A team of people or a big budget could not have created TZUKH.

An enormous number of problems needed solving which required time.

Sometimes it could take weeks or months for the subconscious to offer up solutions.

Thoroughly analyzing and defining problems, then waking one morning with the answer can be effective and rewarding. However, it could never be a full time job waiting on the inspirations.

Malina at twelve months playing her first game of TZUKH!

Malina and brother Rhett, as they grew up, contributed to TZUKH by eagerly playing it with me and just accepting whatever new rule change I introduced. Kids are adaptive and learn fast.

Time for a quick game among the Minoan ruins at Hagia Triadha.

Malina and Tark at Akrotiri archaeological site on Santorini.

The first version of the game was named TRAQUE which initially had numerous pieces.

It began as an exercise in trying to fix the problems with Noughts and Crosses.

The number of pieces were reduced to 40 and the pattern from 16x16 to 10x10.

A stylized version of Rodin's thinker replaced the draw knobs.

Twenty thinkers per side as a two player game.

A major revision, after many years of experimentation, shortened TRAQUE to TRAQ.

For more interaction, a new pattern was designed of 9x9 retaining runs of three.

The Unkans, Dukens and Treskins were introduced - moving one, two or three squares.

The four-sided dice was added because computers began winning at Chess against humans and the fear was that Chess may one day have the same problem as Noughts and Crosses - with an unbeatable method of playing if you start. Chance eliminates the problems associated with 'who starts' and adds fun. But the desire was for it to be predominantly based on skill.

Using the dice as a two sided dice to ADD or MOVE with multiple choices within that structure was probably the most creative innovation so chance would only play a minor role.

Chance always delivers a result. Jack's game or a draw is not very satisfying.

At the same time the number of players increased from two to four to make it more social.

A six-sided scoring dice was also added.

(The leather set as it is today and a faded photograph from when it was first created.

On the left is a prototype of a magnetic wallet size set with slot together dice.)


A more symmetrical pattern of 11x11 squares gave better balance.

Increasing the number of different pieces from three to five made it more interesting.

To accomodate one, two, three or four players, small additions to the rules were created.

The rules were refined and thoroughly tested to ensure there were no faults.

A love of Minoan art and a new name gave TZUKH a charm that fitted the game.

Ancient Egyptian and Minoan board games of strategy used a tetrahedral dice.

After countless hours, it seemed TZUKH was always meant to be.

Carved brass and marble originals.

The two brass dice were shaped from round brass draw knobs and hand engraved.

Straight metal files were used to shape the marble figurines in the same way the Minoans created their marble statues 3500 years ago.

Travel, Balcony and Lounge editions were designed and hand-crafted.

These sets were sold from markets and played extensively for further market research.

The two, three and four player versions developed their own personalities.