US3697076A - Board game apparatus - Google Patents

Board game apparatus Download PDF

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US3697076A
US3697076A US3697076DA US3697076A US 3697076 A US3697076 A US 3697076A US 3697076D A US3697076D A US 3697076DA US 3697076 A US3697076 A US 3697076A
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board
member
pieces
electrodes
positions
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Charles B Vogel
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Charles B Vogel
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00643Electric board games; Electric features of board games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/00176Boards having particular shapes, e.g. hexagonal, triangular, circular, irregular
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • A63F2009/2448Output devices
    • A63F2009/245Output devices visual
    • A63F2009/2451Output devices visual using illumination, e.g. with lamps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F11/00Game accessories of general use, e.g. score counters, boxes
    • A63F11/0025Tools
    • A63F2011/0032Hammers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2250/00Miscellaneous game characteristics
    • A63F2250/02Miscellaneous game characteristics having an effect on the human senses
    • A63F2250/025Miscellaneous game characteristics having an effect on the human senses related to sense of touch
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2250/00Miscellaneous game characteristics
    • A63F2250/02Miscellaneous game characteristics having an effect on the human senses
    • A63F2250/027Miscellaneous game characteristics having an effect on the human senses generating a sound without electric means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2250/00Miscellaneous game characteristics
    • A63F2250/02Miscellaneous game characteristics having an effect on the human senses
    • A63F2250/027Miscellaneous game characteristics having an effect on the human senses generating a sound without electric means
    • A63F2250/028Ringing a bell
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2250/00Miscellaneous game characteristics
    • A63F2250/10Miscellaneous game characteristics with measuring devices
    • A63F2250/1047Miscellaneous game characteristics with measuring devices for electrical phenomena
    • A63F2250/1052Galvanometers

Abstract

This board game apparatus comprises a board and playing pieces constructed so as to produce visual and audible indications in response to manipulation of the pieces during a game. Attached to the board are sources of electrical energy, electrical indicators, switches and patterns of electrodes which are repeated at board positions occupied by the pieces. These electrical components are connected so as to form incomplete circuits. The playing pieces bear hidden electrodes which cooperate with the other electrical components to complete one of the circuits and actuate one of the indicators when the pieces occupy certain combinations of positions. Certain of the pieces are symmetrical and can be placed upon the board in either of two visually indistinguishable orientations ; the hidden electrodes then cooperate with the patterns only if the pieces are suitably oriented. Certain other pieces are provided in pairs having identical outward appearance but different internal structures. One piece of a pair then cooperates with the patterns while the other does not. Still other pieces are provided which have no electrodes but bear concealed indicators responsive to mechanical energy supplied by the players.

Description

United States Patent Vogel 15 1 BOARD GAME APPARATUS 1 51 Oct. 10,1972

72 Inventor: Charles B. Vogel, 5612 Prime W 2 ivlckersham, Houston, Tex. 77027 57] ABSTRACT 2 I 1 Ffled 1969 This board game apparatus comprises a board and [21] Appl. No.: 817,116 playing pieces constructed so as to produce visual and audible indications in response to manipulation of the Related Us'Appl'camm Data I pieces during a game. Attached to the board are [63] Continuation-impart f s NO 659,627, A sources of electrical energy, electrical indicators, 10, 19 7 Pat 35 1 4 switches and patterns of electrodes which are repeated at board positions occupied by the pieces. These elec- 52 us. c1 ..273/131 A, 273/131 AB, 273/136 A, 'trical components are connected so as to form 273/137 A, 273/137 AB complete circuits. The playing pieces bear hidden [51] Int. Cl. ..A63f 3/00 electrodes which cooperate With the other electrical 58 Field of Search ..273/130, 131, 134, 135, 136, components to complete one of the circuits and 273 37 ate one of the indicators when the pieces occupy certain combinations of positions. Certain of the pieces I 56] References Cited are symmetrical and can be placed upon the board in either of two visually indistinguishable orientations UNITED STATES PATENTS the hidden electrodes then cooperate with the patterns only if the pieces are suitably oriented. Certain other 2 pieces are provided in pairs having identical outward 3145993 8 I196 4 lg 3 B appearance but different internal structures. One l 94560 7/1965 white [130 AB piece of a pair then cooperates with the patterns while 3 481 604 12/1969 F 273/l31 A the other does not. Still other pieces are provided an which have no electrodes but bear concealed indica- FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS tors responsive to mechanical energy supplied by the la ers. 301,476 11/1954 Switzerland ..273/131 K p y r 1,286,779 1/1962 France ..273/134 A 15 Claim, 24 Drawing Figures umoaa Q 1 1] E1 El El- 2 8 El E! El E1 E] El E1 [Leg 12 13omonomo,e,s3A

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E] El El 13 6 El El 0 El El 59 5 c1 11 0 1:1 [1 1:1 1: 1:1 1: r l III El El El E! O [I O E] El E1 El 0 E] El E] El El E1 0 1:1 0 [J 0 1:1 0 1:1

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SHEET 3 0F 4 1.2. d A x d I A A i dlZ \V/ IQ 623 V INVENTOR.

. CHARLES B. VOGEL PATENTEDflm 10 I972 CHARLES B. VOGEL FIG.

BOARD GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION FIELD OF THE INVENTION stantially horizontal board, the positions being visible to all players, and the respectively marked positions remaining unchanged for a time after a player has played.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRioR ART Examples of board games are the well known games checkers (or draughts), chess, backgammon, and shuffleboard. In these games the players cause positions to be marked by the actof play in accordance with preagreed-to rules, and certain pieces are lost in the course of play or certain scores are attained. When a piece is lost, it is sometimes said to be captured by the opponent. By various mutually agreed-upon rules one player wins by occupying certain playing positions upon a playing board, by capturing some or all of his opponent playing pieces or by attaining a certain score.

Another class of board games is described in my patent above referenced, in which are described systems for gaming where the playing pieces have differing ranks or competitive values for the purpose of gaming, and in which the playing pieces bear indicia of rank which may be concealed during a portion of the game and revealed later by inverting a piece or by other means.

The degree of interest attaching to a game depends to some degree upon its complexity, which in turn involves the complexity of its rules. On the other hand the use of complex rules will render a game unattractive to some, especially to very young players who may have difficulty remembering. For example, chess, which is very interesting, is shunned by many because of the complexity of its rules. Further, with the availability of television and other fast moving forms of entertainment, board games suffer by comparison as forms of leisure time activity. Thus, prior art board games leave much to be desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above disadvantages of prior art board game apparatus are overcome by the present invention, which has as its general objective to provide apparatus giving more automatic indications of the fulfillment of certain conditions contained in the rules of a given game; making such indications more dynamic and/or dramatic; and generally making the act of play more convenient. This objective is achieved by providing along with a playing board, markers positionally stable upon the board, freely alterable as to position, and adapted to control an expenditure of energy to operate indicators. Each player is assigned markers to be positionally altered by him as an act of play.

The markers are such as can be altered from one playing position to another without having to be disengaged from the playing board and hence are called freely alterable. Thus markers freely alterable as to position include: switches controlling visible indicators by which one or another position upon a playing board may be marked as desired; also free standing moveable playing pieces, that is, pieces not frictionally engaged with the playing board but held upon it by gravity. Not included are moveable, frictionally engaged plugs such as telephone-board type electrical plugs. Use of the latter for gaming would not be acceptably convenient to the average player. The markers are called positionally stable upon the board because they continue to mark a playing position for a period after a player has played.

The board provided in the present invention may be of conventional construction as in the case of a checker board, but is preferably of special construction, whereby it bears a source of energy and elements which cooperate with the markers in controlling the actuation of indicators by the energy source. In any event the board bears a matrix of positions which'are successively marked in various patterns by the players during the course of a game, the pattern remaining unchanged during at least a portion of the time intervening between successive plays.

The act of playing may involve any of the following: the occupation of positions of play upon a playing board by individual players markers; capturing of opponent markers; determining the rank, or value of a marker; causing the production of a random event or message for determining the course of a game.

In a preferred embodiment the markers are moveable free standing pieces bearing electrodes on their lower surfaces. The board bears cooperating electrodes on its surface, and when the pieces contact certain board borne electrodes, they cause the operation of an electrical bell, which indicates that the piece in question is lost to the opponent. The positions of play upon the board are square depressed regions and the pieces are square, so that registration of the piece and board borne electrodes is assured.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a playing board according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, utilizing electrical energy controlled by electrodes on playing pieces.

