A Mind Stimulating Game

In Memory of Late Dr. C. K. Tung

Offered As A Game in Mi-Card

36 Saw Mill River Road
Hawthorme, NY 10532


According to Dr. C.K. Tung and others, NIM is derived from an ancient Chinese game where people pick up pebbles out of a predetermined number of pebbles according to a simple rule such as each person can pick up one, two or three pebbles at a time. The person who ended up picking up the last pebble either wins or loses as per agreement made prior to the game. There are claims that the name of NIM (and the game algorithm) is invented by C. L. Bouton of Harvard University 100 years ago. Others acknowledge the Chinese origin but trace the word nim to German nehmen or nimm (to take). There is no argumnet that NIM is a mathematic game.

In Memory of Dr. C. K. Tung

Dr. C. K. Tung, who was educated as a mathematician, was facinated by the variations of this game and the mathematic proof of how each game (a given pattern and set of rules) could be played to win for certainty. He had devoted considerable amount of time after he retired from IBM to develop a computer version of the NIM game. He had tried to interest many of his colleagues and friends (including the author) to create new games (new pattern and rules) to be developed into a computer game. The challenge of course is to program the game strategy. Dr. Tung had programmed a few games which can be played by a person against the computer or between two people. Dr. Tung was interested in making NIM as a popular game for stimulating the mind. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2002 before he was able to popularize his collections. In memory of him, we include a few of his collections in this Mi-Card (Magic information Card for marketing) as mind stimulating games.

How to Play the Nim Game

General Rule

The game is represented by a geometrical pattern consisting of marbles located at a number of nodes or intersections. The pattern may be perceived as a two dimentional or three dimensional object (sort of like a molecule with atoms and bonds). The general rule is that players take turn to remove the marbles according to a specific rule. The person picks up the last marble is the winner.

Specific Rules

The specific rules define how many marbles can be picked up at one time and the geometrical relationship between the marbles. For example, one up to six marbles may be picked up at one time. Except the single marble, the marbles must be connected by bonds to form a pattern such as a connected pair, triangle, square or a hexagon. One may also have a specific rule about color matching if the marbles are color coded. For example, the triangle of marbles must be of the same color. The specific rules are given for a specific game in the game instruction menu.

Game 1 - Lotus

Click here to download the game and data file onto your computer. When "File Download" dialogue box appear, please select "Save this program to disk", select or create a new directory to save "gnim.zip", then click "OK".  After downloaded the "gnim.zip", please use WinZip to uncompress files into a directory , for example, directory "GNIM", on your PC. 

This game must run in a MS/DOS Window. Please open up a DOS command window, and click "ALT+ RETURN" to make the DOS window full screen display. Then go to the directory where you just saved the "gnim.exe",  and run this program "gnim.exe". 

      In the program interface, the command buttons are as follows:

  • Click "Game" to enter the game name - "LOTUSR2"
  • Click "Start" button to start the game
  • If you have any questions, click "HELP" button to get help for how to play the game.

Related Web Sites

  1. http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/gbs/Academics/gbsmat/Internet%20Projects/Nim/nim.html
  2. http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/cgt/
  3. http://gotofreegames.com/nim/free_nim_puzzle.htm
  4. http://www.cut-the-knot.org/nim_st.shtml
  5. http://www.2020tech.com/fruit/
  6. http://www.csm.astate.edu/Nim.html
  7. http://www.darkfish.com/nimskulls/nimskulls.html
  8. http://www.chlond.demon.co.uk/Nim.html
  9. http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~amc/LoseNIM/
  10. http://www.spdcc.com:8431/nim.html


The games are copyrighted in memory of Dr. C. K. Tung. This article with references is written by his friend Dr. Ifay Chang