US 3434719 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 25, 1969 R. v. FYANES CHECKER-TYPE BOARD GAME APPARATUS Filed April 8. 1966 20 14 1Q 20 (B H II) United States Patent U.S. Cl. 273--131 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A checker-type playing board having alternating playmg squares and nonplaying squares, a factor card in each of the nonplaying squares, each factor card having at least one factor and each factor on each card having a predetermined correlation with one or more factors on other of said cards, said factor cards being separate from said board and adapted to be shuffled and dealt at random into said nonplaying squares at the start of the game, playing pieces for movement on said playing squares and from at least some of said playing squares onto a factor in a nonplaying square adjacent each such playing square to capture such factor, transparent markers adapted to overlie captured factors, and opaque markers for eliminating from play duplicates of captured factors.
The present invention relates to games, particularly to an improved game combining the game of checkers and a game or test of skill and/or knowledge wherein factors must be paired, combined or accumulated, and/or their pairing, combination or accumulation defended against to a given end. The game may in various embodiments be devised for fun, for education and/ or for a combination of the two.
The game of the present invention comprises basically the game of checkers, utilizing a checkerboard, the usual checker playing pieces and at least elementally the rules of checkers. However, the game departs from checkers in that the usually unoccupied spaces between the normal playing squares receive cards bearing factors which, by nonconventional movements of the playing pieces, may be captured, reserved or retrieved at the option and within the skill of the players for the purposes of accumulating and/or preventing accumulation of correlated factors and thereby building and/or preventing a scoring point advantage between the players.
The game is devised for two players and the mode of play is generally in accord with the rules of checkers. The factors to be combined or accumulated by retrieval from the usually unoccupied squares of the board may constitute the elements or factors of a game, such as gin rummy or other card games, bowling, pool or other similar games, or hockey, football, baseball or other sports; or the factors may constitute elements of a given educational subject, such as the pairing of dates and events in history, places and locales in geography, theorems and diagrams in geometry, etc. The scoring of the game is preferably in accord with the ability to accumulate and/ or prevent accumulation of properly correlated factors, and the objectives of play are to so combine the skills of checkers and knowledge of the selected factors as to control the play while accumulating the most factor scoring points.
The invention is perhaps most easily understood with reference to an embodiment combining checkers and gin rummy because of the popular acceptance of both of these games. Consequently, I will describe in detail hereinafter as a preferred embodiment of my invention a game which I have denoted Gin Checkers. However, it will be understood that this description is given essentially by way of example, from which other embodiments will be apparent to those of reasonable skill in the art.
3,434,719 Patented Mar. 25, 1969 Thus, for purposes of acquainting those skilled in the art with the manner of making and playing the game of my invention, I shall describe, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, that which I presently regard to be .a preferred and easily comprehended embodiment of my invention, and the preferred manners of making the game and playing it.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the playing board of my game;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a playing piece;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of a factor card;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of? a marker used during play; and
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged cross-section of the board, playing pieces, factor cards and markers as assembled for and/ or during play.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the playing board in the preferred embodiment of my game, which is indicated generally at 10, comprises in layout at substantially conventional square checkerboard having a total of thirtytwo playing squares 12 alternating with thirty-two usually unoccupied or nonplaying squares 14, the squares being arrayed in eight rows each having eight squares and the two types of squares alternating with one another in both directions in the plane of the board. Usually, the squares of one type are given a first color- (e.g., red) and the squares of the other type are given a contrasting color (e.g., black) to facilitate distinction therebetween. Also, it is generally customary to provide a fold line, indicated at 16, centrally of the board to accommodate folding of the board in half for convenience of packaging and storage, and also to divide or mark off the board into two respective halves 10a and 10b. The board :may, if desired, or if advantageous in respect of a given embodiment thereof, be made with more or fewer squares and in rectangular configurations other than square. However, for my game of Gin Checkers I prefer the arrangement described.