FIG. 2 illustrates playing pieces for the said embodiment: pieces which bear electrodes on lower surfaces, bearing symmetrically duplicated identifying indicia on upper surfaces, and being adjustable by orientation; also king pieces, bearing indicators responsive to mechanical energy, and being adjustable by orientation.

FIG. 3a shows a sectional view through a king piece having a moveable surface and an oppositely facing unyielding surface of identical appearance.

FIG. 3b shows in sectional view a king piece having oppositely facing surfaces of identical appearance which produce different sounds when struck by a small hammer.

FIG. 30 shows in sectional view a king piece having oppositely facing surfaces of identical appearance, one of which produces a bell-like sound when struck.

FIG. 3d shows in sectional view a king piece having oppositely facing surfaces of identical appearance, one of which has attached thereto a springlike structure which makes clicking sounds when flexed.

FIG. 32 shows a small hammer used to impart mechanical energy to the pieces of FIGS. 3a 3d.

FIG. 4 shows a sectional view of a portion of the board of FIG. 1 and of one of the playing pieces of FIG. 2, with cooperating electrodes.

FIG. 5 shows a diagrammatic sectional view of another portion of the board of FIG. 1 and of another of the playing pieces of FIG. 2, including electrodes formed by an assembly of laminated conductive and insulating layers.

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic sectional view of a push button apparatus to generate electricity for the game.

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic plan view of a seating electrode configuration for the playing positions of Zones 2, 3, and K ofthe board of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of an etched circuit board to realize the circuitry interconnecting various components of the board of FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic view of the lower surfaces of the playing pieces of FIG. 2, which bear electrodes, identifying indicia, and indicia of rank, and a diagrammatic view from the top of seating electrode configurations for playing positions of various portions of Zone 1 of the board of FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 shows the configuration of electrodes found in the Zone 1 playing positions of the upper left quarter of the playing board.

FIG. 11 shows the configuration of electrodes found in the Zone 1 playing positions of the lower left quarter of the playing board.

FIG. 12 shows the configuration of electrodes found in the Zone 1 playing positions of the lower right quarter of the playing board.

FIG. 13 shows the configuration of electrodes found in the Zone 1 playing positions of the upper right quarter of the playing board.

FIG. 14 is a plan view of portions of the conductive and insulating layers sandwiched together to make up the electrodes in the upper left portion of Zone 1 of the board.

FIG. 15 is a plan view of portions of the conductive and insulating layers sandwiched together to make up the electrodes in the lower left portion of Zone 1 of the board.

FIG 160 shows the configuration of the electrode pattern located at a playing position on the brown side of the board in Zone 2.

FIG. 16b shows the electrical circuit interconnecting electrodes in Zone 3.

FIG. 160 shows the electrical circuit interconnecting electrodes in Zone K.

FIG. 16d shows the electrical circuit interconnecting electrodes in Zone 1.

FIG. l6e shows the electrical circuit interconnecting electrodes in Zone 2.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS With reference to FIG. 1, there is here illustrated schematically a playing board according to a preferred embodiment of this invention. The board 1 is shown in schematic plan, or top, view thereof. It is of extended form substantially flat except for contour variations to accomodate playing pieces and except for the presence of switches, indicators, and boxes for holding these and other accessories; the board is square, measuring about 39 inches on a side. The board bears on its upper surface a matrix of playing positions as at 2 into which playing pieces may be placed during the course of a game. The playing positions are square depressed regions l inches on a side, with a center to center spacing of 2 inches, arranged in a checkered pattern and numbering 94. The board exhibits a directional feature, such as is provided by the orientation symbols as at 3, as a reference direction indicator in the placement of playing pieces in only certain allowed orientations.

The board is so constructed that two or four players may use it. To this end, it has four sides, designated by respective colored stripes as at 4, which are respectively further designated by the imprinted names, red, blue, brown, and green, of these colors, as at 5. The playing positions are arranged in columns running parallel to the board orientation arrows and numbering from column 1 on the blue side of the board to column 16 on the green side. Similarly, the playing positions are arranged in rows running in directions perpendicular to the board orientation arrows and numbering from row 1 on the red side of the board to row 16 on the brown side. Any desired playing position can be located by giving the numbers of corresponding row and column which there intersect.

The rows and columns are further divided for the purpose of reference into four Zones. Zone 1 comprises the central square region 6; Zone K comprises those rows and columns next adjacent to the colored stripes 4 as at 7; Zone 3 comprises those rows and columns next adjacent to the rows and columns of Zone K, as at 8; and Zone 2 comprises those rows and columns next adjacent to the rows and columns of Zone 3, as at 9. So that this is clearly understood, it should be stated that, for example, Zone 3 comprises number 2 column on the blue side of the board, number 15 row on the brown side of the board, number 15 column on the green side of the board, and number 2 row on the red side of the board. It will be seen that 8 playing positions at each of the four corners of the board are omitted. The board is similar to that described in my above referenced patent.

The board bears a box at 10 which houses an electrical battery energy source and a box at 11 which houses an electrical bell as an electrical indicator. Also mounted on the board are an electrical incandescent lamp 12, which is an indicator, and 16 other incandescent lights as at 12A, which are additional electrical indicators; a challenge switch 13; and a small galvanometer 14, which is an electrical indicator. Mounted near the edges of the board are push buttons as at 15. The four sides of the board as at 16 are designated player positions, since these are the positions at which the players are located during a game.

With reference now to FIG. 2, there are here illustrated the playing pieces for the preferred embodiment: pieces which bear electrodes on lower surfaces, bearing only symmetrically duplicated identifying indicia and orientation symbols on upper surfaces, some being adjustable by orientation; also king pieces, bearing indicators responsive to mechanical energy, and being adjustable by orientation. All pieces, except for the king pieces, exhibit a directional feature, such as an orientation symbol, by which they may be placed upon the board in only allowed orientations.

The playing pieces are divided into groups, identified by color, one group being assigned to each player, according to the player position chosen by him on the board. The groups are each divided into several classes identifiable by a feature or indicium of class. The classes are further divided into subclasses designated ranks, which are related to the respective energy controlling properties of individual pieces and thus are in effect hidden, or non-visual, indicia. The ranks associated with a particular class may be one or several. Furthermore, though not in accordance with common usage of the word rank, the respective ranks may be merely different in property rather than inferior, superior, maximum, etc. Thus, the ranks in a particular class may be designated number 1 rank or number 2 rank, or alpha rank, beta rank, etc., for purpose of reference. Some of the individual pieces are adjustable as to their energy controlling properties (and hence rank) and in these cases identifying indicia may be provided, so that the players may keep track of those individual pieces having a known rank. These identifying indicia are alphanumeric symbols duplicated in a symmetrical manner so that they will be readily legible by players viewing from different directions from individual player positions on the sides of the board.

At 17 is a piece designated as belonging to the class alpha, identified as to class by the greek letter alpha at 18 on its upper surface and bearing also an orientation arrow symbol l9 and an identifying symmetrically duplicated alpha-numeric indicium 20, all on the same surface. For this particular piece the identifying indicium is the letter A. In the group assigned each player there are 6 pieces of the class alpha, and they each have a different identifying indicium. The indicia are, respectively: B, D, S,-A, l, and E.

All the playing pieces for use in the first embodiment are parallelopipeds, square when viewed from the top. They are l l l/ 32 inches square by 1 inch high (except that king pieces are slightly higher), being of such size and shape as to fit in a conformable manner into the depressed playing regions of the board 1. Their size is such that they freely are placed into the depressions but have a clearance which is relatively small (about 1/32 inch) so that the electrodes which are on the lower surfaces will seat properly.

At 21 is shown a piece which belongs to the class gamma and which bears on its upper surface an identifying indicium 21A, indicium of class 21B, and an orientation symbol 21C. Each player is supplied with 12 pieces belonging to the classification gamma. There are two ranks associated with the class gamma. Accordingly, with regard to the top surface borne identifying indicia, there are two pieces with B, two pieces with D, two pieces with S, two pieces with A, two pieces with l, and two pieces with E. The individual player then chooses as part of his hand six gamma pieces, one bearing B, one bearing D, one bearing S, one. bearing A, one bearing l, and one bearing E.

