This article originally appeared in the June 2000 issue of GammOnLine.
Thank you to Kit Woolsey for his kind permission to reproduce it here.

Jemimah Plays Nackgammon—Not

By Stein Kulseth
Harvey's Bar and Grill was almost deserted save for an old couple near the window, and Jemimah who had managed to persuade Harvey himself to join her for a game.

"Hola," Harvey shouted in his booming bass voice, "Take over here will you, I got work to do."

"Sure, I can see it is packed in here tonight," I teased, but really, as long as Jemimah is there the place is full enough as far as I'm concerned.

"Hi-yo, Stein, how's it going," Jemimah asked.

"Hi, Jem, just fine. I can see you're hustling Harvey playing Nackgammon."



"No, just ordinary BG."

"So how come you have set up the board to play Nackgammon?"

"I haven't, this is just what the board looked like when he left."

"Jeez, how on earth did you arrive at this position?"

Jemimah smiled, and by the look in those brown-green-orange eyes I could tell what was coming: "Exactly what I intended to ask you, how did we arrive at this position?"

"I cannot possibly know, there will be an unlimited number of possible games that lead to it."

"Yes, but none of them are shorter than the one we played, and in this game the difference between my dice decreased by 1 for each roll" Jemimah continued.

You see what I mean when I say that nothing about Jemimah is straight forward? I waited a while shifting my gaze from the green to the orange and back, but Jemimah just looked back and smiled some more.

"And that is all I need to know?" I finally asked.

"That is all, you are a smart guy, you know"

Yeah, I know, only being around Jemimah I tend to forget.


Starting Position


Current Position

Minimal number of moves.
The difference between Jemimah's dice decreased by 1 each roll.
How did the game go?

Solution to the puzzle will appear next month.

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