While the playing board 10 has an appearance similar to that of a checkerboard, the actual construction thereof is preferably quite different in that the normally unoccupied or nonplaying squares 14 are recessed relative to the playing squares 12 to define pockets or recesses for reception of factor cards, as will presently appear. To provide these recesses, the board may be molded from plastic, papier-mache, or any other suitable material, or may be built up from laminae of paper, plastic, or other sheets. In the illustrated embodiment, the board is assembled at the fold line 16 from two identical halves 10a and 1%, each of which is made from two sheets of paper board or the like, namely an imperforate bottom sheet 17 and a top sheet 18 which is die cut to in effect remove therefrom the areas comprising the nonplaying squares. By providing round corners in each of the die cuts, i.e., each of the nonplaying squares, suflicient parts of the sheet are retained to provide links between the playing squares for holding the sheet together as a unitary perforate sheet. Also, these rounded corners facilitate reception and retention of the factor cards in the recesses defined by the holes. After their separate formation, the two sheets 17 and 18 may be separately printed prior to assembly whereby to provide contrasting colors for the squares, decoration, etc. Then, the two sheets may easily be laminated together, as by gluing, to complete the playing board.
The recessed squares 14 thus defined in the board 10 are such adapted for reception of a factor card, an example of which is shown in FIGURE 3 and indicated by the numeral 20. Each card 20 is simply a small square of paperboard, plastic, or the like of a size to fit conformably within the recessed squares 14. Sufficient cards are provided to fill some or all of the squares 14, or the game may be devised to have a surplus of cards whereby some will be buried or out of play during a game thereby to enhance the particular game. Each card is printed with one or more factors thereon, and factors may be printed singly or in multiple on one or both sides of each card.
The factors on any given card preferably have no relation to one another but do each have correlation with a factor on another card, unless the game is devised to embody false factors as in a multiple choice type of examination question. For example, in a game of state capitols, one card may bear the factor Illinois and another the factor Springfield, a third, the factor, New York and a fourth the factor Albany; the object of the game being to capture as many such correlated pairs as possible. Complexity could be added to this game by adding false or misleading factors, such as Chicago and New York City.
In the game selected for illustration herein, the factors printed on the cards 20 are the fifty-two different denominations found in a conventional deck of playing cards. In the preferred embodiment, I provide factors equivalent to two decks of playing cards, each deck comprising sixteen of the cards 20, namely, four cards bearing four factors as shown in FIGURE 3, eleven cards bearing three factors (suitably occupying three of the four quadrants of the card, leaving the fourth blank) and one card having three factors and a special marking thereon serving as a safety zone or emergency, penalty-free exit. The two decks of sixteen of the cards 20 are assigned to the respective players, each of whom shuffies his cards and deals them face up into the recessed squares 14 on his half a, or 10b of the board to start each game.
The factor cards could of course be arranged differently, e.g., one deck of playing card denominations on thirty-two of the factor cards, one deck of playing card denominations on fifty-two factor cards (thus leaving twenty factors out of each game) or on 26 cards (thus leaving some squares 14 blank or empty), etc. Also, the factors cards could be secured in, or even printed in or on, the squares 14, but this would result in stereotyping and would not afford the variation and the analytical aspects of the game consequent upon shufiling and redealing the cards at the start of each game.
After the cards have been shuflied and dealt as above described, thereby placing a factor card in each square 14, playing pieces 30, such as shown in FIGURE 2, are placed in normal checker playing position on the plain squares 12 of the board. The playing pieces consist, as is conventional, or twelve pieces each of two contrasting colors, e.g., red and black, one player using the pieces of one color and the other player using the pieces of the second color. Each player places his playing pieces on the twelve starting playing squares on his side 10a or 105 of the board, the two rows of squares 12 contiguous to the center line 16 being left blank.
Play commences as in a regular checker game and for the most part is governed by the rules of checkers, supplemented however by the following:
Points are scored by making gin rummy combinations of three or more factors, i.e., three of a kind such as three jacks or three sixes, or a run of three or more cards in the same suit, such as eight, nine and ten of clubs. This is accomplished by each player moving his checkers on the squares 12 to locations adjacent and then onto selected factor cards (as will be described) and exchanging the checkers for selected ones of the factors on the cards.
For purposes of enhancing the play, I prefer to use two decks of playing card denominations as above described and to limit the factor exchange capability of a regular or unkinged checker, hereinafter called simply a checker, to factor cards on the opponents side of the board, thus requiring that each checker be moved on the squares 12 at least across the center line 16 of the board.
