A territorial game with time as a special feature!
The second game of Project GIPF. For 2 players.
- 1 game board
- 3 red and 3 black hour-glasses (3 min.)
- 1 neutral hour-glass (15-second timer)
- 64 ivory rings
- 2 ring holders, each to hold 32 rings
position: see diagram below. Place the red and black hour-glasses
on the 6 corner spaces of the board, so that the hour-glasses of
both players alternate: black, red, black, red, black, red. The
upper parts must be empty before starting a game.
2. Take a ring
holder and fill it with 32 rings.
You and your opponent start the game with 32 rings each.
The player with the fewest rings left at the end of the game is
the winner. (This counts for all 3 levels.)
TAMSK is not difficult to learn, but because you'll
have to play under constant time pressure, we advise you to get
used to the rules in three stages.
Level 1: without time pressure
Rules to learn the strategy of moving the hour-glasses without turning
them over. Use them as normal pieces, not as hour-glasses.
Draw lots to determine who will play with the red hour-glasses.
Red begins, then take turns moving your hour-glasses.
2. A move:
Each turn you must move one of your hour-glasses. You may move
it to any adjacent vacant space.
3. Dropping a ring:
After moving an hour-glass, you may play one ring: take a ring
from your ringholder, put it over the hour-glass you moved and
then drop it. (For the remainder of the game, the ring you dropped
will serve as an indication that the space has been visited earlier
Note: playing a ring is optional, but since getting rid of rings
is the aim of the game, you should do it (or rather: don't forget
to do it). If, for any particular reason, you decide not to play
a ring and your opponent notices it, then he may play one of his
rings where you didn't, and he may still make his regular move.
4. The different spaces:
The spaces (tubes) on the board have different heights. Once the
rings around a space are level with the height of the tube, that
space may not be visited again for the remainder of the game.
· 18 spaces around the edge of the board may only have
· The next tier of 12 spaces may have a maximum of 2 rings.
· The inner tier of 6 spaces may have a maximum of 3 rings.
· The central space may have 4 rings.
Note : you may never move an hour-glass to a space which already
has its maximum number of rings. If you do, you lose the game
at once. So, watch the rings on the board carefully.
5. Passing your turn:
When you cannot move any of your hour-glasses (because all three
are blocked by your opponent's hour-glasses and/or spaces you
may not move to any more), you must pass your turn. You must continue
to pass until you are able to move again - or until the game ends.
6. The end:
The game ends when no more moves can be made. The player with
the fewest rings left wins the game. Most of the time this means
that the first player who has to pass because he cannot move his
hour-glasses any more, will lose. So, the aim is to get rid of
rings, but it could also be said that the aim is to be the first
to block all three of the opponent's hour-glasses.
7. A tie:
If both players have an equal number of rings left, the game ends
in a tie.
Level 2 : with time pressure
The second level is played as
described under Level 1, but with additional rules for the hour-glasses.
The 15-second hour-glass is still left out of the game. The aim
of this version is to get used to the time pressure caused by the
pieces (i.e. the hour-glasses) and to see how it will influence
Note: Level 1 is a game on itself, and so is level 3. Level
2 is an intermediate level; just play it a few times as an introduction
to level 3.
Level 3 : with the 15-second timer
The starting position remains the same.
2. The first
You and your opponent are obliged to use your first 3 turns to move
each of your 3 hour-glasses. When moving an hour-glass, it must
be turned over. Thus, after you and your opponent have made 3 moves
each, the time of all 6 hour-glasses on the board will be running.
3. A move:
You must try to keep your hour-glasses alive. Each time you move
an hour-glass to a vacant adjacent space (in fact, while you are
moving it), it must be turned over. In other words: each turn you
must reverse the time of one of your hour-glasses. A move must be
made with a fluid motion; you may not keep an hour-glass in a horizontal
position. You must let go of the hour-glass as soon as it is moved,
i.e. you may not prevent your opponent from starting his move by
holding onto your moved hour-glass. (See point 5 below: Timing of
After moving an hour-glass, your turn is over, although you may
still play a ring. But you must do it immediately and without hesitation
after making your move. If you don't, you lose the opportunity to
play a ring that turn. As described under Level 1, your opponent
may put a ring where you didn't, before making his move.
