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Masters Traditional Games
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Another Burmese find was this Pachisi board. While I was searching for Sittuyin, I mentioned Pachisi in passing and was told by the shop-keeper that he could get me one but I'd have to come back in an hour. We went and had a leisurely lunch and sure enough upon our return he produced this rather wonderful item (or couple of chunks of battered old wood, depending upon your opinion) which believe me, I did not need much persuading to buy. I imagine there is some poor bloke in the village now wondering what to do with his time on Pachisi evenings...

I spoke to Irving Finkel, the eminent British Museum curator when back in England, as he's been collected Pachisi boards from the subcontinent all his life. I saw some of his collection once and couldn't believe my eyes at the beauty and interest of some of the boards. I told him I had a Burmese Pachisi board, not imagining that this grotty old example would raise even a quarter of an eyebrow. On the contrary, his beard nearly fell off in astonishment - apparently he's been trying to get a Burmese example for most of his life. Sometimes, life is worth living....
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Finally! We have a new Northamptonshire Skittles Table...
#letthegamesbegin   #traditionalgamesarebest  
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We received an email recently from Siv Sears, a chap who is on a mission to play Cribbage in all 39 ancient counties of England. A worthy goal indeed so we thought we'd encourage him with a bit of publicity. Here's his blog on his progress:

Part of his objective is to chart the state of the game in the nation and to build a database of where and when people are playing. Let's hope his quest provides a well-deserved boost to the classic old card game....
-An exploration of the state of the game in England
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Traditional games to treasure.
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Game over for humans...
#Riseofthemachines   #Go  
Google stunned the world by defeating Go legend Lee Se-dol yesterday, and it wasn't a fluke — AlphaGo, the AI program developed by Google's DeepMind unit, has just won the second game of a...
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To keep us entertained while our Northamptonshire Skittles Table is being reconditioned, we have been playing lots of Toad in the Hole. It's a pub game played in East Sussex, and it's great fun too!

You toss your Toads (metal coins) and try to land them on the table. 1 point if it lands flat (without touching the back board) and 2 points it it goes in the hole.

The World Championship in Lewes also happens to be coming up very soon. You can find out more about the history of the game here:
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It's not often that board games make it to the national news but this week, most of you probably saw the big announcement that a Google AI lab has developed a program that has beaten the European Go (also know as Wei Qi) champion.
This is indeed an astonishing achievement. Go has only 3 basic rules so is beautifully simple and aesthetic but is more complex than Chess - the number of permutations and options quickly eclipses those of Chess by orders of magnitude. When Deep Blue 2 beat Gary Kasparov (who is generally accepted as the best player ever to have lived), it was pretty much a brute force approach - the computer was simply bashing out every possible permutation as far into the future as possible.
You can't do this with Go - the permutations quickly spiral exponentially out of control. I did a quick calculation; for the first 3 moves there are almost 50 million possible outcomes! So the achievement here is considerably more special than IBM's. This program actually learns. Those of a paranoid nature may be concerned because slightly worryingly, although the initial algorithm analyses real-life games played by actual humans, (fleshy beings of little value), thereafter, it learns by playing itself... Those who haven't thought about this before may at this point wish to rush off and watch some Sci Fi - I would recommend 'War Games' from the 1980s, the 'Terminator' series or the excellent 'Ex Machina'.
Fortunately for us fleshy creatures, I recall from my computability theory course that it has been proven mathematically that humans think in a different way to computers. There are some problems that humans easily manage that it is impossible to write a program to solve.
Back on earth, those of us who are interested in these things are looking forward to the match between Google's AI and the current Go No. 1, Lee Sedol in March. There isn't any other game that is considered to be more difficult than Go, so if the computer wins, a landmark will have truly been reached.
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The top 10 pub games as chosen by traditional games expert James Masters in the The Publican's Morning Advertiser. Do you agree - what are your favourite games to play with a pint? #games   #pubgames   #traditionalgames   #pubs  
The Publican's Morning Advertiser reveals an expert's top ten games for pubs - but which do you think is best?James Masters, managing director of Masters Games - which specialists in pub games - gave the PMA his top ten and explained why each one is great for pubs, and how they can help boost trade. But which works for you?
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Map of the business location
227B Hatfield Rd St Albans AL1 4TB UK
227B Hatfield RoadGBSt AlbansAL1 4TB
+44 1727
Game Store, Games
Game Store
Toy Store
Today 9AM–5PM
Wednesday 9AM–5PMThursday 9AM–5PMFriday 9AM–5PMSaturday ClosedSunday ClosedMonday 9AM–5PMTuesday 9AM–5PM
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"Excellent product - Drakes Pride Bowls mats - at best price and fastest service."
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"Good quality on products and very punctual delivery."
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Anita Hogg's profile photo
Anita Hogg
in the last week
I cannot rate this company highly enough. Ordering was easy (particularly for a lady of my advanced years). Delivery was very quick. The chap who delivered my product was happy to wait while I checked the package & the product, etc (this condition was stated in the e-mail confirming my order). Would highly recommend buying any equipment from this company. Thank you.
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John Penny
in the last week
The items I required were delivered on time and were exactly what I was after. Top communicators as well. This is always very pleasing these days of impersonal emailing! I hope to do more deals with these honourable people in future. Thankyou.
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Roger Bines
a week ago
Very efficient delivery and well packed against damage. The slate board is perfect and pleased that I made the purchase.
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Joseph.M. Snaith
a month ago
Have used MTG couple of times all ways helpful true to their word and the best of quality in the products.
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Will van Zanten
a month ago
Fantastic service. For some months I've been after a particular game, & had been unable to find anyone to ship to where I live as it's not in the UK. I called Masters Games and the guy on the phone was really helpful and knowledgeable. I ordered it and it arrived 2 days later. Often we don't get letters that quickly here, let alone a box about 2 meters long! Really pleased, and will definitely use again and also recommend to friends.
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Lynda Chipperfield
a month ago
Can't fault it. Fantastic choice of games, it was hard to decide which one to get. I ordered a game and accidentally ordered it twice (DOH!) James emailed me on a Saturday night to query it and the overpayment was back in my account the next day. We received the game Suarkata within days and so far are really pleased. The game is good quality and easy to pick up. Will definitely be ordering more games soon
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Hazel Lee
in the last week
Items, [set of 3 skittles balls] were ordered on the Thursday morning and delivered on the Friday afternoon. Couldn't have asked for a better service! Thankyou.
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Andy Tilly
a week ago
Excellent product. Quick and efficient service.