Classic board games are games played before 1900 or so, such as chess, go, backgammon, dice, dominoes, and pachisi.


After over 4 million votes in Monopoly’s Token Madness campaign, the results are in. The first revealed cut? The iconic thimble token. Originally added in 1935, the token will now be retired and replaced with another token fans have voted in. Hasbro will reveal some more info on the vote statistics during the New York Toy Fair this coming weekend, but the full results won’t be revealed until World Monopoly Day on March 19th of this year.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesDruid City Games is giving away a $500 shopping spree to Funagain Games.

Retweet Weird Hobbies for a chance to win WOTC’s Dungeons & Dragons adventure campaign, Out of the Abyss.

Use coupon code “rain17” to get 10% off a single order direct from Pazio.

The Advanced Adventures deal at Bundle of Holding features six OSRIC modules in the Starter Collection for $5.95 and nine more modules with the Bonus Collection starting at $15.80. The Bundle for Two deal collects games for two players (one GM, one player/character) in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Actualol (AKA Jon Purkis) is giving away five board games he says are much better than Monopoly. I’ve played three of them and I’d have to agree.

As part of the launch of its Kickstarter project, RAINN Studios will be giving away Lovecraftian-themed Elder Dice.

EncounterRoleplay is giving away three copies of the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook.

Use coupon code “RoosterSale” to save on purchases direct from Greater Than Games. How much savings the company’s email forgot to say.

Use coupon code “LOVE2017” to save 10% and get free shipping from HasbroToyShop.com.

EverythingBoardGames is giving away Dice Throne from Mind Bottling Games, Element from Rather Dashing Games, and two copies of Affliction from DPH Games (or $30 gift certificates if the game doesn’t fund on Kickstarter).

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Victory Point Games is discounting all bagged games by 25%. Zulus on the Ramparts is discounted 20%. And everything else is discounted 10%.

Mile High Game Guys is giving away Imperial Settlers from Portal Games.

@SmashUpDigital on Twitter is giving away a new copy of the Smash Up What Were We Thinking expansion from AEG each week this month.

Spectrum Games’ Heroic Valentine’s Day sale means discounts of 40% on Cartoon Action Hour, Retrostar, and Capes, Cowls and Villains Fowl.

Use coupon code “LOVE14” for 14% off purchases from White Wizard Games. Discount ends today.

Also ending today, Treasure Tokens are on-sale 50-70% off (depending on quantity) from GameTrayz.

Save 20% site-wide at Dog Might Games.

In-store only at Toys “R” Us, buy one get one 40% off on all arts & crafts, board games, puzzles, and collector cards.

Online from Toys “R” Us, save 20% on all Monopoly games.

Open Call For Chess Commentator

World Chess Events Limited, which holds the broadcast rights to FIDE’s World Chess Championship cycle (including the Grand Prix series and Candidates Tournament), has issued an open call for a Chess commentator. World Chess is looking for someone to anchor live video coverage of the highest level Chess tournaments, as well as “to play a key role in shaping a new way for chess to be broadcast.”

We are looking to create a chess media superstar… He or she must have a deep understanding of the game. But we are also looking for someone who can engage with a wider audience who are perhaps not chess experts.

To be considered for the position (which includes a “competitive salary” and significant world travel), applicants will need to submit a resume and 5 minute test video.

Doping For Chess

Chess tournaments have long been ridiculed for required drug testing. And in truth, those requirements have mostly been about satisfying International Olympic Committee standards so that Chess might be recognized as a “mind sport” and just possibly included in future Olympic games.

Scientists, though, have now confirmed the potential benefits of performance enhancing drugs for Chess players. As reported in the journal, European Neuropsychopharmacology, a study of 39 rated Chess players over several thousand games found their winning results significantly improved after taking modafinil (marketed as Provigil), methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, and Daytrana), or caffeine.

