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Publication numberUS3779554 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 18, 1973
Filing dateOct 27, 1972
Priority dateOct 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3779554 A, US 3779554A, US-A-3779554, US3779554 A, US3779554A
InventorsJ Brix
Original AssigneeJ Brix
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Board game apparatus
US 3779554 A
Abstract
A board game apparatus comprising a transparent game board having intersecting lines thereon to define a plurality of game piece receiving areas. A plurality of game, or playing, pieces are provided which are formed with bottom surfaces to stand upon the transparent game board, which bottom surfaces are provided with indicia for identification of the individual game pieces. Mirrors are located beneath the transparent game board to expose different playing board areas to the view of different players. The indicia-bearing bottom surfaces of playing pieces positioned on the board within such reflected viewing areas are thereby viewable. The apparatus is adapted for use in playing various games including a modified form of chess in which the playing pieces are divided into two groups, with the pieces of one group being visually distinguishable from those of the other group as viewed from above as by use of different colors, shapes, or the like for the groups. Individual chessmen are identified by suitable indicia on the bottom surfaces of the playing pieces indirectly viewable by reflection in said mirrors.
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united States Patent 11 1 Brix [ Dec. l8, 1973 BOARD GAME APPARATUS [76] Inventor: John R. Brix, 2301 42nd Ave., San

Francisco, Calif. 941 16 [22] Filed: Oct. 27, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 301,437

[52] US. Cl. 273/131 B, 273/136 R, 273/137 R [51] Int. Cl. A63f 3/02 [58] Field of Search 273/130, 131, 132,

[56] References Cited v UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,919,922 7 1933 Baker et al 273/136 R 1,987,695 l/l935 McDonald 273/122 A 3,399,895 9/1968 Beach 273/l3l AC FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,039,429 9/1958 Germany 273/137 R 369,283 2/1923 Germany 273/136 Primary ExaminerDelbert B. Lowe A!mrneyVictor R. Beckman 4 v P i [57] ABSTRACT A board game apparatus comprising a transparent game board having intersecting lines thereon to define a plurality of game piece receiving areas. A plurality of game, or playing, pieces are provided which are formed with bottom surfaces to stand upon the transparent game board, which bottom surfaces are provided with indicia for identification of the individual game pieces. Mirrors are located beneath the transparent game board to expose different playing board areas to the view of different players. The indiciabe'aring bottom surfaces of playing pieces positioned on the board within such reflected viewing areas are thereby viewable. The apparatus is adapted for use in playing various games including a modified form of chess in which the playing pieces are divided into two groups, with the pieces of one group being visually distinguishable from those of the other group as viewed from above as by use of different colors, shapes, or the like for the groups. Individual chessmen are identified by suitable indicia on the'bottom surfaces of the playing pieces indirectly viewable by reflection in said mirrors.

10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures BOARD GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a board game apparatus adapted for use in playing various games, including a modified form of chess.

Board game apparatus which include a plurality of playing pieces movable across or along a suitably marked board are well known. The game pieces, in a game such as chess, may comprise two groups of pieces which are distinguishable from each other as by color, e.g., one group of pieces being black and the other being white. Normally, the identities of all of the game pieces are known to all of the players regardless of their location on the board by reason of their shapes for example.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is the provision of more difficult, and interesting board type games, such as chess,by use of novel game board and playing pieces whereby the location of all of the game pieces is known to all players by viewing from above, but the visual identity of individual game pieces by the players is limited to those game pieces located in a territory adjacent the players own end of the board.

The above and other objects and advantages ofthe invention are achieved by a board game apparatus comprising a transparent game board which includes a plurality of discrete playing board areas or territories divided into a plurality of playing piece receiving areas. A plurality of game pieces are provided which may be divided into two groups visually distinguishable from each other as by color, shape, or the like. However, as viewed from above all of the game pieces of a group are of identical appearance. Indicia are provided on the bottom surfaces of the game pieces which indicia can not be directly viewed from above by any of the players. Light reflecting means such as mirrors are located beneath the transparent game board to allow for the indirect viewing of the bottom surface of the players own territory to provide such player with a view of the bottom indicia-bearing surfaces of those game pieces located within such territory. For use in a modified form of chess the bottom surfaces of the playing pieces have indicia representing the various chess pieces. The indicia of those pieces located within a players territory are therefore viewable by that player but are hidden from view of the players opponent. Players must therefor commit to memory the identity of chess pieces located outside of their own'territory. Modified game rules also may be employed which provide for forfeiture of game pieces or loss of a game upon improper movement of game pieces located outside a player s territory of view of the indicia.

