The Portuguese Mathematical Games Competition

During the day of November, 26, 2004, almost 500 students (aging 7 to 17) from all Portugal joined in Lisbon to play six different abstract games.

The Portuguese Tournament of Mathematical Games (CNJM in Portuguese) started months before in more than 200 schools, scattered throughout all Portugal, with local tournaments to select the best players.

The games were:

Dots'n'Boxes - the combinatorial game studied by Berlekamp

Polyhedrons [1,2,3,] - a puzzle to build three polyhedrons as fast as possible

Wari - a Mancala variant

Amazons - two armies of eight queens trying to stalemate each other.

Pawns - a game to promote one of your eight chess pawns

Hex - the famous connection game.

The games were divided by students' age:

First cycle (7-10 years) students played Dots'n'boxes, Polyhedrons or Wari

Second Cycle (10-12 years) students played Polyhedrons, Wari or Pawns

Third Cycle (12-15 years) students played Wari, Amazons or Pawns

Secondary (15-17 years) students played Amazons, Pawns or Hex

This meant 12 independent tournaments (one per age per game). The finals happened at the "Knowledge Pavilion" situated at Expo'98 old site. More information can be found at (in Portuguese).


Polyhedrons had 45 students (here are some pictures from the second cycle finals).

The second cycle final

The winning moment


Wari (also known as Ouri in Portuguese) had a total of 142 students.

very tidy in the beginning

the initial games

students playing

the final games


Amazonshad a total of 94 students.


Pawns had a total of 152 students.

before the battle

facing armies

during the initial phase

one of the finals


Hexhad a total of 37 students from the last cycle (15-17 year old students).

The finalists

the first and second best players

Everybody received books. The second places received a scientific calculator. The first prizes were personal computers. In this era of videogames, brainless TV and light reading, it's refreshing to know that some kids returned home with a computer just because they were good abstract game players. Their names are: 

Game Cycle Finalist Names School


1st cycle

Winner: Pedro Duarte
Finalist: João Borralho

Colégio Sagrado Coração de Maria - Lisboa
EB1 Carvalhal de Turquel - Alcobaça


1st cycle

2nd cycle

Winner: Daniel Miranda
Finalist: Francisca Salgado
Winner: Margarida Reis
Finalist: Wu WeiQing

2º Jardim-Escola João de Deus - Coimbra
Colégio Nossa Senhora da Assunção - Anadia
Colégio Sagrado Coração de Maria - Lisboa
Visconde Juromenha – Tapada das Mercês


1st cycle

2nd cycle

3rd cycle

Winner: Pedro Carvalho
Finalist: André Santos 
Winner: Beatriz Ferreira 
Finalist: Ana Carvalho 
Winner: Daniel Filipe 
Finalist: Paulo César Leitão 

2º Jardim-Escola João de Deus - Coimbra
Externato Champagnat
EB 2,3 Padre Francisco Soares
EB 2,3 de Matosinhos
EB 2,3 de Santana
EB 2,3 de Atouguia da Baleia


2nd cycle

3rd cycle


Winner: Luís Maduro 
Finalist: Rui Machado 
Winner: Vladimir Melnik 
Finalist: Hélder César 
Winner: António Pereira 
Finalist: Filipe Brandão 

Agrupamento de Escolas Eugénio de Castro
EB 2, 3 de Tondela
Externato Cooperativo da Benedita
EB 2,3 de Santana
ES/3 Augusto Gomes - Matosinhos
ES/3 Oliveira do Douro


3rd cycle


Winner: Diogo Oliveira 
Finalist: João Loureiro 
Winner: Cláudio Pinto 
Finalist: Edgar Lopes 

ES/3 Oliveira do Douro
Colégio Sagrado Coração de Maria - Lisboa
ES/3 de Valbom
ES Viriato - Viseu



Winner: Tiago Azevedo 
Finalist: Filipe Marques 

Colégio Sagrado Coração de Maria - Lisboa
ES/3 de Valbom

The organizing committee

This would not be possible without the help of hundreds of persons, from all math teachers across Portugal to all of those who helped at the finals. Here are the main people that worked in this great event .

João Almiro

Jorge Nuno Silva, João Pedro Neto, Maria Teresa Santos and Ana Fraga

Luís Reis

Jorge Rezende

António Costa

Jorge Luz

World Traditional Games

In the same space, it was exposed a beautiful exposition of traditional board games. I'm sure you are able to recognize most of them.


all together now!

return to WAG