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Three Men's Morris

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Three men's morris is played on a three by three board (counting lines) and is a game of position. Figures 1 and 2 indicate the two types of board this game is played on.

   +---+---+   +---+---+
   |   |   |   |\  |  /|
   |   |   |   | \ | / |
   |   |   |   |  \|/  |
   +---+---+   +---+---+
   |   |   |   |  /|\  |
   |   |   |   | / | \ |
   |   |   |   |/  |  \|
   +---+---+   +---+---+
   Fig 1.       Fig 2.


The game is thought to be a direct ancestor of tic-tac-toe. It is also related to Six Men's Morris and Nine Men's Morris.


Contents

Rules

The game is played with two sets of four pieces (one set for each player), with each set having its own colour.

Each player takes it in turn to place pieces on intersection points, the first person to place three along a line wins the game.

History

The earliest known board for this game is one similar to the one shown in figure 2, which was found on the roof of the temple in Kurna, Egypt dating back to 1400 BC.

The earliest known mention in literature is in Ovid's Ars Amatoria.

It is thought that the Chinese played this game under the name Luk tsut K'i during the time of Confucius (circa 500 BC).

Boards for three mens morris dating back to 13th Century can be found carved into the cloister seats at the cathedrals at Canterbury, Gloucester, Norwich, Salisbury and Westminster Abbey.


Alternative names

Sometimes, the names of the games Tic-tac-toe (where players keep adding "pieces") and Three Men's Morris (where pieces start to move when the first four have been placed) are confused.

See also

Nine men's morris, Six men's morris, Morris dance (root of the name of the game)

Bibliography

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