At 22 is shown a king piece which is taller than the gamma pieces or the alpha pieces and which does not bear on its upper surface an indicium of class but rather only an identifying indicium. There is no orientation symbol placed on the king-piece since it is not intended that it should be placed upon the board in any certain orientational relationship to the orientational symbols, or arrows, on the board 1 of FIG. 1.

The classification king comprises five ranks: l,2,3,4, and 5. Referring now to FIGS. 3a-3e, there are here illustrated by diagrammatic sectional views the four kinds of pieces which comprise the class k. Now each player is assigned 18 pieces belonging to the class k, there being several pieces of each kind. The upper and lower surfaces of the king pieces each bear identifying indicia only whereas in the case of alpha pieces and gamma pieces the lower surfaces bear both identifying indicia and indicia of rank. The identifying indicia for the king pieces are A, E, I, O, U, R, S, T, D, L, and B pieces of the kind illustrated at 24 hearing the letter B; two pieces illustrated at 25 bearing the letter D; two pieces illustrated at 26 bearing the letter A; and 12 pieces illustrated at 27 bearing the letters I,I,A,E,O,U,R,S,T,D,L, and B.

The piece illustrated at 24 in FIG. 3a has the same shape as shown at 22 in FIG. 2. It comprises a top square outer piece 28, a bottom square outer piece 30, an interior plunger-like pusher piece 31, and a resilient spring piece 32. There is also a rectangular plunger-like pusher piece 34, and a solid false spring piece 33. The part 33 has the same shape as the resilient piece 32. There is also a rectangular center piece 29 with flat sides. All of these parts just named are fastened together by means of glue or otherwise except that the pusher piece 31 is maintained slidably free. Furthermore the pusher piece 34 which is held immovable in the outer piece 30 and under constraint by the center piece 29 is made in such a way that it is indistinguishable by appearance from the pusher piece 31. On both the moveable and the immoveable pusher pieces there are imprinted symmetrically duplicated identifying indicia comprising the letter A as shown at 23 in FIG. 2. The outline of the pusher part 31, it should be noted, is also shown on the upper surface of the piece 22 at 35 in FIG. 2. Thus it will be seen that the piece 24 has a plunger-like surface which can be pushed by the finger and will yield and has another like surface of similar appearance which when pushed by the finger will not yield. This piece is therefore adapted to exhibit either a number 2 rank characterized by moveability or yieldability of the top surface under pressure by the finger or number 1 rank characterized by an unyielding upper surface. This piece therefore controls an expenditure of energy applied to the piece by the players finger and thereby indicates the rank of the piece.

The piece 25 in FIG. 3b comprises a rectangular outer part 36, a rectangular lower part 37, a center rectangular flat part 38, an inner thin walled sounding part 39, and a false sounding part 40. These parts are fastened together by glue or otherwise, and bear on the upper and lower surfaces of parts 39 and 40, respectively, the identifying indicia D. This piece then responds to the application of energy in the following way. There is supplied with the playing pieces a small hammer 41 and at certain times during a game according to the rules thereof a player may strike a playing piece such as the piece 25 with the small hammer and can determine by the sound made whether or not the piece is indeed the kind illustrated at 25 or is rather some other kind of piece. Furthermore the piece illustrated at 25 is adjustable by orientation since a player may place it upon the board with the true sounding part 39 either uppermost where it may be struck by the hammer, in which case it is a number 3 rank piece, or

lowermost where it will not be so struck, in which case it is a number 1 rank piece. Of course, the appearance of the piece 25 from the top is identical with the appearance from the bottom, or, that is to say, from the surface of the false sounding part 40. Thus the piece illustrated at 25 responds to the application of energy by means of the hammer to indicate its rank by means of the kind of sound produced.

The playing pieces illustrated at 26 in FIG. 3c comprise an upper outer part 41A and a lower part,-bearing on its lower surface an annular ring shaped indentation 42. The piece 26 includes also an inner part 43. The parts are attached together by glue or otherwise. The inner part 43 acts as a vibrator when struck by the hammer 41 and will produce a bell-like resonant sound under these conditions, thereby indicating to the player the rank of the piece, depending upon whether the resonant part is facing upward, making it number 4 rank, or downward, making it number 1 rank. The playing piece at 26 bears on its lower and upper surfaces the letter A.

The pieces illustrated at 27 in FIG. 3d are of identical construction to that of the pieces 24 except that for the resilient member 32 there is substituted a flat springlike structure 44 which bears a boss or deformation causing it to produce a clicking sound when flexed. This springlike structure is like those used in toys known as crickets which make clicking sounds. Thus, when a player pushes the upper surface of the playing piece, it will make a clicking sound or no sound depending upon whether the surface bearing upon the spring member 44 is uppermost, making the piece number rank, or lowermost, making it number 1 rank. Thereby the energy supplied by the players fingers results in an indication of the rank of the piece.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown here a diagrammatic sectional view of the playing board 1 of FIG. 1 and one of the playing pieces 17 of the class alpha. This sectional view is made through the playing position located in row 11, column 1 and adjacent the playing position 45 in FIG. 1. The section is made about I l 6 inch from the lower, or red, side of the referenced playing position. The board 1 is laminated, including a top layer 46; a bottom layer 49; a layer of insulating electrode bearing material 47; an upper conductive electrode layer Y1; an insulating layer 48; and a lower conductive electrode layer L.

The upper and lower layers are formed of thick fiberboard, wood, or other material of moderate structural strength, and about inch thick. The upper layer 46 has cut out of it a matrix of square holes to form the playing positions as at 2 in FIG. 1. The playing position cutouts are 1 inches on the side to accomodate the l 1 H32 inches square playing pieces with l/32 inch clearance. The insulating layer 47 may be of epoxy or other plastic about 1/64 inch thick; the electrodes thereon are about 5/1000 inch thick; the conductive layers Y1 and L are 5/1000 inch thick and may be of aluminum or brass foil; the insulating layer 48 may be 5/1000 inch paper. The above described layers are fastened together by glue or otherwise to form the board I.

The edge of a playing position cutout is shown at 50. At V, R, and X are shown thin electrodes, located within the playing position cutout, which may have a thickness of 5/1000 inch. These are attached by glue or otherwise to the upper surface of layer 47. The electrodes are preferably of metal, such as copper or nickel. At 51 is shown a small pad of resilient material such as sponge rubber, four of which are attached by glue or otherwise along the midpoints of the respective sides of the playing position illustrated in FIG. 4. These pads prevent contact between piece borne and board borne electrodes until a player pushes down upon a piece in Zone K. The pads are omitted in zones other than K. All the playing positions in columns 1 and 16 and in rows 1 and 16 are constructed as shown in FIG. 4. These positions make up Zone K.

An alpha playing piece is shown at 17. This piece is made of brass, for example, so that its lower surface is conductive. On its lower surface are three protuberances, or feet 52, 52A, and one foot hidden back of 52, extending about l/ 16 inch below the surface. Each of these constitutes a contacting electrode, as at 52, and the alpha pieces rest upon these contacting electrodes when placed upon the playing board in the playing positions excepting in Zone K, as explained above. As shown, the contacting electrodes are so positioned on the lower surface of the playing piece that they may rest upon selected portions of an electrode pattern borne on the upper surface of layer 47, as will be explained more fully in the following. The alpha piece in FIG. 4 is a green piece, adjusted to exhibit number one rank. It is shown with one of its contacting electrodes nearly touching the electrode V. It should be noted that the contacting electrodes or protuberances on the lower surface of the alpha playing piece 17 extend equal distances below the lower surface of the piece 17. In any event, the playing piece rests upon three points by means of the contacting electrodes and hence makes good contact at each contacting electrode whether or not the three points of contact on the corresponding seating electrodes formed by the electrode pattern borne by layer 47 are in one horizontal plane, thus providing reliable contact in the presence of such imperfections as may occur in low precision inexpensive methods of manufacture common to the game apparatus industry. The piece thus connects together electrically one or more of the electrodes borne by layer 47, depending upon the orientation of the alpha piece with respect to the orientation symbols such as 3 on the board of FIG. 1.

