performs its tests, relay SR1(5) is reoperated whereby relay Mg-5) is released. At the next or seventh play (the lplan/cris fourth move), relay P(4) is reoperated and only relay S`(4) in the move-recording circuit continues to b 013er-, ated as is .shown in Table `I. Therefore, .upon the release of relay SMU) ground is-.applifcd through the TNO.- 5,3 Contact of relay S.Rl(,5) coridilctfzrA 503,`N0k 5 A.contact of yrelay R(4), No. 6 contact of relay 5(4),f-.coiuicluctor 411 andV through the `winding of relay M8(8) :to battery whereby relay M8(8) is operated'. f

The degree of simplification ofthe circuits resulting from the inclusion in the networks of the contacts of these move relays AM4(8), M6(5) and M8(8) may be seen, for example, by considering the resulting modification of the circuit above represented in :sym-V bolic form for the ascertainment that relays AX(3') EO(7) and JX(8) and no other cell relays are operated.. By including a contact on relay M4(8), the circuit need only include front contacts on the three operated relays, a front contact on relay M4(8) and the winding of the appropriate cell relay lto cause the machine Vtoimake the proper move. Thus, utilizingthe above described system of notation, the exemplary circuit would represented:

A consideration of the circuits of Figs. 3 to 8 demonstrate that not only have each of the possible network circuits per stage of operation been arranged in the above fashion but that certain of the ycircuits have been partially combined to eliminate any unnecessary duplication. The possibilitiesl of combining the networks may be ascertained by the lmethod of solving simultaneous equations among the symbolic representations of Table II, supra. The following table represents the singular play networks used in the preferred embodiment of the invention, employing the presented 'system of notation:

'T able III 11 the singular play test occur during the time required for relay SR2(5) to release. Upon the release of relay SR2(5), a winning play test is made.v Since under the assumed sequence of moves, a singular play has been found to exist and has been made, it is obvious that no winning play can exist. Since, however, in

vresponse to an armative response to the singular play test, the machine has operated relay BO(4) and since relay EO(7) has previously been operated, it might appear to the machine that a winning play does exist. A false operation is prevented, however, by including aback contact of relay SP(5) in the energizing circuit for the winning play relay (5) whereby relay 0(5) cannot be operated since relay SP() has previously been operated. Therefore, under the assumed sequence of plays, no winning play test will be made.

To demonstrate the functioning of the winning play circuit, let there be a temporary departure from the previously assumed sequence of operations, and let it be assumed that the machine has previously operated two of the cell relays in a single row such as relays i((5) and FO(8), and let it further be assumed that there was a negative response to the single play test and that therefore relay SP(5) remains unoperated. It is obvious that if the machine selects and operates relay 10(8), the machine will win the game. When relay SR2(5) releases, a circuit is completed from ground on conductor 501, No. l contact of operated relay SR4(5), conductor 502, No. 1 contact of unoperated relay SP(5), conductor 505, No. 2 contact of operated relay SR3(5), lower (high resistance) winding 'of relay 0(5), No. l contact of released relay SR2(5),

conductor 5416, No. 6 contact of relay CO(5) (which has been assumed for the present to be operated), conductor 597, No. 6 contact of relay `FO(8) (which has also been assumed forthe present to be operated), conductor 802, No. 7' Contact of unoperated relay 1X(8) and through the No. 5 contact and winding of relay 10(8) to battery. Since this energizing circuit for relay 10( 8) includes the high-resistance winding of relay 0(5), insuicient current will ow in the circuit to operate relay 10( 8), but relay 0(5) is adjusted to operate under this condition. Relay 0(5) locks operated from battery, upper winding and No. 2 contact of relay 0(5), and to ground on conductor 501. Relay 0(5), in operating, effectively shunts its lower, high-resistance winding by completing a path from ground on conductor 501, No. 1 contact of relay SR4(5), conductor 502, No. 1 contact of relay SP(5) (which is unoperated under the present set of assumptions), conductor 505, and through the No. 3 contact of relay 0(5) to conductor 506. As a result, relay 10(8) is operated. Relay 10(8), in operating, locks operated to the ground on conductor 501 through its No. 4 contact and lights lamp 10(6).

