F. Combining games

“Combining games” feels even stranger then playing “Ultimate GIPF”. Call it “ultimate” Ultimate GIPF. It is not the concept itself that makes it ultimate, but the feeling you get when you must interrupt GIPF to play another game and then go back to GIPF to do what you intended to do if you won that other game – or to look for something else if you lost. It feels as if there’s nothing you can control anymore.

To get used to this principle, you may want to try something as straightforward as just a die. If a player wants to use one of his potentials, the opponent may challenge him to roll a die. If the challenged player rolls equal to or higher than his opponent’s roll, he may use the special ability of the potential. If he rolls lower, he may not do so. This is a fast way to get used to how something outside GIPF influences what may and may not be done during the game.

If you don’t like dice, here’s another good way to start combining games. The players play with 6 potentials each, but they have the right to challenge the use of an opponent’s potentials only once. So they’ll have to consider at which moment and which potential they’ll try to neutralize. This makes it possible to play a combination of games in a short time.

1. If you want to connect a game to GIPF, you and your opponent must first come to an agreement. GIPF is the game you play and the other game will affect the strategy. The agreement is about which other game(s) you connect to GIPF and how many times you may try to "neutralise" the use of each other's potentials – and under which conditions. For example, you both play with 12 potentials, and you agree that you may try to neutralise 3 of each other's potentials (not necessarily the first 3 potentials you want to use, unless that, too, is part of the agreement).

2. Neutralising a potential:
The principle is simple: if you want to make use of a potential, your opponent may try to prevent you from doing so by challenging you to play another game. You must win or at least tie the other game to obtain the right to use the special ability of the potential. If your opponent wins, then the potential is lost.

An example:
The use of the YINSH-potential is originally linked to the game YINSH. If want to make use of the special power of a YINSH-potential, your opponent may try to neutralise its use by challenging you to play YINSH. So interrupt the running game of GIPF, put the board aside and play a game of YINSH. If you win or tie the game of YINSH, you may execute your special potential move; if your opponent wins, you lose the potential you intended to use (it goes out of the game) and the game of GIPF continues.

3. When you want to make a move with a potential but your opponent succeeds in neutralising it, then you haven’t made a move, which means that your turn isn’t over yet. You must make another move – you may even try using a potential again.

Note: it is always the challenged player (i.e. the player who wants to use a potential) who chooses who starts the side game.

4. Playing YINSH or PÜNCT to enforce or neutralise the use of a YINSH- or PÜNCT-potential is just our suggestion. (The same counts for the TAMSK-, ZÈRTZ- and DVONN-potentials.) You can connect any existing game or challenge to a potential, as long as it is agreed to before you start playing GIPF. You can flip a coin or roll a die, but you may also propose a game of chess or even another game of GIPF (if you have a second board); you may play pool or darts, organise any contest you want, so long as it is clear at the end whether you may or may not use the potential. All depends on what you feel like doing and how much time you have. If you prefer to conclude the game of GIPF in one evening, then choose short challenges. If you are prepared to spread it over several days, or even weeks… well, then the world may be too small.

Amaze yourself! Be inspired! Use your imagination!

GIPF, TAMSK, ZÈRTZ, DVONN,YINSH and PÜNCT ® & © Don & Co NV. Content Kris Burm. All rights