It will be seen that the depressed regions provide contours on the board into which the playing pieces may be placed in a conformable manner, thereby allowing the pieces to be placed upon the board in only certain allowed orientations and insuring a certain degree of enforced registration between the piece borne and board borne electrodes.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown here a diagrammatic sectional view of another portion of the board of FIG. 1 and of a gamma class playing piece 21 of FIG. 2, including electrodes formed by an assembly of laminated conductive and insulating layers. The section of board illustrated is that adjacent the playing position 53A at the intersection of column 12 and row 10 and a portion of the next column to the right thereof in FIG. 1. The layers 46, 47, 48, L, and 49 are the same layers as are correspondingly numbered in FIG. 4. The layer Y2 is located in the same vertical position as the layer Y1 of FIG. 4, but is separated therefrom by a break or discontinuity (in the Y layer) located in the center of the board running along a line parallel to the blue side. That is to say, the layer Y2 is the same as the layer Y1 except it is electrically isolated therefrom by a long cut in the layer which electrically separates the Y layer into a left half and a right half. Thus, the section of FIG. 4 is through a portion of the board on the left, or blue, side of the board and hence includes a portion of layer Y1, whereas the section of FIG. 5 is through a portion of the board on the right, or green, side of the board, and hence includes a portion of layer Y2.

At 54 are shown holes punched through the layers 48, Y2, and 47, exposing the conductive layer L, a portion of which is thereby made available as a seating electrode. At 55 is shown a hole punched through layer 47, thereby exposing conductive layer Y2 and making a portion of it available as a seating electrode.

At 21 is shown a gamma piece resting in the playing position illustrated in FIG. 5. The playing piece 21 is shown in cross section to comprise a base plate 56 of plastic insulating material; and a pair of contact point electrodes as at 57 and 57A, connected together by conductor 58, which may be omitted in certain pieces of class gamma. Gamma pieces with the conductor are number 1 rank; those without are number 2 rank. The top of the base plate and the conductor 58 are covered by a cover 59 which may be solidly molded of a plastic material in such a way as to adhere to the base plate. Thus, the player cannot by visual observation discover whether or not the contact point electrodes as at 57 and 57A are connected together. Since a player chooses six out of twelve gamma pieces in making up a hand, it will not be known to him how many of the pieces have contact point electrodes connected together, unless he makes a suitable non-visual observation to determine this, which may, of course, be provided by the rules of some games. It should be emphasized that the illustration of FIG. 5 is not a scale drawing. On the contrary, certain dimensions are exaggerated to more clearly show the construction of the board and piece thereon. For example, the intermediate layers comprising the laminated board are in fact very thin, and accordingly the contact point electrodes of the playing piece 21 will not be so long proportionately as shown; nor will the position of the playing piece when sitting in its playing position depart so far from a horizontal position as suggested by the diagrammatic illustration.

The playing piece 21 has two additional protuberances over and above those provided by the electrodes 57 and 57A. These are in a line perpendicular to a line drawn through the electrodes 57 and 57A, and are shown at 60. The contact point electrodes 57 and 57A protrude about Vs inch beyond the lower surface of the piece 21, whereas the additional protuberances 60 protrude about 1/16 inch. Thus, the gamma playing pieces each resemble a table with four small legs, two opposite legs being longer than the other two. The longer legs are the contact point electrodes, so that these always make contact with the seating electrodes formed by the exposed portions of the conductive layers Y2 and L, even if these are not precisely in the same horizontal plane due to the imperfections common in apparatus manufactured by low precision methods common to the game industry.

Referring still to FIG. 5, attached to the board 1 is an incandescent bulb 12A which is mounted in a socket 61, suitably mounted on the board. The bulb 12A is called a single position bulb since it connects to only a single playing position, in effect. Conductors 62 and 63 connect the light bulb to metal connection blocks 64 and 65, respectively. Beneath each connection block there is a hole through layer 46, and filling the hole is a metal spring as at 66 which makes contact with a thin electrode as at 67 or 68 attached to the layer 47, whereby the light bulb is connected to other electrical elements of the board and to electrodes borne by the playing pieces, as will be explained in greater detail in the following. Other light bulbs shown diagrammatically on the board of FIG. 1 are connected in a similar manner to other elements of the gaming system. These light bulbs serve as electrical indicators.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is here shown a diagrammatic sectional view of a push button apparatus to generate electricity for a game. The layers making up the board are numbered in correspondence with the above description. The button 15, which is shown also in FIG. 1, is a short cylindrical permanent magnet, poled with the north pole upward; south pole downward. The magnet is attached by glue to a button of sponge rubber, which in turn is glued to the upper surface of layer 47. A circular cutout is provided in the layer 47 to accommodate the button and associated apparatus. Surrounding the magnetic button 15 in an annular region is a coil 69 of approximately 50 turns of magnet wire, held by glue. The cylindrical magnet, of course, is not attached by glue to the coil, but is free to move vertically within it when pushed by the finger, thereby inducing a generated voltage across the terminal points of the coil. Thus, the coil and the pushable magnet provide a means for generating electricity for use with other elements of the gaming system.

Referring now to FIG. 7, there is here shown a diagrammatic plan view of a seating electrode configuration for the playing positions of Zones 2, 3, and K of the board 1 of FIGS. 1, 4, 5, and 6. The electrodes are shown on a somewhat exaggerated scale to show all features clearly.

The area at the bottom of each playing position as at 2 in FIG. 1 is square, being 1 inches on a side. For the purpose of discussion, the points in the area are specified by reference to a set of equally spaced lines called coordinate lines, A-0, A-l, through A-ll, parallel to the red side of the board. Line A-0 is through the lower left hand comer of a playing position, and the line through the upper left hand corner is numbered A-ll. Similarly, lines parallel to the green side of the board, and numbered 0-0 through 0-11 are used. The parallel lines are referred to by the numbers given, and are spaced apart by /s inch. The squares defined by the lines are referred to by the numbers of the corresponding lines at the lower left comer of each square. Thus, the lower left hand elementary square area is referred to as square O0,A0, and the upper right hand elementary square is numbered O10,A10. For convenience in relating FIG. 7 to FIG. 1 and other FIGURES, an orientation symbol 70 shows how the electrode configuration is oriented with respect to the orientation symbols of FIG. 1.

The electrode pattern shown in FIG. 7 is duplicated in each playing position for Zones 2, 3, and K. It may be described thus: it comprises conductive regions U, T, R, X, W, and V. Each conductive region is shown surrounded by a heavy line, and separated from other regions by surrounding insulating material. The conductive regions, which constitute seating electrodes, are formed of copper or other metal attached by glue or otherwise to an insulating board made of plastic material, preferably, which constitutes layer 47 in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6. The electrode V has a particularly complex shape.

The positions of the electrodes may be specified as follows. Electrode U comprises, along with other squares for continuity, the squares: O1,A7; O3,A7; O7,A7; O9A7. Electrode V comprises, along with other squares for continuity, the squares: O1,A9; O9,A9', 01, Al; O9,Al. The electrode T comprises, along with another square for continuity, the square: O1,A3. The electrode R comprises, along with other squares for continuity, the square: O3,A3. The electrode X comprises, along with other electrodes for continuity, the square: O7,A3. The electrode W comprises, along with another square for continuity, the square O9,A3. The squares listed above are the effective seating electrodes upon which the contact point electrodes of playing pieces rest and with which they make contact in various ways depending upon the color of the piece and whether it is oriented to be a rank 1 or a rank 2 piece. The manner of forming the electrodes may be by use of printed circuit techniques wherein a sheet of copper clad insulating material is suitably etched to remove the copper from selected portions; or the electrodes may be punched from foil and glued to an insulating sheet; or the conductive material may be applied by various printing methods to the insulating board. Connection may be made to the electrodes by wires soldered at the edges thereof. However it is preferred to form all the electrodes above listed on a common metal clad circuit board, which is the layer 47 in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6, and to form thereon the electrical connection circuits whereby the apparatus will perform in a desired manner. To this end, a printed circuit pattern is provided, whereby the needed connections are made without the required conductors crossing each other.

Referring now to FIG. 8, there is here shown at 47 a plan view of an etched circuit board to realize the circuitry connecting various components of a playing board illustrated in FIG. 1. Connection electrodes are provided for connection by wire or otherwise to elements other than playing pieces. The connection electrodes 71 and 72 are provided for connection to an electrical battery, for example a 6 volt battery of a size to fit into the box provided for that purpose. The box is approximately 8 inches square by 1 inch tall.