Relay 0(5), in operating, also lights the win lamp to indicate that the machine has won the game, and applies ground through its No. 4 contact to prevent the release of slowto-release relay SR3(5). With relay SRS (5) held operated, the system is immobilized and no further moves may be made.

The interassociation of the contacts of the several cell relays to provide the proper winning play networks may be determined symbolically. Under the assumed set of conditions above discussed, relays CO(5) and FO(8) were assumed to be operated and a circuit was completed through front contacts of those operated relays and through back contacts of relays 1X(8) and 10(8) to operate relay 10(8). This circuit may be represented in the presented system of notation as:

It will be readily seen that a plurality of other pairs of relays lin any row may also be operated and similar test networks-should be formed accordingly. In the presented system of notation, all such combinations which can possibly occur may be listed as follows:

Table IV The above circuits provide for all possible winning plays. However, under any particular embodiment of the invention, some of the possibilities do not exist and therefore certain of the networks may be deleted. Thus, for example, in the illustrated embodiment of the invention it has been'assumed that if the player places an X in any cell except the center cell Ej then the machine will automatically select that cell on its rst move. Therefore, after the second play, the center cell E is occupied and there is no possibility of subsequently completing a winning play by selecting that cell. As a result all of those networks in Table III which end in the designation eo" need not be used. Analysis will further demonstrate that as a result of any particular arrangement of the singular play networks, certain others of the above-listed winning play possibilities may not, in fact, exist.

DEFENSIVE PLAY It will be recalled that to test for singular plays, conductor 504 was grounded, and that to test for winning plays conductor 506 was grounded. As will be seen hereinafter, to test for defensive plays, conductor 510 is grounded through the No. 3 contact of relay SR3(5), when that relay releases, conductor 505, No. 1 contact of relay SP(5), conductor 502, No. 1 contact of relay SR4(5) and to ground on conductor 501. Under the initially assumed set of conditions, an affirmative response was received on the singular play test whereby relay SP(5) was operated. As a result, under those conditions, it is clear that a defensive play does not exist. The defensive play test is therefore not made by virtue of the fact that the circuit by means of which ground is applied to the defensive play lead 510 is interrupted at the No. 1v contact of -operated relay SP(5).

Under the second assumed set of conditions, an atrma" tive response was received on the winning play test whereby relay 0(5) was operated. As a result, no defensive play can exist and therefore no defensive play test is made. This is accomplished by preventing the release of relay SR3(5) by connecting ground to the windilg thereof through the No. 4 contact of operated relay To demonstrate the functioning of the defensive play circuit, let it now be assumed that the player or opponent has operated twoof the cell relays in a single row such as relays BX(6) and EX(7), and let it further be assumed that negative responses have been received to both gettare "13 the,` singular play and the' winning piaytestswhef both may sus) and relay (5) femain'uhspiatea.- n

is' apparent that unless the machine now selects'unoccupied" cell fH, the player will be in a position to winy theI game;` 1f neither a singular play nor a winning play exists,

then, under the definition of a singular play, a defensive play must exist. Consequently there is no need for a defensive play relay and none is provided.

`When relay SR3(5) releases under the last-assumed set of conditions,a circuit is completed from ground at key RL(5), conductor 501, No. 1 Contact of relay SR4(5)', conductor 502,`No. 1 contact ofV relay SP('5),' conductor 505,;No. 3 contact of relay SR3 (5), defensive play conducto'r 510, No. 4 contact of operated relay EX(7)', con` ductor "708,V No. 3 contact of operated relay BX(4), con` ductor 415, No. 7 contact of unoperated relay HX(7),

and through the No. 5 contact and winding of relayr HO(7) to battery whereby relay HO(7) is operated. Relay HO(7)v locks operated through its No. 4`conta'et to the ground on conductor 501 and lights lamp HO(6).