The invention will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to the same parts in the several views;

FIG. I is a perspective view of a board game apparatus embodying this invention and showing game pieces in a starting position for playing a modified form of chess;

FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 but showing fewer game pieces and showing portions of the apparatus broken away for clarity;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 1 and showing the bottom of the game pieces as viewed through the transparent game board, and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view showing the bottom indicia-bearing surface of one of the game pieces. I

Referring first to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawings, the illustrated board game apparatus is shown comprising a playing board 10 made of suitable transparent material such as transparent glass, plastic, or the like. Where the novel apparatus is to be used for playing a modified form of chess, as illustrated, the board is of square shape and is divided into squares defined by intersecting longitudinal and transverse lines 12 and 14, respectively, formed thereon by etching, painting, taping, or the like. The resultant squares defined by the lines comprise game piece receiving areas, there being 64 such areas formed by use of seven longitudinal and seven transverse lines such as employed in a conventional chess game board.

With the illustrated arrangement the playing pieces are divided into two groups of pieces designated 16 and 18, there being one group for each player. The playing pieces of one group are visually distinguishable from those of the other group as by color, shape, form or the like. For example, all of the pieces of one group may be of a black color whereas those of the other group are white. The players are thereby able to distinguish their own pieces from those of their opponents as directly viewed from above the board. However, unlike conventional chessmen, the individual playing pieces of one group are indistinguishable from every other playing piece of that group, as directly viewed from above. For example, as directly viewed in FIG. 1, all 'of the playing pieces 16 appear as identical cone-shaped white pieces while all of the pieces 18 appear as identical coneshaped black pieces.

In accordance with this invention the game pieces within a group are distinguishable by means of indicia at the bottom surfaces thereof. As seen in FIG. 5, the bottom surface 20 of a game piece is shown provided with the indicium P which identifies a pawn. Indicia for other game'pieces may include the letters R, KT, B, Q, and K to identify rooks, knights, bishops, queens and kings, respectively. Obviously, other indicia may be employed. For example, where the apparatus is used for playing a modified form of chess, as described, illustrations of the conventionally shaped chessmen may be employed on the bottoms of the playing pieces. For other games, other indicia may be used.

The game pieces are adapted to rest upon the game board 10 with their bottom surfaces in supporting contact thereon. Consequently, the indicia is hidden from direct view of the players at eye levels above the game board. In accordance with this invention selected areas or territories of the transparent game board are indirectly viewable through light reflecting, or directing, means such as .mirrors 22 and 24 located beneath the board to enable the players to view the'bottom indicia-carrying surfaces of the game pieces positioned within such areas. For purposes of illustration, the

board game apparatus is shown comprising opposite I side members 26 and 28 having inwardly facing horizontal channel members 30, 30 along the upper edges thereof to receive opposite side edges of the game board I0. Downwardly and outwardly diverging channel members 32 also are provided on the side members beneath the horizontal channel members to receive the opposite side edges of the mirrors 22 and 24. The mirrors and game board are clamped in fixed position between the side members by use of a bolt 34 extending through the side members and wing nut 35 at the threaded end of the bolt. The apparatus may be readily disassembled by simply loosening the nut 35 and spreading the side members for removal of the mirrors and game board from their respective channel supporting members. With the illustrated arrangement the mirrors 22 and 24 also serve as legs for support of the apparatus. Suitable mirrors include those comprising glass, plastic, or the like material provided with a suit able light reflective coating. Alternatively metallic mirrors formed with smooth highly reflective surfaces may be used, as well as light directing prisms, or the like.

In the illustrated modification of my invention the uppermost edges of the inclined mirrors 22 and 24 extend transversely of the board adjacent the center dividing line designated 14A. The board is thereby divided into two equal areas or territories opposite the center line 14A individually viewable from the bottom by the players 36 and 38 through the mirrors 22 and 24, respectively. The mirrors, of course, may be viewed through the transparent game board as illustrated by the lines of sight shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. As seen in FIG. 3, the bottom indicia-bearing surfaces of all game pieces to the right of the game board transverse center line are viewable in the mirror 22 by the player 36 from a viewing location at one side of the game board, whereas the bottom indicia-bearing surfaces of all game pieces to the left thereof are viewable in the mirror 24 by the player 38 from a viewing location at another side of the game board. It will be readily apparent then that although both players have a view of all of the game pieces and their locations on the game board from above, the indicia-bearing surfaces of only those game pieces in the players own territory may be seen by such player whereas the indicia-bearing surfaces of those pieces in the opponents territory remain hidden from view of the player.