In the study, players were paired against a computerized Chess engine and given 15 minute time limits. Surprisingly, compared to those who were administered a placebo, players on all three of the drugs took longer to make their moves and lost more games on time controls. When controlling for game duration and excluding games lost on time, however, modafinil improved performance 15 percent, methylphenidate 13 percent, and caffeine 9 percent.

The researchers concluded that stimulants may lead to “more reflective decision making processes.” As a result, performance under relaxed time constraints may be enhanced.

In rapid and blitz games, though, use of these drugs could be counterproductive.

[via World Chess]

According to a study by researchers with the Mayo Clinic, seniors who play games are less likely to experience mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an intermediate stage of dementia. Nearly 2,000 subjects, 70 years or older were followed for 4 years, interviewed about mentally stimulating activities, and evaluated for cognitive function. Those who played games at least once-a-week were 22 percent less likely to suffer from MCI.

Similar results were also found for craft activities (28 percent), computer use (30 percent), and social activities (23 percent).

The study, published in the January issue of JAMA Neurology, did not control for the same activities performed earlier in life and could not conclusively determine cause and effect.

This week at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, Hou Yifan of China, the reigning Women’s World Champion, stunned the Chess world by throwing her game in round 10 against her lower ranked male opponent, Babu Lalith of India. In an interview after the match, which she conceded after just five moves, Hou apologized to Chess fans but reiterated her complaint—previously lodged with tournament organizers—about being paired with women opponents in seven out of the previous nine rounds.

Many international Chess events run separate sections to promote the game among women, who are significantly underrepresented in Chess circles, particularly at the highest levels. Hou Yifan ranks 105th among all players and she was playing in an open tournament (that is, men and women) at Tradewise Gibraltar.

In response, one of the tournament organizers said, “I understand, if I was in her shoes and I was playing and suddenly I pulled a draw of six girls—one after the other—I would say also, ‘What’s going on here?’ But clearly nothing was going on. It comes out of a machine and sometimes the odds fall that way.”

Game Blotter

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesA man was mugged for his board games in Hull, UK. One, possibly two, discerning thugs (then again, I don’t know which games were grabbed) robbed the man of two board games and left him with life-threatening injuries. Said the local constabulary, “This was an isolated incident. Luckily incidents of this kind are rare and we don’t believe there is any threat to the wider public.”

Two men in Maroochydore, Australia, bored with “nothing to do at home”, grabbed an unspecified board game off the shelf of their local Target and walked out the front door with the box shoved down a pants leg. Stealth was not their strong suit, though. Police officers overheard them planning their caper, watched them grab the game, and followed them out the door before making an arrest.

In an incident made for headlines, a Florida woman stabbed her 18 year-old niece in the ear with a screwdriver during a game of Family Feud.

According to the website, eCommerce Bytes, in the Amazon listing for Hasbro’s Pie Face game, someone marked up boxes so the people appeared in blackface. That image isn’t there any more, nor was there any explanation available for how or why that image might have been part of the listing in the first place.

Petersen Entertainment is suing PayPal in Texas court. The game company claims that PayPal has improperly refused to hand over nearly $58,000 raised through Kickstarter for Cthulhu Wars. This despite Petersen providing documentation to PayPal that it has already shipped the product to the customers.

It seems that an apology and voluntary pay-cut wasn’t enough contrition for the president of the Japan Shogi Association after penalizing a player for cheating without evidence. He’s now resigned his position.

The mayor and deputy-mayor of Iizuka, Japan have resigned in the wake of public outcry over their habit of gambling on Mahjong during business hours. Also, the funeral business owned by one of the people with whom they played landed a municipal contract.

Two men in their 60s, one of them the president of the Hop Sing Tong Benevolent Association, were stabbed to death by an intruder while playing Mahjong in the association’s Los Angeles recreation center.

After several months of surveillance, police in Mallorca, Spain raided a location of weekend Mahjong games, where they believe €25,000-35,000 was illegally gambled on weekly basis.

“Most people who played Chess are liars,” said a Muslim televangelist in Turkey. “Playing Chess is worse than gambling and eating pork.” In response, the Turkish Chess Federation is suing.