Upon the release of relay SR3(5), the energiziugpath for relay SR4(5) is interrupted, and after a delay suflicient for the above-described defensive play to'be made, relay SR4(5) releases. Relay SR4(5), in releasing,v releases that one of the relays A(3) to J (3) which is operated and releases relay P(4). Relay P(4), in releasing,

againcauses the sequential reoperation of4 relays SR1(5),

SR2(5) SR3(5)' and ySR4( 5). When relay SR4('5) reoperates, ground is again applied through a back contact of relay P(4) and through back contacts of the unoper-l ated cellrelays to the players keys 311A to 311] so that theV player may proceed with his next selection.

The interassociation of the contacts of the several cell relays to provide the proper defensive play networks may be determined symbolically. Under the last-as'- sumed set of conditions, relays EXC) and BX(4) were assumed to be operated and a circuit was completed through front contacts of those relays and through back' Table V nected to and operable under the control of said switchv 1f the gaine prceejds is a point where' neither' die" player nor the machine can win, i. e., a draw gaine,v

tlie apparatus may be restored to normal in preparation o'the starting of a new game by operating key RL(5). If the machine has won the game, both keys RL(5) and AL(5) must be operated to restore the apparatus to normal, as was hereinbefore noted.

It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are but illustrative of the application of the principles of the invention. Numerous other arrange-V ments may be devised by those skilled in the art Without departing from the spirit` and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is: y

1'. In combination, a display board comprising a plurality of cells forming a coordinate array, each of said cells4 being energizable toa iirst or a ysecond condition, a switch individual to each of said cells, a lirst relay connected and individual to each of said cells and con-` for energizing the cell to said iirst condition, a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells for energizing the cell to said second condition, apparatus including contacts of said lirst relays and a control relay operable when any one of a plurality of selected pairs of said first relays is operated, and means controlled by said apparatus for operating the one of said second relays which is individual to the cell mrow-alignment with the cells to which the relays of the operated pair of rst relays are individual.

2, In` combination, Ia display board comprising a plu? rality of cells vforming a coordinate array, each of said' cellsv being energizable to a iirst` or a second condition; a switch individual to each of said cells, a first relay connected and individual to each of said cells and con# nected to and operable under the control of said switch for energizing the cell to said rst condition, a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells for energizing the cell toy s 'aid second condition,y means in'-v 4cluding said iirst relays for operating a -pair of said second relays, apparatus including contacts of said second relays and a control relay operable when the operated relays of said pairv of second relays correspond to cells intlie same row, and means Icontrolled by said apparatus for operating a third one of said second relays whieh is in` row-alignment with the cells corresponding to the operated pair of secondI relays. A

lv317111" combination, a display board comprising a plu rality of cells; each of saidl cells being energizable to a first or a second condition, a iirst and a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells, for energizing the cell to said iirst or said second condition, respectively, a switch individual to each of said iirst relays, means comprising networks including the contacts of said relays for determining the combinations in which said relays are operated, apparatus controlled by said means for operating a selected one of said second relays, and means operable under the control of said -switches for connecting selected ones of said networks to said apparatus in accordance with the number of said iirst relays which has been operated.

4. In combination, a display board comprising a plurality of cells, each of said cells being energizable to a first or a second condition, a iirst and a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells, for energizing the cell to said first or second condition, respectively, lirst means for selectively and automatically operating one of said second relays if `any one of a selected group of combinations of said relays is operated, second means for selectively and automatically operating one of said second relays if any one of a dif ferent selected group of combinations of said relays is operated, and means operative after each operation of any one of said rst relays for successively operating said iirst and said second means.