As to connections to the Zone K playing positions, the connection electrodes such as 73 and 74 are provided for connection to coils such as 69 located centrally on each side of the board. The continuous conductors 75, 76, and 77 connect the four such coils in series electrically. By means of continuous conductor 78 all the electrodes V in number 1 row and number 1 column are tied in parallel electrically. By means of continuous conductor 79 all the electrodes V in number 16 row and in number 16 column are tied in parallel electrically. By means of continuous conductor 80 all the electrodes R in number 16 row and all the electrodes X in number 16 column are tied together electrically and are connected to connection electrode 81 whereby they may be connected by soldered wire or otherwise to a first terminal of galvanometer 14. By means of continuous conductor 82 all the electrodes T in number 1 row and all the electrodes W in number 1 column are tied together in parallel electrically and are connected to connection electrode 83 whereby they may be connected by soldered wire or otherwise to a second terminal of galvanometer 14.

As to the connections for Zone 3 playing positions, the connection electrode 72 is connected by conductor 84 to all the electrodes R in number 15 row and to all the electrodes X in number 15 column. The connection electrode 86 is connected by means of continuous conductor 87 to all the electrodes V in number 15 column and in number 15 row and to an electric bell. The connection electrode 88 is connected by means of continuous conductor 89 to all the electrodes V in number 2 row and in number 2 column and to an electric bell. Connection electrode 71 is connected by conductor 84A to all the electrodes T in number 2 row and to all the electrodes W in number 2 column.

As to the connections for Zone 2 playing positions, the continuous conductor 90 connects in electrical parallel all the U electrodes in number 3 column, in number 3 row, in number 14 column, and in number 14 row, and connects these electrodes to the connection electrode 72 whereby they may be connected to an electrical battery, and to connection electrode 91 which is connected by soldered wire or otherwise to the conductive layer Y2 of FIG. 5. The continuous conductor 91' connects in electrical parallel all the V electrodes in the above referenced positions of Zone 2. The continuous conductor 92 connects in parallel a first connection electrode as at 68 from each single position incandescent bulb as at 12A in FIGS. 1 and 5; it connects also to the connection electrode 93, which may be connected by soldered wire or otherwise to a first terminal of the challenge switch 13 of FIG. 1. Each single position bulb has its second connection electrode connected to a terminal of a respectively adjacent playing position electrode configuration, On the green side of the board, the second connection electrodes 67 of the single position bulbs are each separately connected to the respectively adjacent playing position terminals X of number 14 column; on the brown side, the corresponding connections are to terminals R of number 14 row; on the blue side the corresponding connections are to the terminals W of the number 3 column; on the red side the corresponding connections are to the terminals T of number 3 row.

As to the connections for Zone 1 playing positions, these are shown in FIG. 8 only in that the connection electrodes 91 and 94 are shown, which are connected respectively by soldered wire or otherwise to the conductive layers Y1 and Y2 of FIGS. 4 and 5.

Also shown in FIG. 8 are connection electrodes 95 and 96 which are for the light bulb electrical indicator 12 of FIG. 1, to which they may be connected by means of the spring contactor means illustrated at 66 in FIG. 5, by means of soldered wire or otherwise. Also shown is a second connection electrode 97 which may be connected by soldered wire or otherwise to the second terminal of challenge switch 13 of FIG. 1.

In the above description of the connection of the conductors of an etched circuit board to the playing position electrodes no further details are needed by those skilled in the art to show how the indicated connections are made by properly etching the copper cladding on the board. However, this matter will be touched upon later in discussion of the circuits of the gaming system here described, with reference to FIGS. 16a-l6 As will be noted below with reference to FIG. 14 at 138 and with reference to FIG. 15 at 142, patterns of holes are punched in the interior portion of the insulating layer 47 upon which the above described etched circuit is supported. These holes are omitted from FIG. 8 to avoid confusion, since the purpose of this figure is to show the geometry of the conductive elements discussed.

Referring now to FIG. 9, there is here shown a diagrammatic view of the lower surfaces of those playing pieces of FIG. 2 which bear electrodes, identifying indicia, and indicia of rank. The alpha class playing pieces 17 of FIG. 2 bear on their lower surfaces different configurations of contact point electrodes, depending upon their color. All the alpha class pieces of any one color bear the same lower surface contact point electrode configuration, and in FIG. 9 is shown the configuration for each color.

To understand the significance of the diagram it is necessary to understand that the pieces are adapted for use by the players such that before a game all the pieces may be set up by being stood on edge with the lower, normally hidden, surface, as at 98, facing the respective individual players, and with all lower-surface orientation symbols thereon parallel to the near edge of the board on the blue and green sides and perpendicular to the near edge on the red and brown sides. The rank of a piece is given by whichever piece-borne indicium of rank is uppermost. A player can adjust the rank of an individual piece by orientation. For example, by rotating the piece about an imaginary axis perpendicular to the indicia bearing surfaces thereof, he can place the alpha (number 1 rank) indicium uppermost, thereby making the rank of the piece number 1. Furthermore, he can mentally note the identifying indicium of the piece, which is shown on the lower surface, and thus later keep track of the number 1 rank and number 2 rank pieces. In placing the pieces upon the board a player swings each lower surface downward by rotation about its lower edge, moving the upper edge toward himself and down, thus keeping the lower surface indicia hidden from the opponents at all times. During use upon the board, the piece-borne orientation symbols are always kept parallel to those on the board.

In the following is given a prescription for locating various features found on pieces, by reference to the coordinate lines of FIG. 7. This prescription applies to all playing pieces. Imagine that any individual piece of a selected color is placed on edge facing a player sitting at the correspondingly colored player position as described above, with the number 1 rank indicium uppermost. Then imagine that the piece is rotated about its lower edge, bringing the upper edge toward the player, and placed in a playing position on the board with the lower surface facing down and hidden, keeping the piece-borne orientation symbols parallel to those on the board. Then each feature of the piece can be located by reference to the coordinate lines of FIG. 7, by the same kind of notation used in describing that FIGURE to specify the locations of seating electrodes borne in the playing positions of the board. v

At 98 is shown the lower surface of a brown piece. According to the preceding prescription, the locations of the brown contact point electrodes are respectively O9,A5; O1,A9; and O1,A3 for the points 100, 101, and 102, respectively. Similarly, the locations of the red points on piece 103 are O3,A3; O9,A5; and O1,A9 for the points 104, 105, and 106, respectively; for blue points locations are OIAS; O7A3; and O9A9 for points 108, 109, and at 107. Similarly the locations of the green points on piece 17 are O9,A3; O9,A9; and O1,A5 for the points 52, 113, and 52A, respectively.

Thus, the brown alpha pieces 98 connect together within the playing position electrode configuration the electrodes T and V if oriented to belong to number 1 rank, or connect together the electrodes U and V if oriented to belong to the number 2 rank. Similarly and respectively, the red alpha pieces connect together electrodes R and V or U and V; the blue alpha pieces connect X and V or U and V; and the green alpha pieces connect together electrodes W and V or U and V.

At 21 is shown the lower surface of a red gamma class piece. As described in the preceding, it is not possible merely by visual inspection to detect the rank of a gamma piece, since this is determined by the presence or absence of a conductor 58 (of FIG. 5) hidden within the body of the piece to connect together the two contact point electrodes 57 and 57A. According to the prescription given in the preceding for specifying the locations of the contact point electrodes of alpha pieces, similarly, the locations for the gamma pieces of different colors are given in the following. The locations of contact electrode points for the brown piece at 116 are respectively O1,A5 and O9,A5 for points 117 and l 18; the corresponding locations for the red piece at 21 are O2,A5 and O8,A5 respectively for points 57A and 57; the locations for the green piece at 119 are O5,A8 and O5,A2 for the points 120 and 121 respectively; and the locations for the blue piece at 122 are O5,A9 and O5,A1 for points 123 and 124 respectively. All gamma pieces of a given color have the same configuration of contact point electrodes. Shown also on the lower surfaces of the gamma pieces are shortened legs or protuberances such as at 60 in FIG. 5, which do not act as contact point electrodes. These are shown at 125, 126, 127, 128, 60, 129, 130, and 131. Their positions are not required to be specified with any precision.