Where the novel board game apparatus is used for chess, the bottom surfaces of the game pieces are provided with indicia of the conventional chessmen and the game commences by placement of the chessmen in their conventional starting positions illustrated in FIG. 1 and 3. At the start of a game both players know the position of all game pieces even though the indicia of only those game pieces within the players own territory are visible in a mirror to that player. Once game pieces are moved, the players must rely upon memory for identification of those pieces at the opponent's end of the board, thereby adding another element of skill to the game, i.e., the requirement to remember the location of such game pieces. The game may be played under substantially the same rules as conventional chess. Possible rule changes involve penalties for the improper movement of game pieces, which penalties may include the forfeiture of the move, loss of the game piece, or even loss of the game. For example, the modi- 6 the improperly moved piece is declared by the player to place the opponents king in check, then the modified rules may provide for forfeiture of the game. Because rule changes may be kept to a minimum, any player with a knowledge of conventional chess may readily understand and play the illustrated modified chess game of my invention.

It will be apparent that the board game apparatus is not limited to usein a modified form of chess. Other games may be played utilizing my invention, including games in which the playing pieces may be randomly located on the game board at the start of a game rather than at predetermined locations. In such games the identity of a players group of pieces may remain unknown to an opponent until the pieces are moved into the opponents territory. Obviously, indicia other than that for chessmen may be used on the game pieces. Also, the game board is not limited to that of the illustrated checkerboard type. The apparatus is adapted for other board games, such as track games in which one or more tracks are depicted on the board and along which game pieces may be moved.

In addition to the use of different grids, tracks and indicia on the game pieces, structural changes and modifications will suggest themselves to those skilled in this art. Different support means for the transparent game board and mirrors will be readily apparent. For example, the transparent game board may comprise the top of a box inside of which box the mirrors are mounted, with the mirrors being viewed through the transparent top. The box could be provided with a separate or an attached cover. Space for storage of the game pieces could be provided within such a box. Also, the apparatus could be constructed with but a single mirror for viewing by a single player; or with more than the illustrated two mirrors for viewing by more than two players. For example, the apparatus is readily adapted for use with three player chess board games by a different arrangement of mirrors and a differently shaped and marked board. In addition, the mirrors 22 and 24 illustrated in the drawings may be spaced apart rather than converging at the game board center thereby providing a no mans area between the players territories which can not be viewed from the bottom by any player. For example, the two rows of square game piece receiving areas adjacent the center line 14A may be hidden from view in the mirrors 22 and 24 simply by spacing the mirrors apart the width of said two rows. A similar result may be obtained by making some portions of the board opaque and other portions transparent whereby game pieces located at the opaque areas would not be visible in a mirror. Also, apertured areas in an opaque game board through which the indiciabearing bottom surfaces of game pieces located thereon may be indirectly viewed in the light reflecting means are contemplated. 1

It is intended that the above and other such changes and modifications shall fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the'appended claims.

I claim:

1. A board game apparatus comprising:

a game board for receiving thereon game pieces, at

least a portion of said game board being transparent,

light reflecting means beneath the game board for indirect viewing therein from a position above the board of at least a portion of the bottom surface of the transparent portion of the game board, said light reflecting means including at least one mirror inclined downwardly and outwardly from the bottom surface of the game board, and

game pieces with indicia-bearing bottom surfaces supportable on said game board, with the indicia of those game pieces positioned on the transparent portion of the game board viewable in said light reflecting means being viewable therein, through said transparent portion.

2. The board game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said game pieces are divided into two groups, means for distinguishing the game pieces of one group from those of the other group as viewed from above, every game piece of a group being indistinguishable from every other game piece of that group as directly viewed from above. 3. The board game apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein,

said game board is provided with a plurality of intersecting lines to define a checkerboard pattern thereon, and

said indicia being indicia of chessmen for playing a modified form of chess game.

4. A board game apparatus comprising:

a game board having an upper surface for receiving thereon game pieces, the upper surface of the game board and all game pieces positioned thereon being directly viewable from above the game board by players at separate viewing locations about the game board, at least a portion of said game board being transparent,

light reflecting means beneath the game board comprising a plurality of mirrors inclined downwardly and outwardly from the bottom of the game board within which mirrors separate territories of the game board are viewable by individual players at separate viewing locations about the game board.

5. The board game apparatus as defined in claim 1 including a pair of spaced side members, and

means for mounting the game board and light reflecting means between said side members.

