floorplan Palace of Typographic MasonryPALACE about
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Gameboard Corridor

Source collection Game Board Corridor


Chess is believed to have originated in India sometime before the 7th century. The game was derived from the Indian game chaturanga, which is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Moorish conquest of Spain. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the rules were standardized in the 19th century.


Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. Despite its relatively simple rules, Go is very complex. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with more scope for play and longer games, and, on average, many more alternatives to consider per move. The playing pieces are called “stones”. One player uses the white stones and the other, black. The players take turns placing the stones on the vacant intersections (“points”) of a board with a 19×19 grid of lines.

Fox and geese

Fox and Geese is a hunt game played on a cross-shaped board of thirty-three points connected by vertical, horizontal, and alternating diagonal lines. Like many ancient abstract strategy games, the number of pieces and their starting positions varies from region to region but the general play of the game is the same: one player controls a single piece, the fox, the other player controls the geese. The fox player tries to remove all of the geese from the board by jumping them.


Hnefatafl became a popular game in Northern Europe during the Viking era (end of the 8th Century to 1000 C.E), a turbulent time full of conflicts. When chess became a popular game during the Middle Ages, the rules of Hnefatafl were forgotten over time. Hnefatafl was particularly popular in Nordic countries and followed the Viking civilization to other parts of Europe, primarily to the British Isles and the Viking country of Gardarike in what is now part of Russia.

Chinese Checkers

Despite its name, the Chinese Checkers is not a variation of checkers, nor did it originate in China or any part of Asia. The game was invented in Germany in 1892 under the name “Stern-Halma” as a variation of the older American game Halma. The “Stern” (German for star) refers to the board’s star shape (in contrast to the square board used in Halma). The name “Chinese Checkers” originated in the United States as a marketing scheme by the Pressman company in 1928.


TwixT is a two-player strategy board game, an early entrant in the 1960s 3M bookshelf game series. It became one of the most popular and enduring games in the series. It is a connection game where players alternate turns placing pegs and links on a pegboard in an attempt to link their opposite sides. The rules are simple but the strategy complex, so young children can play it, but it also appeals to adults.


The Settlers of Catan, sometimes shortened to Catan is a multiplayer board game designed by Klaus Teuber. Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players gain points as their settlements grow; the first to reach a set number of points, typically 10, wins. Catan became one of the first German-style board games to achieve popularity outside Europe.


The Slovakian board game Windsurfing is rather obscure, but has a unique lay-out and use of the board. At the beginning of the game, each player selects one character. The goal of the game, which has all the features of the true windsurfing race, is to ride as quickly as possible from the field around the buoy number 1, next to buoy number 2 and finally buoy number 3 and to return back.


Stratego is a strategy board game for two players on a board of 10×10 squares. Each player controls 40 pieces representing individual officer ranks in an army. The pieces have Napoleonic insignia. The objective of the game is to find and capture the opponent’s Flag. The game is a slightly modified copy of an early 20th century French game named L’Attaque and it has been in production in Europe since World War II.


The object of the game Cluedo (Clue) is to determine who murdered the game’s victim (“Dr. Black”), where the crime took place, and which weapon was used. Each player assumes the role of one of the six suspects, and attempts to deduce the correct answer by strategically moving around a game board representing the rooms of a mansion and collecting clues about the circumstances of the murder from the other players.


Diplomacy is a strategic board game created by Allan B. Calhamer in 1954. Its main distinctions from most board wargames are its negotiation phases (players spend much of their time forming and betraying alliances with other players and forming beneficial strategies) and the absence of dice and other game elements that produce random effects. In its catalogue Diplomacy was advertised as John F. Kennedy and Henry Kissinger’s favourite game.


Kensington is an abstract strategy board game devised by Brian Taylor and Peter Forbes in 1979, named after London’s Kensington Gardens, which contains the mosaic upon which the gameboard is patterned. It is played on a geometrical board based on the rhombitrihexagonal tiling pattern. The objective of the game is to capture a hexagon by occupying the six surrounding vertices. The game maintains an elegant simplicity while still allowing for astonishingly complex strategy.

Game of the goose

The Game of the goose board consists of a track with consecutively numbered spaces (usually 63), and is often arranged in a spiral. Each player’s piece is moved according to throws of one or two dice. Scattered throughout the board are a number of spaces on which a goose is depicted; landing on a goose allows the player to move again by the same distance. Additional shortcuts move the player to some other position. There are also a few penalty spaces which force the player to move backwards or lose one or more turns or results in the player being sent back to start.


PARCHEESI is a race game. It’s very similar to Ludo, introduced in England in 1896, both are directly inherited from the indian game Parchisi, played on a wool crossed board extended on the floor or on a table. There are in Indian palaces big Parchisi boards with red and white marbled squares where the emperor used to play, the living pieces being 16 concubines from his harem.

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game regarded today as a worldwide classic. It is played between two or more players on a gameboard having numbered, gridded squares. A number of “ladders” and “snakes” are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. The object of the game is to navigate one’s game piece, according to die rolls, from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped or hindered by ladders and snakes respectively.


Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known originating in the Middle East. Its history can be traced back nearly 5,000 years to its origins in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq0. Backgammon involves a combination of strategy and luck (from rolling dice). While the dice may determine the outcome of a single game, the better player will accumulate the better record over series of many games, somewhat like poker.

The Royal Game of Ur

The Royal Game of Ur is board game of the Sumerian civilization (dynasty of Ur, ± 2600 BC). Game boards like these were first discovered in the twenties of the twentieth century by archaeologist Sir Leonard Wooley, in contemporary Southeast Iraq. Because they were all found in tombs of wealthy Sumerians, the game boards are supposed to accompany the dead on their way to the other world. It is assumed that this game is one of the forefathers of Backgammon: no written rules were found, but they were derived from the images on the game boards and other archaeological finds. See also: The Masonic Lobby.

Nine Men’s Morris

Nine Men’s Morris is a strategy board game for two players dating at least to the Roman Empire. It is a solved game in which either player can force the game into a draw. This board game was also played and practiced in India. Dating back to 9th -10th Century AD, evidences of this game played are seen through the stone inscriptions in temples in India.

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