Teeko is a game for two players by John Scarne.
Teeko was developed over a period of 15 years by John Scarne.A With the trademark Scarne bombast and confidence, he believed that it was a game to rival chess and checkers, and that it would eventually rank alongside (or above) them. Nowadays it is barely known.
His (future) wife Steffi Storm is described in the book as a “top-ranking Teeko player”, although she would later state that “if I win, it’s by dumb luck.”B Scarne thought so much of Teeko that he would later name their son (John Teeko Scarne) after it.B
Teeko is played with four pieces per player (usually in red and black), and a special board (although it can also be played on a standard chess/checkers board):
The aim of the game is to create a straight line of four pieces, along the horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines on the board, or alternately, to form all four pieces into a square. There are 44 distinct winning positions.
In the placement phase of the game, players take turns putting one piece at a time onto any empty space on the board. If a player can make a line or square with all four pieces, then they win, otherwise the movement phase begins. During the movement phase, players take turns moving any of their pieces along a line to another empty space. Whoever can first form a line or square wins.
In Advanced Teeko, squares can also be made in “extended” form, with gaps between the pieces:
In Advanced Teeko there are 58 distinct winning positions.
In Alternate Teeko, during the placement phase, each player’s pieces are placed by their opponent, instead of by the player that owns the pieces. The opponent may also ‘pass’ to allow the owning player to place the piece where they wish.
Scarne, John (, originally published 1955). Scarne on Teeko. Lybrary.com.
Beeler, Michael, Richard William Gosper, and Richard Schroeppel (). HAKMEM [archived]. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.