This photograph was taken in August 1996 at a hill temple near Khejarala, Rajesthan, India. Carved into the rock is the board for the game "Nine Men's Morris".
Each player has nine stones which they put onto the board alternately one at a time. The stones can be placed on any corner or intersection. When all the stones are on the board players take turns to move a piece along a line to a neighbouring empty point. When a player achieves three in a row an opposing stone is removed but it may not be taken from an opposing three in a row. If a player is reduced to two pieces or is blocked and unable to move, they have lost the game.
Here is a simple version of the board with draggable stones which can be used to play against a friend or to do the investigation.
What is the maximum number of pieces which can be on the board without any forming a row? Investigate for other size boards.
And here below is a version of the game that you can play against the computer. Click a white circle to place your first counter.
The Computer Wins!
Reference: "Board games Around The World" Robbie Bell and Michael Cornelius. Cambridge University Press 1988 ISBN 0 521 35924 4
The code for the game against the computer was kindly made available on Git Hub by Nima Parsa.
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