Sunday, 7 August 2022

The game of Lines of Action: Rotational Colour Symmetry Variation


Much of the excitement about playing abstract connection games with kids has come to me from a simple game called Lines of Action (or LOA). It is a fine thing to see somebody take a culture artefact — a standard draughts board with pieces — and transform it into something else both traditional and elegant that combines the gravitas of Go with a flavour of Renju.

A characteristic property of LOA is that it is a converging game, since the initial position consists of just 24 pieces and during the game the number of pieces usually decreases. Paradoxically, these physical boundaries within the game itself lead to a number of meaningful gameplay variations without changing game mechanics. 

Since its invention LOA has been completely playable on larger boards. Some players prefer the standard board with the Parachute variation by placing one of the opponents pieces anywhere on the board. Also, there is the Four Handed LOA variation, and so on.

The following variation which we invented is based on the well known Scrabbled Eggs variation where black and white pieces alternate all around the board. 

The Rotational Colour Symmetry Variation is not only inexhaustibly interesting but it is also more challenging introducing broad-ranging regularities across the initial layout where the starting position of the pieces is randomised. 

The following pictures show some examples of starting positions in which the pieces are placed In a symmetrical shape, one-half is the mirror image of the other half. 

In spite of the first impression, this type of setup is well balanced; rotational ,aka ‘radial’ symmetry means that when you rotate something, nothing changes.

Interestingly,  some layouts may put players, yearly in the game, in a position where they have to decide between several conflicting interests, strategies, or tactics.

The most common method of simple randomisation is flipping a coin or rolling a dice. If you are a Linux user, you might want to use the following bash script which I wrote a couple of years ago. You can download it by copying the link below…

Rotational Colour Symmetry Setup Generator

The detailed rules of Lines of Action can be found at

We hope that this variation will inspire tons and tons of active playtime. Have a quiet and interruption-free place to play this wonderful state-of-the-art game of balance and observation. Doing that you'll have moments of artistic pleasure and satisfaction.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Fast Speech

Speech is broken up into units often with pauses between them. In fast speech this units may be quite long and spoken quickly. One or more word in each unit is emphasised and may be said more clearly than others.


Sunday, 16 January 2022

Stress Shift

Most dictionaries which give the pronunciation of words also indicate which syllables have stress. For example, Macmillan  Dictionary shows that 'party' and 'remember' have stress on only one syllable and that 'controversial' and 'kindergarten' have stress on two syllables; these words show main stress and a secondary one. 

The tendency, to avoid stress on adjacent syllables by moving one stress to another syllable is called a stress shift/clash. A simple example is the phrase thirteen men which is usually pronounced ˈθɜːtiːn ˈmen rather than θɜːˈtiːn men.

Words which often have stress shift include: -teen numbers - four'teen, nine'teen; and two-part numbers -- forty-'five, seventy-‘eight; alto'gether, inde'pendent, indi'stinct, medi'ocre, satis'factory, uni'versity, week'end, worth'while; some place names which have main stress on the last syllable, such as: Ber’lin, Montre'al. 

But some other words with secondary stress rarely have stress shift. For example: a,pproxi'mation, corre'spondence, inde'cision, pro,nunci'ation. They are usually long words.

Read the following sentences:

- We used to live near the Berlin Wall. 

- She's got a job in Berlin. 

- I'm working on my pronunciation.  

- I'm doing a pronunciation course. 

- It was just a routine job. 

- The operation was quite routine.

- The film was made for propaganda purposes. 

- The book was just political propaganda.

- The region has a Mediterranean climate.

 - I love living next to the Mediterranean. 

- Next month she'll be sixteen. 

- It cost sixteen euros.

For particular emphasis or contrast, syllables other than those with main or secondary stress can be made prominent. This often happens in conversations. 

A: Does the tabletop need washing? 

B: No, the tableCLOTH.  Though in isolation, the word tablecloth has stress on the thirst syllable. 

Now read the following sentences:

A: So we have to take the old footpath? B: No, we take the old footbridge.

A: So you thought the work was precise? B: No, I said it was concise.

A: You've lost your handbook, have you? B: No, I've lost my handbag.

A: Yes, I thought the performance was lifeless, too. B: No, I said I thought it was lifelike

A: I didn't think his findings were very objective. B: No, they were very subjective.

I hoped it helped.

Saturday, 25 September 2021


In today’s world, English is becoming more and more important. In addition to opening up employment opportunities, this noble language helps to make a real connection with people and to know more about diverse cultures, places and lifestyles. The more proficient you are, the better you can express yourself.

Nowadays, many films, TV shows, books and music are published and produced in English. By understanding English, you won’t need to rely on translations and subtitles anymore.

Since English is spoken as a first language in 53 countries and as a second language in over 118 countries, learning the language makes it much easier to travel anywhere. Indeed, airport announcements, train timetables, emergency information and street signs are often available in English, including in countries where the native language uses a different type of alphabet.

Even more, learning a foreign language enhances your cognitive and analytical abilities. In the long term, bilingualism can keep the brain strong and healthy into old age and supports concentration and memory skills. On an individual level, it improves personality and increases sense of self-worth. In simple words, learning a foreign language makes the brain stronger and more versatile.


Saturday, 18 September 2021

Why I'm not longer going to school in Smolensk

It is a shame that the government-run public schools in Russia are left to the fraudulent bureaucratic side of things where the common bonus structures lead to corporate corruption, fraud and other forms of unethical behaviour involving headmasters and their deputy directors. At the same time school teachers live at or under the federal poverty level; as we can see, it is almost impossible to reverse the moral degradation of school staff here once it has taken hold.

Surprisingly, being within the poverty threshold, public schoolteachers in this country never resist role as 'concealed administrative resource' in Russia's national elections. Unfortunately, putinism  has transformed the teachers into slaves of a particular type 
 the slaves are struggling for the right to remain slaves. It looks like a kind of pareidolia in which teachers respond to a stimulus, by perceiving pattern of patriotism where none exists.

Why do school headmasters ask you to do something unethical in your job? Why do teachers publish in "sham" journals falsify data? Why do school staff members and administrators ignore pupils' misbehaviour? Why do teachers actively cheat in their school records which leads to a huge personal tragedy for the children and their parents when unscrupulous students beat out honest, hard-working applicants for university spots?
Answers to these and similar questions will clearly contribute to better understanding the depth of the problem.

Similarly, the pupils are affected negatively thus their future prospects are compromised. The teens feel frustrated with the status quo, pessimistic about the possibility of change, and torn between their dreams for the future and the rigid bell-ridden schooling designed to prepare indentured servants harvesting for the party elite. That said, this goes with lowered productivity and absenteeism.

To make things worse, last month the school told that the teachers could keep their position only if they were fully vaccinated with unproven Sputnik COVID jab in two doses. But, legally, no, you can't be forced to take a vaccine; you're not going to be physically restrained and given a vaccine by any legitimate public health authority...


I simply could not cope up with this toxic unethical school culture and refused to work for any who did this. That's why I left school. Registered & Protected