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Mathematical Games Contest, Sponsored by Pi Mu Epsilon

Procedures | Game Rules | Links

The Mathematical Games contest will be held April 20th, 2006 at 4:30 pm in the Math and CS building Library, 3rd floor MSB on the Kent State University Main Campus. Procedures and rules for the contest are listed below. Prizes for First, Second, and Third place will be University Bookstore certificates, all together totaling over $300.

To register, email or call Julie Christensen at or 330-672-9082.

Preregistration is $1.00 and is $3.00 the day of the event. Space is limited.


Tournament ProceduresBack to Top

  • The tournament is limited to Kent State undergraduates and high school seniors.
  • The games in the tournament will be Dots-and-Boxes, Mastermind and Hex
  • The tournament will be conducted “World Cup” format: The players will be divided into groups of three or four and each group will play a round robin Dots-and-Boxes tournament. The winner in each group will advance to the:
  • Elite Eight:
    The players who reach this level will play a single elimination tournament of Mastermind which will end after the semi-finals. The four players who compete in the semi-finals will play the:
  • Championship Round:
    The semi-final winners will play Hex for the first and second prizes and the semi-final losers will play Hex for the third place prize. If there are ties in the Dots-and-Boxes round a sequence of tie breakers will be used.
  • If there are ties in a Mastermind round the tying players will play one or two more games of Mastermind. If all three games are tied there will be a coin toss.
  • Players must play as individuals. No team play, no coaching or comments by spectators will be allowed. Players will not be allowed to use any notes or written material and no electronic devices.
  • Times limits may be imposed.


Tournament Game Rules: Back to Top

Rules: Dots-And-Boxes is played on the edges of a rectangular grid. Players move alternately by placing new edges. Edges connect adjacent dots horizontally or vertically (not slanted). In case a new edge completely surrounds a box the box is marked with the player's initial and the player moves again (this is not optional), otherwise the opponent moves. The game ends when all edges are occupied. Each player’s score is the number of boxes with that player’s initial. If it’s possible to complete a box the player is not required to complete it.

Equipment: A Hex board is made up of hexagon-shaped cells arranged in a rhombus. The most common board dimension is 11x11. The pieces are two colors of beads, buttons, coins, or colored glass "stones", twenty or thirty for each player.

Object: The players attempt to connect opposite sides of the board with a continuous line of pieces. The first player must connect the vertical sides, and the second player must connect the horizontal sides.

Gameplay: Players alternately place a piece on an empty hex. The first person to connect their two sides of the board is the winner.

Swapping Rule: The second player to move has the option of swapping colors with the first player, effectively stealing the first move. If the second player chooses to swap, then the first player moves again, but playing the opposite color.

Object of the Game: The scorer picks a secret code consisting of 4 pegs, each one being one of any of six colors. The object of the game is to guess the exact positions of the colors in the code in as few guesses as possible. After each guess, the scorer gives you a score of exact and partial matches.

1. The code's colors : Red, Green, Yellow, White, Black and Blue. These are abbreviated R,G,Y,W,Bl and Bu.
2. A colour can be used any number of times in the code.
3. Each guess must consist of 4 peg colors - no blanks.

Scoring For each of the pegs in your guess that is the correct color in the CORRECT position, the scorer will give you an 'EXACT' point. If you score 4 'EXACT's on a guess, you have guessed the code.

For each of the pegs in your guess that is a correct color in an INCORRECT position, the scorer will give you an 'OTHER' point. Together, the EXACT and OTHER points will add up to no more than 4.

Sample Scoring:  
If your guess is:  And the secret code is: Then your score is: 
RBuYG  RYWBl  1 Exact, 1 Other
RWGG  WGGY  1 Exact, 2 Other
YWGG  GGYG  1 Exact, 2 Other


Links: Back to Top

Combinatorial Game Links: Some of the web pages listed here describe alternate rules for Dots-an-Boxes, Mastermind and Hex and some of these rules may differ from the rules used in the Kent State Mathematical Games Contest. The Kent State Math Department and Pi Mu Epsilon do not endorse any of these sites and you should use them at your own risk.

  1. General Games:
  2. Mastermind Links:
  3. Hex Links:
  4. Dots and Boxes Links:
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