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Chess, tic-tac-toe, The Landlord’s Game and Rubik’s cube

Some information and fun facts about a few classic games.


Chess is one of the most classic and oldest games. The earliest evidences of chess date from the 6th century AD, in India. There are chess tournaments all over the world. There is even a biennial Chess Olympiad. It is very popular online and as phone app. One of the most popular online platforms is, where you can learn and play against a computer against other players.

It is also available as free app. Chess has also been the subject of many movies, like “Searching for Bobby Fischer” (trailer below). Bobby Fischer was an American chess player, considered by some as the greatest chess player of all time -although the film is not about him.

“Searching for Bobby Fischer” – Trailer

You may not know it but chess is also used to teach the exponential sequence, as in the popular story of the wheat and the chessboard.


Tic-tac-toe has also unknown origin but similar games of three-in-a-row game boards can be traced back to ancient Egypt. It became one of the first known video games (created in 1952). Originally it is a game for two players although now it can be played against a computer: just Google “tic tac toe” and you will be able to play an online version!

Tic-tac-toe Online

It has many variants, a popular one being “4 in a row” and the popular game Connect Four.

The Landlord’s Game (Monopoly)

The Landlord’s Game is the “prequel” of the Monopoly. It was designed and patented in 1904 by the American game designer Elizabeth Magie. The game’s actual goal was to show the bad effects of monopolies in an economy. On 1933 Parker Brothers created a new version of the Landlord’s Game, much more similar to the Monopoly we know now. On 1973 a game named Anti-Monopoly was published by Ralph Anspach, an American economics professor from San Francisco State University, which has a similar goal to the The Landlord’s Game -to show how harmful monopolies can be in a free-entreprise system.

The Landlord's Game board

Rubik’s Cube

Rubik’s Cube is youngest game of this selection and already a classic. Rubik’s Cube is a 3-D combination puzzle created in 1974 by the Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik, and it is considered the world’s best selling toy. It was originally named Magic Cube. Among the names that were considered there was Gordian Knot. Google released a Google Chrome Cube Lab, a “gallery of chrome experiments based on the Rubik’s Cube”, in association with Erno Rubik. There are popular speed competitions on how fast can users solve the puzzle, named Speed Cubing. Currently Yusheng Du holds the record with 3.47 seconds!

Rubik's Cube

By Imk3nnyma – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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