Also, I prefer that the exchange capability of a checker be limited to forward and/or sideward movements from the square 12 to which it has been moved by normal checker play. A king on the other hand, to enhance its value, may be exchanged with any factor anywhere on the board by movement in any of the four directions from the square 12 to which it was last moved.
From the foregoing, it becomes manifest that as play starts, each player should analyze the factor cards on his opponents side of the board and mentally plot his plan of attack to accumulate gin rummy points; and also analyze the factor cards on his own side of the board, p-rognosticate his opponents plan of attack and formuate a defense thereto, i.e., plan such checker moves (no nonmoves) as necessary to block or prevent (as by jumping) his opponent reaching the squares 12 contiguous to factor cards 20 the opponent would probably deem significant. Since play ends when one player runs out of checkers, due to sacrificing the same for factors and/ or jumps by his opponent, each player should give thought to the best way of accumulating scoring points for himself, avoiding accumulation of penalty points (factors taken that are not usable for gin rummy scoring), preventing accumulation of scoring points by his opponent, and ending the game by sacrifice of his own checkers or the taking of his opponents checkers. The winning of the checker game may or may not be worth some scoring points, and this may be decided by the players beforehand.
Once a player has moved a checker onto the square 12 contiguous to (i.e., to the rear or side of) the square 14 containing the factor in which he is interested, he may on and as his next play move onto the square 14 and select one of the factors on the card thereon. The checker so moved is then taken out of play, i.e., removed from the board. In the case of a king, the player may move the king forward or backward or to either side onto any of the four factor cards contiguous to the square 12 on which the king is sitting, and again, the king is sacrificed for the factor selected.
To keep track of the factors accumulated by each player, I provide factor markers 40, such as shown in FIGURE 4, which are simply small squares of a size equal to the allotted space of a factor on the factor cards and which may be placed over the selected factor to show that it has been taken by a player. At least two sets of said markers are provided, namely, two sets of the same colors respectively as the checkers of the players and consigned to the respective players. These may be transparent colored plastic discs or small frames, thereby to reveal therethrough the factor marked as taken by the respective player. Preferably, a third set of markers is employed, which are opaque and essentially colorless, to cover or block out on one side of the board the factor cor-responding to a factor taken by a player on the opposite side of the board, since otherwise there would be two factors of a given denomination actively in the game, which would result for example in eight kings rather than four kings, and which does not jibe with the conventional playing of gm rummy.
Play proceeds as thus described in accord with the rules of the game of checkers, but with the supplemental features of each player exchanging checkers for factors to build scoring points in accord with the rules of the game of gin rummy. Whenever a conflict occurs between the rules of the two games, the rules of one or the other may be predetermined to be controlling in each such instance, or an arbitrary rule may be decided upon. For example, in a situation where a player is faced with what would be a forced jump in checkers and at the same time has the right to exchange his checker for a factor that would be significant to his gin rummy points, it may be predetermined that the player himself has the option, but only the one option, of taking the factor or making the jump.
Since scoring is primarily on the basis of gin rummy point accumulation, and not on the basis of winning a game of checkers, it may behoove a player who is reduced to a weakened checker playing condition to get rid of his remaining checkers as quickly as possible. To guard against his taking factors of no consequence to his gin rummy game for the purpose of simply dumping his checkers, penalty points are attached to non-scoring factors taken by the player. Also, it may be desirable to establish the rule that any factor taken must be a significant one to the players existing gin rummy factor accumulation before the player can make an exchange. Thus, the player would have to take significant factors and/or force his opponent to jump him in order to get out of the game. As an added feature of my game, I prefer to provide a penalty-free escape route for the checkers of such a player, but a route that requires some degree of skill on his part. Specifically, as previously noted, I have provided on one of the cards 20 in each of the two decks a marking serving as an emergency exit whereby two exits are provided on the board by means of which escape from the game may be effected. Manifestly, neither of these exits constitutes a factor that can be exchanged for a checker or taken over by one player moving to that square. They are simply a way of getting checkers out of the game, as many as necessary, without penalty.
