Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fun and Games Friday: Othello edition

A few months ago, the entire Shiputzim family was into Othello.

But before you get all impressed by our literary and cultural sophistication, I should explain that I’m referring to the classic two-person board game - NOT the famous Shakespearean tragedy.

You see, Othello (aka Reversi) was the subject of MAG’s recent English term paper, and as a result of his research, some of us here in TRLEOOB* picked up a few new tricks –including the highly effective so-called “wall strategy”. (Details available upon request.)

Meanwhile, others used this opportunity to produce a number of intricate designs:

IMG_0433 (2) A flowery approach to the game

Even ACGAC** got caught up in the Othello craze.

Specifically, ACGAC enjoys a little-known variation of the game called “Switching Colors”.

The basic rules are as follows:

  • ACGAC’s opponent plays to the best of his/her ability.
  • Whenever ACGAC feels that the situation warrants such a move, the two players switch colors.
  • If necessary, the players can switch colors several times during the same game.
  • ACGAC always wins. (Surprise, surprise…)

This reminds me of the way occasional blogger YCT would carefully - and quite literally - stack the deck when playing every parent's worst nightmare: the mind-numbingly boring Candy Land.

He thus ensured that his daughter always won, but only after an exciting game with several nail-biting upsets. (He would then leave the deck unshuffled for the next time.)

What approach do you take when playing board games with younger children? Do you let them win? Do you give them some sort of handicap? Or do you believe in tough love - as in, “This is the real world. Deal with it! So what if you’re only two years old…”


שבת שלום ומבורך!


*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog

**ACGAC=a certain gan-age child of my acquaintance


  1. I like Othello. I wait until the daughter goes to sleep on Saturday night and try to get my husband or a son to play with me. I think I would rather play Candy Land with her, because I loved that dumb game when I was little.

    I was thinking of Orlando by Virginia Woolf, which is loosely base upon the play which this post is not about.

  2. every parent's worst nightmare: the mind-numbingly boring Candy Land.

    That got me to laugh out loud -- how true it is!!!

    Shabbat Shalom!

  3. Yes, I played the same game of Candy Land every Shabbos morning for two months straight. Each game was better than the last.
    I would also have to say that CandyLand is much worse then Chutes and Ladders.
    CandyLand is open to a little sleight-of-hand to end the game. Chutes and Ladders can go on and on - very painful.

  4. Whoops
    that CandyLand is much worse then Chutes and Ladders
    Of course I meant:
    Chutes and Ladders is much worse then Candy Land.

  5. Leora - I also enjoy playing Othello, but we all sort of overdosed on it when MAG was working on his paper... :-)

    Jameel - שבת שלום ומבורך to you and your family!

    Y(C)T - I hope you're starting to prepare the cards again. Before you know it, AT will BA"H be ready to play...
    Oh, and excellent point about Chutes and Ladders! :-)

  6. As a kid I loved Candyland. Yes, it existed all those decades ago.
    Othello was a favorite a few years ago. Now I have nobody to play with. Leora, can you come to visit?

  7. Batya - I'll second your invitation to Leora! :-)


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