Y is for YINSH

YINSH by Chris Brum, it is part of the GIPF project; , which is also a member of the GIPF project. Like all games in the GIPF project, YINSH is an abstract game. The rules are relatively simple yet yield a constantly changing playing field.

The goal of the game is to remove three of your rings before your opponent removes three of their rings. This is done by moving, with some constraints, one of the your rings across the board, and flipping over the tokens that you pass over. Get five tokens of your color in a row, and you can remove one of your rings. The process of removing your own rings reduces your available options in play, so it becomes harder to block your opponent.

I have played a handful of games of YINSH with my partner and my son and have always enjoyed my games; It has the feel of Othello, but instead of coping with less and less space, the game feels like it slowly opens up, giving more and more room to breath.

The game itself takes about 20 minutes to play, which means it is perfect as a best 2 out of 3 game. In fact the GIPF project games each play at 20 or minutes. The idea being that you start a game of GIPF, and each GIPF project game has a special GIPF piece that you can attempt to play. In order to play a special piece (i.e. the YINSH piece in the GIPF game), you have to “pause” your game of GIPF, break out another game (i.e. YINSH board), and then win that game. With victory in hand, you then return to the GIPF game, and play, in this case, the YINSH piece (or DVONN, PÜNCT, TZAAR, ZÈRTZ).