Referring now to FIG. 12, at 53A is shown the surface of a playing position in Zone 1 of the playing board. This playing position is shown also in FIGS. 1 and S. The configuration of electrodes varies in different parts of Zone 1. The configuration of the position 53A is that found in the upper right hand quarter of Zone 1 of the playing board 1 of FIG. 1, being adjacent to the brown and green sides of the board. Referring now to FIG. 10, the configuration at 132 is that found in the Zone 1 playing positions of the upper left quarter of the board. Referring to FIG. 1 1, the configuration at 133 is that found in the Zone 1 positions of the lower left quarter of the board. Referring to FIG. 13, the configuration at 134 is that found in the Zone 1 positions of the lower right quarter of the board. The electrodes provided at these positions are formed by portions of the conductive layers Y1, L, and Y2 exposed by judiciously placed holes in these same conductive layers and in the insulating layers between them and in the overlying layers. The electrodes of the various configurations are labeled in FIGS. 10, ll, 12, and 13 by the reference letters L, Y1, and Y2 which have been used in FIGS. 4 and 5 to designate the corresponding conductive layers, since these electrodes are in fact portions of the said conductive layers.

The manner of placing holes in the conductive and insulating layers making up the playing board positions of Zone I is shown by illustrating the shapes of those portions of the layers within playing positions in the upper left quarter and in the lower left quarter of Zone 1. Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15, at 135, 136 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, and 142 are shown respectively the shapes of the portions of layers L, Y1, 48, and 47 in the playing positions of the upper left quarter of Zone 1, and the shapes of the portions of layers L, Y2, 48, and 47 in the playing positions of the lower left quarter of Zone 1. Holes in the above diagrammatic representations are shown by circles. It will be clear that placing a gamma piece on one of these Zone 1 positions may connect together layers L and Y2. This occurs when the contacting point piece-borne electrodes match positionally the exposed portions of the layers and when the electrodes are connected together in a hidden manner within the piece.

Referring now to FIGS. 16a l6e there is here shown by schematic diagram the electrical circuitry for Zones 1, 2, 3, and K of the board of FIG. 1, as provided by the etched or printed circuit of FIG. 8. The four sides of the board correspond with those shown in FIG. 1, green being on the right, etc. Board-bome playing position seating electrodes are indicated by large black dots and are labeled by the reference letters designating the corresponding electrodes in FIGS. 7, 10, ll, 12, and 13. All the electrodes in any one straight line are tied together in the circuit, and are labeled with one reference letter.

At 143 in FIG. 16b is the circuit for Zone 3. In addition to the playing position seating electrodes V, R, X, T, and W, it includes at 144 an electrical battery which serves as an energy source, and an electrical bell at 145 which serves as an electrical indicator. By the operation of this circuit, the bell will ring whenever an alpha class number 1 rank piece reaches Zone 3 on the side of the board opposite from where it starts, if already one such piece of the opposite color has done the same. Under these conditions a V electrode on the left is connected to a W or T electrode and a V electrode on the right is connected to an R or X electrode.

At 146 in FIG. 160 is the circuit for Zone K. In addition to the playing position seating electrodes V, R, X, T, and W, it includes at 14 a small galvanometer which may have a sensitivity of, for example, 50 micro-amperes full scale, and the coils 69 with pushable magnets (indicated by double arrows) 15. The galvanometer serves as an electrical indicator, and the coils and magnets provide an energy source. By the operation of the circuit, the galvanometer will indicate a flow of current by motion of its indicating needle whenever the energy source used is activated, provided there are in Zone K on opposite sides of the board two alpha class number one rank pieces which have traveled entirely across the board and provided one of the players pushes down the said alpha class number 1 rank pieces so that they compress the pads of resilient material 51 (in FIG. 4) attached to each Zone K playing position, thereby causing the piece-bome contact point electrodes to touch the corresponding board-home seating electrodes. Under these conditions a V electrode on the right is connected to an R or X electrode and a V electrode on the left is connected to a T or W electrode.

At 148 in FIG. 16d is the circuit for Zone 1. In addition to the conductive layers Y1, Y2, and L, shown diagrammatically and indicated by these reference letters, the circuit includes electrical indicator light bulb 12 and battery 144, which is used simultaneously in several circuits. The heavy black dots 149 and 150 represent respectively exposed portions of layers Y1 and L, which serve as seating electrodes in various portions of Zone 1; and the black dots 151 and 152 represent respectively exposed portions of layers Y2 and L which serve as seating electrodes in various other portions of Zone 1. By the operation of the circuit, the electrical indicator light bulb 12 will light whenever a first gamma class number 1 rank piece which has crossed a center line on the board is on the right or left half of the board in Zone 1, and a second gamma class number 1 rank piece crosses a center line on the board on the right or left side of the board opposite to that occupied by the said first piece. Under these conditions electrode 149 is connected with 150 and electrode 151 is connected with 152.

At 153 in FIG. 16a is the circuit for the connection of a playing position electrode configuration in Zone 2 on the brown side of the playing board to the continuous conductors and 92 and to the connection electrode 67 of FIG. 8. This diagram is included to illustrate how connections are made between the conductors of FIG. 8 and the electrodes associated with individual playing positions.

Referring now to FIG. l6e, here is, shown a schematic diagram of the electrical circuitry for Zone 2 of the board of FIG. 1. The labeling here follows the same prescription described for the circuits of FIGS. 16a 16d. In addition to the playing position seating electrodes V, U, R, X, T, and W, it includes also single position light bulbs as at 12A, challenge switch 13 and battery 144. By operation of this circuit one of the single position light bulbs, of which there are 16, will light when the challenge switch 13 is closed provided that there is in Zone 2 adjacent to said light bulb an alpha class number 1 rank piece of color opposite to that of the side on which the said light bulb is located, and provided that there is simultaneously an alpha class number 2 rank piece in Zone 2 anywhere on the board. Under these conditions a V electrode is connected to the said light bulb and a V and a U electrode are connected together.

All pieces described may be made of metal, plastic, or other suitable material, providing that suitable precautions are taken to insulate the various electrodes used, and provided that suitable electrical conductivity is provided where required. Thus the pieces of FIGS. 3a

- 3d are constructed of plastic excepting the flat springlike structure 44 which is of metal such as used in childrens toys known as crickets; and excepting the sponge rubber piece 32. The alpha pieces, as at 17 in FIG. 4, on the other hand, are made of brass. And the insulating material used in construction of the gamma pieces as at 21 in FIG. 5 is a plastic material.

One game which may be played is given the name ZAP. Two or four players may be accomodated. In this game, each player places upon the board alpha and gamma pieces in a pattern of his choice, using six alpha pieces and 6 gamma pieces. Before play, each player may set up the pieces in front of himself with the normally top surfaces facing the opponent and adjust or select each to be either rank number one or rank number two. The player 'uses pieces of a color matching the colored stripe on the player position (that is, side of the board) at which he sits. The players then proceed as in the common game checkers, moving the pieces diagonally one square at a time, and alternating moves. Pieces are captured by jumping. When a piece reaches one of the playing positions next adjacent the opposite colored stripe, it is exchanged for a k or king piece. All this is conventional.

Certain things happen during the course of play which are novel. The electrical indicator bulb 12 on the board of FIG. 1 will light whenever two gamma class number one rank pieces of opposite colors are in Zone 1, provided that each has traveled half way across the board toward an opposite side and provided they are in diagonally opposite quarters of Zone 1. Each player chooses only six out of 12 gamma pieces, and normally cannot tell which are number one rank. Therefore there is chance involved in the lighting up of the light bulb l2. Whenever the bulb does light, the last moved gamma piece is considered to be captured and is removed from the board. I

Whenever an alpha class number one rank piece reaches zone 3 on the side of the board opposite from where it started, if already one such piece of the opposite color has done the same, then the electric bell 145 will ring.

One of the 16 single position light bulbs as at 12A will light up when the challenge switch 13 is closed, provided that there is in zone two adjacent said light bulb an alpha class number one rank piece of color opposite to that of the side on which the said light bulb is located and provided that there is simultaneously an alpha class number two rank piece in zone 2 anywhere on the board. Whenever such a bulb lights up, the piece next adjacent is considered to be captured by the opponent and is removed from the board. Pushing the challenge switch is considered to be a move by a player so doing.

The galvanometer 14 will indicate a flow of electrical current whenever the energy source is activated by push of the finger, under the following conditions. There must be in Zone K on opposite sides of the board two alpha class number one rank pieces which have traveled entirely across the board and one of the players must push down the pieces. This pushing down of pieces and activating the energy source is called a Zone K challenge. When it is carried out, if the galvanometer indicates current, then the challenged piece is considered captured by the opponent and is removed from the board. Otherwise the piece is exchanged for a king piece. Exchanging a piece for a king is considered a move and is carried out only in the play following that which places the piece in Zone K.