Intellectually, the game of the present invention is thus seen to be a fascinating study requiring the conventional skills of both checkers and gin rummy and also requiring analytical study and offensive and defensive planning, and developing the players ability to shift or modify plans as the play of the game changes the situations presented on the playing board. Physically, the game is very economically constructed and assembled, and can be made to afford a long service life.
Also, the physical structure of the board lends itself to a multitude of educational and/or recreational purposes simply, or at least essentially, by supplying different sets of factor cards, such as history factors, geography factors, mathematics factors, etc. These in turn may be arranged to require the combination of factors in twos, threes, fours, etc., in order to attain scoring points. Moreover, the factors may be selected according to age and/ or knowledge levels thereby to provide educational and/ or recreational games for all facets of the general public, from children in the grades to college students, scientists, economists, etc.
Moreover, the rules of play may be modified, restricted, or enlarged upon to accomplish a variety of purposes, and the factors employed may be simple or complex, or of large or small number. For example, for a game for small children, there may be only one factor on each of the cards 20 and the children may remove and hold each card that they capture during a game, thereby eliminating the need for and possible confusion in their little minds consequent upon use of the markers 40.
Accordingly, while I have shown and described What I regard to be the preferred embodiment of my invention, it is to be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.
1. A game apparatus comprising, in combination, a checker type playing board having alternating playing squares and nonplaying squares, said nonplaying squares being recessed relative to said playing squares, a factor card in each of said nonplaying squares, each factor card bearing at least one factor and each factor on each card having a predetermined correlation with one or more factors on other of said cards, playing pieces for movement on said playing squares and from at least some of said playing squares into at least some of said non-playing squares, and markers separate from said board and said playing pieces and visually distinguishable therefrom,
said markers being of a size sufficiently small to fit Within the outline of and adapted to be inserted in said recessed nonplaying squares over said factors.
2. A game apparatus as set forth in claim 1, said cards being separate from said board, of a size to be inserted in and removed from said recessed nonplaying squares and of a thickness less than the depth of said recessed squares, said markers being adapted to be inserted within said recessed squares on top of said cards.
3. A game apparatus comprising, in combination, a checker type playing board having alternating playing squares and nonplaying squares, a factor card in each of said nonplaying squares, each factor card having at least one factor and each factor on each card having a predetermined correlation with one or more factors on other of said cards, said factor cards being separate from said board and adapted to be shuflled and dealt at random into said nonplaying squares at the start of a game, playing pieces for movement on said playing squares and from at least some of said playing squares onto a factor in a nonplaying square adjacent each such playing square, and transparent colored markers separate from said playing pieces, said board and said cards and visually distinguishable therefrom, said markers being of a size sufficiently small to fit within the outline of a nonplaying square and adapted to be placed over said factors.
4. A game apparatus as set forth in claim 3, wherein said playing pieces comprise two sets visually distinguishable from one another, said cards comprise two sets visually distinguishable from one another and said markers comprise two sets visually distinguishable from one another, one set of each for each of two players; and opaque markers similar to said transparent markers for blocking out on one set of cards the factor corresponding to a factor taken by a player on the other set of cards as the factor on said other set of cards is taken by the respective player and so marked with a respective transparent marker.
5. A game apparatus comprising, in combination, a checker type playing board having alternating playing squares and nonplaying squares, a factor card in each of said nonplaying squares, each having a plurality of factors thereon, said factors occupying uniform areas on said cards and each factor on each card having a predetermined correlation with one or more factors on other of said cards, playing pieces for movement on said playing squares and from at least some of said playing squares onto a factor in a nonplaying square adjacent each such playing square, and markers separate from said board and said playing pieces and visually distinguishable therefrom, said markers being sufficiently smalf to fit within the outline of a nonplaying square and adapted to be placed over said factors, each marker being of a size sub stantially equal to that of the area of a card occupied by a single factor and adapted to overlie only a single factor.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 574,192 12/1896 Climenson 273-131 1,546,831 7/1925 Fritz 273-131 2,273,932 2/1942 Caesar 27 3131 2,732,211 1/1956 Foster 273-431 FOREIGN PATENTS 946,778 12/ 1948 France. 1,112,924 11/1955 France.
605,986 8/1948 Great Britain.
DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 273-l37, 136