5. Timing of
Immediately after you have moved one of your hour-glasses, your
opponent may start his move. In other words, he does not need to
wait until you have dropped your ring. But as soon as he moves an
hour-glass, he may not play an extra ring if you didn't play one.
6. Losing an
When an hour-glass runs out of time, it is lost. A lost hour-glass
remains on the board but may not be moved any more.
Note: you may lose an hour-glass on purpose!
Even though you don't use the 15-second hour-glass, its principle
is introduced as a "gentlemen's agreement": the players
have a maximum of 15 seconds to make their move. (Since it is a
"gentlemen's agreement" only, there is no penalty when
a player takes a bit more time than is strictly allowed. Just play
8. The end:
The aim remains the same: getting rid of as many rings as possible.
9. No more tie:
Unlike level 1, this level cannot end in a tie. If both players
have an equal number of rings left, then time will determine the
· Remove the hour-glasses that have already run out
of time from the board and put them aside.
· Watch the remaining hour-glasses closely. Each hour-glass
that runs out of time is to be taken from the board, and lined up
in the order removed.
· The player with the last "living" hour-glass
on the board wins the game.
· In the rare case that the last hour-glass of both
players run out of time at exactly the same time, then the player
who had the last-but-one hour-glass on the board wins.
The complete game, played under constant time pressure
caused by the hour-glasses and the 15-second timer. It is played
as described under Levels 1 and 2, but with additional rules for
the use of the 15-second hour-glass.
Red begins; black may decide whether the 15 second timer is to be
placed to the left or right of the board.
2. The 15-second
The 15-second hour-glass is available to you during your opponent's
turn, but you are not obliged to use it. You may use it (i.e. turn
it over) if you want to force your opponent to make his move within
15 seconds. Of course, your opponent may use it too when it is your
3. The use:
To use the 15-second timer, simply turn it over, but you may only
do so when the upper part is empty. So, on occasions you may have
to wait until it runs out of time before you can use it against
Note: when you have used the 15-second timer against your opponent,
it is your turn again as soon as he made his move; you do not have
to wait until the 15-second timer is empty.
If you start your move but don't finish it in the allowed amount of time (i.e. when you don’t let go of the hour-glass you moved before the 15-second timer runs out of time), you may complete the move, including dropping a ring, but you’ll have to face a penalty. Your opponent may now drop two rings with his next turn. He starts his turn with his regular (i.e. he moves an hour-glass and puts a ring in the newly covered space), and next he may drop a second rings in any space on the board, no matter whether the space is occupied by an hour-glass (of either color) or not. Of course, it is only possible to drop a ring in a space that has not yet its maximum number of rings.
Note: this is an adjusted rule. The original rules said that you had the right to play twice when your opponent didn’t finish his turn in time, but this could cause confusion in the ending stage of the game. That is fixed with this new rule.
You may start your move as soon as your opponent releases the hour-glass
he moved, or, if he hasn't finished his move yet, the moment the
15-second timer runs out of time (i.e. in this case you must not
wait until your opponent releases the hour-glass).
6. Passing a
If you have not started to move an hour-glass when the 15-second timer runs out of time, you forfeit that turn. In other words: unlike in Level 1, you may now pass your turn, but the consequence is the same as when you have not finished your turn in time, as explained in point 4. above.
Note: when you cannot make a move, this does not count as passing a turn. So, in this case the opponent may not drop 2 rings.
7. The end:
The game ends as described under level 1 and 2.
It is also possible to start a game of TAMSK
with the hour-glasses of the board. If you want to make use of that
possibility, then use your first 3 moves to place your hour-glasses
in spaces at choice with the time running, and you may immediately
start dropping rings.
Enjoy the pressure!