The K pieces are obtained by exchange for pieces which have reached the opposite K Zone. They may move in any direction; whereas other pieces can move only forward. The K pieces are not subject to the electrical hazards which peril other pieces. However, the K pieces are each associated with one of two possible ranks and thereby they may be challenged. This is carried out only by a player who already has a K piece. He then can carry out this kind of challenge, known as a king challenge, by testing the upper surface of one of his own kings, thereby indicating its rank, and then similarly testing the surface of an opponent king. If they are of the same rank, the opponent king is considered captured and is removed from the board. This challenge is considered a move. After the challenge, whether or not successful, the players may reorient their pieces.

Other games may be played with the board and pieces. In particular, the K pieces may be used to play interesting games on even a common checker board. One example would be a checker game with provision for the king challenge described above. Such a game is called roulette checkers. This game may be played by four players, opposite players being partners as in the above described games, or it may be played by two persons. In the latter case an ordinary checker board may be used, if desired. The game is the same as ordinary checkers in which players move in turn one playing position diagonally, jumping opponent pieces, and winning by removing all opponent pieces. There is one difference; namely, that each player is allowed at any time to make the k challenge, whereby he reveals the rank of one of his pieces and then of one of the opponent pieces. If they have the same rank, the opponent piece is removed from the board. After the k challenge each player may change the rank of his piece involved therein.

Still other games may be played with the system and apparatus of the invention but will not be described here.

What is claimed is:

1. Game apparatus comprising:

a playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions;

a group of playing pieces, wherein each piece is a symmetrical member formed to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions and while disposed in either of two visually indistinguishable orientations;

' an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, conductors and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes;

manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to said member and effective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions in a particular orientation only of said two orientations;

said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when a plurality of said pieces are placed on said board in said particular orientation and in registration with predetermined combinations of said positions.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said connecting means attached to said member comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the surface of the member and formed to register with portions of said electrodes.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said source of electrical energy comprises a coil of insulated wire and a permanent magnet moveably attached to a resilient body in the vicinity of said coil, whereby an electrical voltage is generated when said magnet is manually displaced and said indicator is thereby energized.

4. Game apparatus comprising:

a playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions;

a group of playing pieces provided in two sets,

wherein each of said pieces has thereon an indicium effective to identify the same as being a part of one or the other of said sets, wherein said pieces in each of said sets are provided in pairs, each piece of each pair being a member formed to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions and while disposed in a particular orientation, the members of said pair being so formed and constructed as to be visually indistinguishable while disposed in said orientation;

an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, connectors and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes;

manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to a particular member only of each of said pairs and effective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions in said particular orientation;

said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when a plurality of said pieces, each being said particular member of one of said pairs, are placed on said board in said particular orientation and in registration with predetermined combinations of said positions.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said connecting means attached to said particular member comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the surface of the member and formed to register with portions of said electrodes.

6. Game apparatus comprising:

a horizontal playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of horizontally separated electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions in a substantially planar horizontal array;

a group of playing pieces wherein each piece is a relatively thick member formed to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions and while supported thereon by a horizontally extending lower surface of the member;

an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, conductors, and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes;

manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to said member and effective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said horizontally separated electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions;

said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when several of said pieces are placed on said board in registration with several of said positions;

wherein said board comprises a thin laminated assembly of two horizontally extending conductive layers separated by insulating material, wherein the overlying conductive layer of said assembly and said insulating material have matching holes therein, and wherein said holes are so located in said conductive layer and in said insulating material as to provide said horizontally separated electrodes in said substantially planar array.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein said connecting means comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the lower surface of the member which are horizontally separated and positioned to register with said electrodes.

8. Game apparatus comprising:

a playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions;

a group of playing pieces wherein each piece is a member fonned to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions;

an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, conductors and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes;

manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to said member and efiective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions and is pushed toward said board;

said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when a plurality of said pieces are placed on said board in registration with predetermined combinations of said positions,

wherein resilient material is attached to said board at said positions and is so formed and positioned as to prevent said connecting means from producing said pattern of connections except when said member is pushed toward said board.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said connecting means attached to said member comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the surface of the member and formed to register with portions of said electrodes.

10. A group of playing pieces wherein each piece is a symmetrical member formed to stand with stability upon a surface during play while disposed in either of two visually indistinguishable orientations,

said member being so constructed that energy can be applied thereto in either of said orientations;

and an indicating means on said member positioned and formed to be concealed when the member is in either orientation,

said indicating means being of such nature and so constructed as to react in two perceptibly different ways with said energy when applied to the member while disposed in different ones of said orientations,

whereby said means produces two perceptibly different indications.

11. The group of playing pieces of claim 10 wherein said indicating means comprises two visually indistinguishable opposite faces of said member which are exposed when the piece is in said orientations and to which mechanical energy can be applied, said faces being so constructed and so joined to said member as to deflect in perceptibly different ways upon the application of said mechanical energy thereto.

12. A group of playing pieces provided in pairs, each piece of each pair being a member formed to stand with stability upon a surface while disposed in a particular orientation, the members of said pair being so formed and constructed as to be visually indistinguishable while disposed in said orientation and so constructed that mechanical energy can be applied thereto in said orientation;

and indicating means attached to a particular member of each of said pairs as part thereof and so constructed as to enable the member to react in a particular distinctively perceptible manner with said mechanical energy when applied thereto while the member is in said orientation;

the other member of each of said pairs being so constructed as not to react in said particular manner with energy applied thereto while said other member is in said orientation,

whereby said members produce perceptibly different indications upon the application of said energy thereto.

13. The group of playing pieces of claim 12 wherein said indicating means is so constructed as to respond to the application of said energy by the production of a distinctive sound.

14. The group of playing pieces of claim 12 wherein said indicating means is so constructed as to respond to the application of said energy by the production of a visually perceptible deflection of a surface of said partic ilar member.

5. A group of playing pieces, provided in two sets,

wherein each piece is a member formed with two opposite faces;

a first indicating means on one of said faces so constructed, formed and positioned as to be concealed when said face is concealed;

a second and different indicating means on said member, said second indicating means being so constructed, formed and positioned as to be revealed when either of said faces is revealed;

wherein said first indicating means is so constructed as to produce two different indications respectively on different ones of said pieces in each of said sets;

wherein said second indicating means is formed to produce four different indications respectively on four different ones of said pieces in each of said sets;

and wherein said pieces are of sufficient number in each of said sets to provide a choice of one of said two indications to be associated with each of said four indications.

Claims (15)