6. A board game apparatus comprising,

a game board for receiving thereon playing pieces, at

least a portion of said game board being transpar-' ent,

light reflecting means beneath the game board for indirect viewing therein from a position above the board of at least a portion of the bottom surface of the transparent portion'of the game board,

said light reflecting means comprising a pair of mirrors having upper edges adjacent the bottom of the game board and extending transversely thereof,

said mirrors being inclined outwardly and downwardly from the game board.

7. The board game apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein the upper edges of the mirrors are located ad- 5 jacent the transverse center of the board.

8. A board game apparatus comprising,

a game board for receiving thereon game pieces, said game board being made of transparent material having a plurality of game receiving areas defined by intersecting lines disposed on the game board including a transverse center line dividing the board into two separate territories,

light reflecting means beneath the game board comprising first and second mirrors with upper edges extending parallel with the transverse center line of the board, said mirrors being inclined downwardly and outwardly in opposite directions from the board for indirect viewing of bottom areas of the game board therein,

a plurality of game pieces formed with bottom surfaces to stand upon the game board,

indicia on said bottom surfaces concealed from direct view from a viewing level above the game board, said indicia being indirectly viewable in said mirrors when said pieces: are positioned on the game board within viewing areas of said mirrors.

9. The board game apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein,

said light reflecting means beneath the game board I includes means for indirect viewing therein from at least two different positions above the board of at least two different portions of the bottom surface of the transparent portion of the game board,

the indicia of game pieces positioned on one and another portions of said transparent portion of the game board being viewable in said light reflecting means from one and another of said two different positions above the board, respectively.

10. The board game apparatus as defined in claim 4 including,

a plurality of game pieces divided into two groups,

means for distinguishing the game pieces ofone group from those of the other group as viewed from above, every game piece of a group being indistinguishable from every other playing piece of that group as directly viewed from above,

all of said game pieces being formed with bottom surfaces to stand upon the game board, and

indicia onsaid bottom surfaces viewable in said light reflecting means at certain positions of the game pieces on the game board.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4043559 *Nov 11, 1975Aug 23, 1977Manfred EigenEducational game
US4146229 *Sep 6, 1977Mar 27, 1979Morse Danny WCard holder and viewer construction
US4659086 *Aug 9, 1984Apr 21, 1987Colborne Martin JBoard game apparatus
US4807883 *Jan 19, 1988Feb 28, 1989Silverman Hyman PGame apparatus and dice construction therefor
US5110134 *Mar 1, 1991May 5, 1992No Peek 21Card mark sensor and methods for blackjack
US5219172 *Oct 9, 1991Jun 15, 1993No Peek 21Playing card marks and card mark sensor for blackjack
US5224712 *Apr 10, 1992Jul 6, 1993No Peek 21Card mark sensor and methods for blackjack
US5312104 *May 31, 1991May 17, 1994Tech Art, Inc.Card reader for blackjack table
US5362053 *Jul 27, 1993Nov 8, 1994Tech Art, Inc.Card reader for blackjack table
US5364106 *Nov 4, 1992Nov 15, 1994No Peek 21Card mark sensor and methods for blackjack
US5681039 *Nov 4, 1994Oct 28, 1997Tech Art, Inc.Card reader for blackjack table
US5957455 *Jan 26, 1998Sep 28, 1999Aldridge; Chester P.Concealed chess game
US7017906 *Feb 26, 2004Mar 28, 2006Gregory BenjaminMirror checkers/chess
US7694968Jan 17, 2007Apr 13, 2010William A. Sims, legal representativePlaying card viewer
US8567784Apr 20, 2012Oct 29, 2013Tech Art, Inc.Integrated blackjack hole card readers and chip racks, and improved covers for chip racks
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/260, 273/288, 273/DIG.140, 273/287, 273/242
International ClassificationA63F3/02, A63F9/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2009/0623, Y10S273/14, A63F3/00895
European ClassificationA63F3/00Q
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 25, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BRIX, JOHN R.
Owner name: HENRY MARC
Owner name: HOWARD LAURENCE
Effective date: 19851009
Feb 25, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: HENRY MARC
Owner name: HOWARD LAURENCE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BRIX, JOHN R.;REEL/FRAME:004516/0213
Effective date: 19851009
Owner name: SETTEDUCATI, MARK 218 E. 17TH STREET, NEWYORK, NY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:HOWARD, LAURENCE;HENRY, MARC;REEL/FRAME:004516/0214
Effective date: 19851118