Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Take 1 Take 2

'Take 1 Take 2' was another game we played during one of our lessons.

Though paper clips* were used as counters it reminded me of the chinese game, "jianshizi" or "picking stones". It is a 2-player game. Each palyer can take 1 or take 2 paper clip(s) from the heap of paper clips at one time. The person who makes the last move (i.e. who takes the last paper clip(s)) wins.

What are the chances of winning?

We realised after a few attempts (with a small heap of around 15 to 20 paper clips), we noticed a pattern. By taking 1 or 2, we have to trap our opponent by leaving 3 behind (multiple of 3), in order to win. We went on to take 1, take 2 or take 3. We left 4 behind.

This may be a lesson on the application of Multiples but the during the process of finding the solution, we talked and discussed the possible methods of winning this game. With every game played, I realised the love for mathematics grows as it triggers your curiosity in finding out how things works through a fun way, game. One learns to persevere in searching not only for the answer but appreciating the thinking processes that went into it.