5. In combination, a display board comprising a plurality of cells, each of said cells being energizable to a rst or a second condition, a first and a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells, for energizing the cell to said first or said second condition, respectively, rst means for selectively and automatically operating one of said second relays if any one of a selected group of combinations of said relays is operated, second means for selectively and automatically operating one of said second relays if any one of a diterent selected group of combinations of said relays is operated, means operative after each operation of any one of said rst relays for successively operating said iirst and said second means, and means operative if one of said second relays is operated by said first means for disabling said second means.

6. In combination, a display board comprising a plurality of cells, each ot' said cells being energizable to a first or a second condition, a switch individual to each of said cells, a iirst relay connected and individual to each of said cells and connected to and operable under the control of said switch for energizing the cell to said rst condition, a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells for energizing the cell to said second condition, a control relay controlled by said rst relays and having an operating winding of high resistance, means elective incident to the operation of at least two of said switches for preparing an operating circuit for a selected one of said second relays which includes the winding of the said one of said second relays, contacts of said rst relays and the high resistance winding of said control relay, and means controlled by said control relay, when operated, for excluding the high resistance winding thereof from said operating circuit to thereby cause the operation of the said one of said second relays.

7. In combination, a display board comprising a plurality of cells, each of said cells being energizable to a first or a second condition, a switch individual to each of said cells, a first relay connected and individual to each of said cells and connected to and operable under the control of said switch for energizing the cell to said first condition, a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells for energizing the cell to said second condition, a control relay controlled by said second relays and having an operating winding of high resistance, means elective incident to the operation of any one of a plurality of selected pairs of said second relays Afor preparing an operating circuit for a third one of said second relays which includes the winding of the said third one of said second relays, contacts of the operated ones of the selected pairs of said second relays and the high resistance winding ofv said control relay, and means one of said second relays.

8. In combination, a display board comprising a plurality of cells, each of said cells being energizable to a` first or a second condition, a switch individual to each,

of said cells, a rst relay connected and individual to each of said cells and connected to and operable under the control of said switch for energizing the cell to said irst condition, a second relay connected and individual to each of said cells for energizing the cell to said second condition, control apparatusy including a chain of sequentially releasable slow-releasing relays and a pair of control relays, means responsive to the operation of any of said switches for initiating the release of said sequentially releasable relays and for operating a corresponding one of said first relays, means eiective incident to the release of the rst one of said sequentially releasable relays for operating a predetermined one of said second relays and for connecting the operating winding f of one of said control relays to the winding of one of said second relays by way of operated contacts of selected ones of said first and second relays, means etective incident to the release of a second one of said sequentially releasable relays for connecting the operating winding of another of said control relays to the winding of one of said second relays by way of operated contacts of a selected pair of said second relays, means elective incident to the release of a third one of said sequentially releasable relays for operating one of said second relays tby way of operated contacts of a selected pair of said first relays, and means controlled by each of said control relays for operating the said one of said second relays whose winding is connected in the said operating circuit of the said control relay.

References Cited in the lile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,906,260 Gibbs May` 2, 193s 2,215,544 Condon et al. Sept. 24, 1940 FOREIGN PATENTS 328,749 `Great Britain .Mays, ,1930 l -All Awa AL

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1906260 *Feb 16, 1931May 2, 1933John T GibbsGame
US2215544 *Apr 26, 1940Sep 24, 1940Westinghouse Electric & Mfg CoMachine to play game of nim
GB328749A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3145993 *Oct 4, 1962Aug 25, 1964Andrew M ArcherElectrically operated solitaire ticktacktoe game
US3888491 *Mar 19, 1974Jun 10, 1975Harvey B BernardElectronic chess board and display system
US4228596 *Mar 30, 1978Oct 21, 1980Jerry W. DanielIlluminated teaching device and board game
US4249735 *Jun 28, 1978Feb 10, 1981Eric BromleyElectronic simulated football game and method
US4275442 *Jul 2, 1979Jun 23, 1981Underwood Johnny PElectronic tic-tac-toe game
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/237, 340/323.00R
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00094, A63F3/00643
European ClassificationA63F3/00E