Picks and Pans Review: The Game of Skirrid
International grand master Viktor Korchnoi calls it "the only modern board game that can be compared to chess." Britain's chess champion, George Botteril, praises it as "easy to learn but difficult to play well." The game is Skirrid, dreamed up one weekend by two Welshmen, Mark Eliot and Brian Taylor. Inspired by a double-peaked mountain called the Skirrid, it is somewhat similar to Scrabble except that one scores points by the placement of shapes instead of letters. There are six kinds of pieces, and the strategy is often subtle and elegant. It is designed for up to six players, but two is ideal. Skirrid was no sooner introduced last year than it became the fifth-best-selling board game in Britain, and it is just now entering the U.S. market (at about $10). In the original version the rules come in five languages, so when outwitting an opponent with a particularly clever placement, one might exult, "Take that, you schlange. My pistolet has completely nullified your bastone." But the one sold here will just be in English; players will have to make do with calling the pieces "snake," "gun" and "rod."
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