Games: Chess etc

The World Team Championship in Lucerne ended in disappointment for England, who, after eyeing possible gold medals throughout the event, ended up with a 2-2 draw with Ukraine and a 11/2-21/2 defeat by Armenia pushing them into fourth place. The winners were Russia, who beat Georgia 4-0 in the last round to edge half a point ahead of the US.

More on this event tomorrow, for this is a rich time for games of skill. At the weekend, the third World Rummikub championship took place at Danesfield House, Marlow, and the Langham Hilton, London. The winner was Peter Mentzij of the Netherlands. Rummikub is an improvement on the game of Rummy, played with tiles instead of playing cards. Instead of just collecting sets or runs of cards, and adding to other people's sets, players are allowed to reorganise any cards that have been put down on the table into new combinations, thus bringing a new dimension and added skill to the game. It's practically a national obsession in The Netherlands, where four million sets have been sold. Look out for it - it's time the British took Rummikub seriously.

Finally, there is Mastermind, that coloured-peg logical guessing game. This morning, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, a Mastermind contest will be played in the Cabinet War rooms between Oleg Gordievsky (ex-KGB) and Alan Strip (ex-Bletchley Park). It started 25 years ago, and is still going strong. Eat your heart out, Magnus Magnusson.

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