1. Game apparatus comprising: a playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions; a group of playing pieces, wherein each piece is a symmetrical member formed to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions and while disposed in either of two visually indistinguishable orientations; an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, conductors and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes; manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to said member and effective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions in a particular orientation only of said two orientations; said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when a plurality of said pieces are placed on said board in said particular orientation and in registration with predetermined combinations of said positions.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said connecting means attached to said member comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the surface of the member and formed to register with portions of said electrodes.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said source of electrical energy comprises a coil of insulated wire and a permanent magnet moveably attached to a resilient body in the vicinity of said coil, whereby an electrical voltage is generated when said magnet is manually displaced and said indicator is thereby energized.
4. Game apparatus comprising: a playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions; a group of playing pieces provided in two sets, wherein each of said pieces has thereon an indicium effective to identify the same as being a part of one or the other of said sets, wherein said pieces in each of said sets are provided in pairs, each piece of each pair being a member formed to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions and while disposed in a particular orientation, the members of said pair being so formed and constructed as to be visually indistinguishable while disposed in said orientation; an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, connectors and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes; manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to a particular member only of each of said pairs and effective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions in said particular orientation; said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when a plurality of said pieces, each being said particular member of one of said pairs, are placed on said board in said particular orientation and in registration with predetermined combinations of said positions.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said connecting means attached to said particular member comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the surface of the member and formed to register with portions of said electrodes.
6. Game apparatus comprising: a horizontal playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of horizontally separated electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions in a substantially planar horizontal array; a group of playing pieces wherein each piece is a relatively thick member formed to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions and while supported thereon by a horizontally extending lower surface of the member; an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, conductors, and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes; manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to said member and effective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said horizontally separated electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions; said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when several of said pieces are placed on said board in registration with several of said positions; wherein said board comprises a thin laminated assembly of two horizontally extending conductive layers separated by insulating material, wherein the overlying conductive layer of said assembly and said insulating material have matching holes therein, and wherein said holes are so located in said conductive layer and in said insulating material as to provide said horizontally separated elEctrodes in said substantially planar array.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein said connecting means comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the lower surface of the member which are horizontally separated and positioned to register with said electrodes.
8. Game apparatus comprising: a playing board displaying a matrix of playing positions; a configuration of electrodes attached to said board and repeated at said positions; a group of playing pieces wherein each piece is a member formed to stand with stability upon said board while registering with one of said positions; an incomplete electrical circuit comprising a source of electrical energy, conductors and an electrical indicator attached to said board, said circuit being connected to said electrodes; manually operable circuit completing means which is effective to complete said circuit and which comprises connecting means attached to said member and effective to produce a particular pattern of connections between said electrodes when the member is placed in registration with one of said positions and is pushed toward said board; said circuit being so connected as to actuate said indicator when completed and so connected as to be completed by said circuit completing means in response to the production of said pattern of connections at one of said positions when a plurality of said pieces are placed on said board in registration with predetermined combinations of said positions, wherein resilient material is attached to said board at said positions and is so formed and positioned as to prevent said connecting means from producing said pattern of connections except when said member is pushed toward said board.
9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said connecting means attached to said member comprises conductive material interconnecting particular points on the surface of the member and formed to register with portions of said electrodes.
10. A group of playing pieces wherein each piece is a symmetrical member formed to stand with stability upon a surface during play while disposed in either of two visually indistinguishable orientations, said member being so constructed that energy can be applied thereto in either of said orientations; and an indicating means on said member positioned and formed to be concealed when the member is in either orientation, said indicating means being of such nature and so constructed as to react in two perceptibly different ways with said energy when applied to the member while disposed in different ones of said orientations, whereby said means produces two perceptibly different indications.
11. The group of playing pieces of claim 10 wherein said indicating means comprises two visually indistinguishable opposite faces of said member which are exposed when the piece is in said orientations and to which mechanical energy can be applied, said faces being so constructed and so joined to said member as to deflect in perceptibly different ways upon the application of said mechanical energy thereto.
12. A group of playing pieces provided in pairs, each piece of each pair being a member formed to stand with stability upon a surface while disposed in a particular orientation, the members of said pair being so formed and constructed as to be visually indistinguishable while disposed in said orientation and so constructed that mechanical energy can be applied thereto in said orientation; and indicating means attached to a particular member of each of said pairs as part thereof and so constructed as to enable the member to react in a particular distinctively perceptible manner with said mechanical energy when applied thereto while the member is in said orientation; the other member of each of said pairs being so constructed as not to react in said particular manner with energy applied thereto while said other member is in said orientation, whereby said members produce perceptibly diffeRent indications upon the application of said energy thereto.
13. The group of playing pieces of claim 12 wherein said indicating means is so constructed as to respond to the application of said energy by the production of a distinctive sound.
14. The group of playing pieces of claim 12 wherein said indicating means is so constructed as to respond to the application of said energy by the production of a visually perceptible deflection of a surface of said particular member.
15. A group of playing pieces, provided in two sets, wherein each piece is a member formed with two opposite faces; a first indicating means on one of said faces so constructed, formed and positioned as to be concealed when said face is concealed; a second and different indicating means on said member, said second indicating means being so constructed, formed and positioned as to be revealed when either of said faces is revealed; wherein said first indicating means is so constructed as to produce two different indications respectively on different ones of said pieces in each of said sets; wherein said second indicating means is formed to produce four different indications respectively on four different ones of said pieces in each of said sets; and wherein said pieces are of sufficient number in each of said sets to provide a choice of one of said two indications to be associated with each of said four indications.
US3697076A 1969-04-17 1969-04-17 Board game apparatus Expired - Lifetime US3697076A (en)

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Cited By (12)

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US4114292A (en) * 1977-08-26 1978-09-19 The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc. Match up game
US4323243A (en) * 1980-10-20 1982-04-06 Marvin Glass & Associates Electrical board game device
US4324405A (en) * 1980-03-31 1982-04-13 Product Dynamics, Ltd. Board games having variable game-piece-energized circuits
US4331333A (en) * 1976-07-09 1982-05-25 Willcocks Martin E G Apparatus and method for playing a board game
US4343609A (en) * 1981-04-24 1982-08-10 Cardinal David V Chess instruction apparatus
EP0068085A2 (en) * 1981-06-25 1983-01-05 Meffert Novelties Device to gather and/or store and/or transmit information or impulses
FR2626492A1 (en) * 1988-01-28 1989-08-04 Info Media Communication Interactive electronic game in the form of a draughtboard consisting of flexible pressure-actuated squares
EP0390529A1 (en) * 1989-03-31 1990-10-03 Fuji Electronic Industry Co., Ltd. Game machine with automatic judging function
US5215311A (en) * 1992-02-05 1993-06-01 Schuller Michael P Amusement device
NL1004407C2 (en) * 1996-11-01 1998-05-08 Adar Golad Computer game.
US20080116636A1 (en) * 2006-11-17 2008-05-22 Mccray Donald Casino chess game
USD814574S1 (en) * 2017-03-16 2018-04-03 John Joseph Navin Four person chess board

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US2490092A (en) * 1945-08-17 1949-12-06 Albert P Rippenbein Game device
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FR1286779A (en) * 1961-01-24 1962-03-09 Board game
US3145993A (en) * 1962-10-04 1964-08-25 Andrew M Archer Electrically operated solitaire ticktacktoe game
US3194560A (en) * 1962-12-31 1965-07-13 Dane L Love Electrically operated game combination comprising an apertured game board and electrically conductive game pieces
US3481604A (en) * 1967-06-13 1969-12-02 John C Fan Game apparatus comprising a game piece value comparator

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US927583A (en) * 1907-09-16 1909-07-13 Anthony Nelson Annunciator for checkers or similar games.
US2490092A (en) * 1945-08-17 1949-12-06 Albert P Rippenbein Game device
FR1286779A (en) * 1961-01-24 1962-03-09 Board game
US3145993A (en) * 1962-10-04 1964-08-25 Andrew M Archer Electrically operated solitaire ticktacktoe game
US3194560A (en) * 1962-12-31 1965-07-13 Dane L Love Electrically operated game combination comprising an apertured game board and electrically conductive game pieces
US3481604A (en) * 1967-06-13 1969-12-02 John C Fan Game apparatus comprising a game piece value comparator

Cited By (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4331333A (en) * 1976-07-09 1982-05-25 Willcocks Martin E G Apparatus and method for playing a board game
US4114292A (en) * 1977-08-26 1978-09-19 The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc. Match up game
US4324405A (en) * 1980-03-31 1982-04-13 Product Dynamics, Ltd. Board games having variable game-piece-energized circuits
US4323243A (en) * 1980-10-20 1982-04-06 Marvin Glass & Associates Electrical board game device
US4343609A (en) * 1981-04-24 1982-08-10 Cardinal David V Chess instruction apparatus
EP0063926A2 (en) * 1981-04-24 1982-11-03 David Victor Cardinal Chess instruction apparatus
EP0063926A3 (en) * 1981-04-24 1983-04-13 David Victor Cardinal Chess instruction apparatus
EP0068085A2 (en) * 1981-06-25 1983-01-05 Meffert Novelties Device to gather and/or store and/or transmit information or impulses
EP0068085A3 (en) * 1981-06-25 1983-05-04 Meffert Novelties Device to gather and/or store and/or transmit information or impulses
FR2626492A1 (en) * 1988-01-28 1989-08-04 Info Media Communication Interactive electronic game in the form of a draughtboard consisting of flexible pressure-actuated squares
EP0390529A1 (en) * 1989-03-31 1990-10-03 Fuji Electronic Industry Co., Ltd. Game machine with automatic judging function
US4969650A (en) * 1989-03-31 1990-11-13 Fuji Electronic Industry, Co., Ltd. Game machine with automatic judging function
US5215311A (en) * 1992-02-05 1993-06-01 Schuller Michael P Amusement device
NL1004407C2 (en) * 1996-11-01 1998-05-08 Adar Golad Computer game.
WO1998019758A1 (en) * 1996-11-01 1998-05-14 Adar Golad Computer game
US6231441B1 (en) * 1996-11-01 2001-05-15 Adar Golad Computer game device
US20080116636A1 (en) * 2006-11-17 2008-05-22 Mccray Donald Casino chess game
USD814574S1 (en) * 2017-03-16 2018-04-03 John Joseph Navin Four person chess board

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