December 16, 2005
PÜNCT released during Spiel '05

To start, here's a bit of old news: PÜNCT did well in Essen! There were about 300 new releases and PÜNCT was ranked amongst the best. Only 9 games got an average score of more than 2 (in fact: *less* than 2, since 1 is the highest score a game can get). PÜNCT scored 1,94 and that resulted in a 5th place. Quite alright for an abstract 2-player game, we think :-)

However, we have had our moments of doubt. It was clear from the beginning that most people consider PÜNCT less accessible than DVONN and YINSH. Some simply don't see how pieces can be moved and have dificulties visualizing what the possition of a piece will be after being rotated. It is also not obvious to know when it is better to add a new piece or when you better play with a piece that is already on the board. And... Well, in the end things worked out fine. We got more than enough enthustiastic reactions to be asured that PÜNCT was accepted as part of Project GIPF.

Play PÜNCT on the www

PÜNCT had hardly been released and there were already two places on the internet where you could go to play it: John Williams wrote a program that made it possible to play on Richard's PBeM Server, and Stefan Esch, assisted by Michael Reitz, put his labour online under Especially the latter has already developped a lot of PÜNCT-action. Both use the principle of turn based play. Since a week or so you can also play PÜNCT online in real time (and ZÈRTZ and YINSH!).
Still here? Go and check out Dave Dyer's!

Multi-games-tournament in the Netherlands

Jan the Graaf, the *force* behind the Dutch Othello Federation, has organized a multi-games-tournament. During this event all players will have to play the following games: chess, checkers, Othello, go, DVONN and YINSH. It is of course great that to see two games of Project GIPF listed together with these classics!

For more info about this event, go the the Agenda.

Gambit reigns in France

The first season of the online GIPF league is finished. An impressive total of 60 players participated; they were split into 7 different groups of 3 different levels. Gambit appeared to be the strongest. He won just in from of Alesk and StCharles. Meanwhile the 2nd season has started with even more players. They are 68 now. Some of the strongest Belgian players have signed in. Hopefully some of the good Dutch players will follow. And, who knows, maybe the Germans will also join the competition. They are strong in DVONN and YINSH, but are they in GIPF, too? Yes? Proof it ;-)

For the final results of the first season, look here.
To have a look at the results of the games played so far in the 2nd season, go here.

ZÈRTZ on Boîte à Jeux

And there's more news from France. Fredm started with GIPF and DVONN on Boîte à Jeux more than a year ago. (BTW, all the games for the GIPF-league are played here!), now he has added an excellent online version of ZÈRTZ, offering the option to choose between a board with 37, 48 and 61 rings.

YINSH gets *Seal of Excellence*

Each nation seems to have its own way to award prices to books, CD's, movies... and games, too. In Canada new games can get a quote from a 1 to a 6, a 6 being the highest score. In the past ZÈRTZ and DVONN got, what they call, a *6 on 6*. But there's more! To distinguish a truly oustaning game from the rest of the pack, they simply give it more than the maximum! And when a thing like that happens, it is called a *Sceau d' Excellence*! For example, last year Blokus got it, and this year it was YINSH. It feels great to get a *7 on 6*. We love this kind of mathematical miracles!

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