A man died while fleeing from police who broke up a street dice game of Bầu Cua Cá Cọp in Binh Dinh, Vietnam. The police and coroner say he died from lack of oxygen caused by running. His uncle says the police beat him.

A man who just tried to walk away from a dice game argument in Waco, Texas, was followed out of the apartment by his host and stabbed in the parking lot.

In Cleveland, Ohio, when a man tried to rob a street dice game at gunpoint, one of the players, who had a concealed-carry permit, shot back and killed the robber.

In Ahmedabad, India, a dump-truck driver took to the wrong side of the road, killing a Chess coach riding a scooter on his way to a lesson. The driver’s employer then quickly began a dig on the street, attempting to suggest it was an active work zone.

Someone experiencing a seizure crashed their SUV right through the miniatures section of Deep Comics & Games in Huntsville, Alabama. Though the store was occupied at the time, no patrons or staff were injured.

According to police in Gainesville, Florida, a man grabbed a collection of 1,000 Magic: The Gathering cards from an unlocked car, then tried to sell them at a local game shop. The store manager, though, was a friend of the victim and, recognizing the cards, reported the seller to police.

An 83 year old man was beaten and robbed while walking home from a game of Dominoes in the Bronx.

Also in the Bronx, it was the Dominoes game itself that turned violent. An argument started, shots were fired, a woman was hit in the neck. The reports are unclear, though, whether she was participating in the game or hit by a stray bullet.

A former police officer in Cebu, the Philippines was shot and killed by a masked gunman while playing Mahjong. Authorities think the killing was retaliatory for something connected to the victim’s time in law-enforcement.

According to market research firm NPD Group, game sales in the United States grew 21 percent from the year before, reaching a total of $1.77 billion in 2016. The games category, in fact, was the third largest segment of overall toy sales, falling just behind collectibles and outdoor & sports toys at 8.7% of the total market.

Also of note, within the collectibles segment, blind pack sales grew 60 percent 2015-2016 and were six-times greater than in 2013!

Youth electronics were up 3 percent. Building sets were down 3 percent.

NPD reported similar growth in the U.K., where the games & puzzles segment also increased 21 percent year-on-year.

Webster University will soon be offering an interdisciplinary minor in Applied Chess. The St. Louis school is already home to one of the strongest collegiate Chess programs, the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), as well as a number of student Chess grandmasters.

The new Chess minor is for “Webster University students who are looking to learn about Chess and how Chess lessons can be applied in other areas of life.” Among the courses to be offered are “SPICEing-up Business Strategy with Chess” in the Business School and “Topics in Education: Chess and Critical Thinking” in the College of Education.

Scoreboard

Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresThe Google-sponsored AlphaGo computer program, which had previously defeated world Go champion Lee Sedol, racked up 59 wins playing anonymously online against a variety of masters.

Sergey Karjakin, who had lost the recent World Chess Championship to Magnus Carlsen in tiebreak games, managed to best his rival on tiebreak criteria to claim the top position in the World Blitz Championship. At the same tournament, Vassily Ivanchuk won the World Rapid Championship, while Anna Muzychuk won both rapid and blitz titles in the women’s section.

Wesley So won the London Chess Classic, putting him at the top of the four-stop Grand Chess Tour. His total prize winnings on the Tour: $295,000.

University students in Wageningen, Netherlands created the world’s largest Monopoly board, along with dice and houses all to-scale. Made with the support of Hasbro and certified by Guiness World Records, the board measured 900.228 m² (9,689.97 ft²). The previous record, set in the United States earlier this year, was 744.867 m² (8,017.69 ft²).

It was two Dutchmen who faced off in the World Draughts Championship. Roel Boomstra came away the winner.

In December, Feliks Zemdegs solved a 6×6 Rubik’s Cube in a world record 1 minute, 32.47 seconds. Then in January, he beat his own record with a 1 minute, 27.85 second solve.

Here’s a machine solving a standard 3×3 Rubik’s Cube in 0.637 seconds:

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