You will now play Hexapawn with McíMatch the Robot.

In each game you must take the first move and the robot the second. (You will be white and the robot orange.) Then you continue to take it in turns until the game is over. You may make any move you like, but for the robot to move it must carry out the following procedure.

Find the matchbox that shows the position of the board after your move. (Note that not all moves are given. Sometimes you will need to use the mirror image of a move.) Shake the matchbox and without looking select one bead from inside the matchbox. Close the matchbox and place the bead on top of it. Now the robot must make the move indicated by the coloured arrow that matches this bead, even if it is a silly move.

If at the end of the game the robot has won, place all the beads back in their boxes and play again. If the robot loses, punish it by confiscating the bead that represents the robotís last move. Return all other beads to their boxes. (If you find an empty box, it means the robot has no moves and must resign. In this case still confiscate the bead corresponding to the last move the robot made.)

Keep a record of who wins and who looses and find the number of games the robot must play so that it always wins. Now take your robot and play your parents or teachers. They will be astounded to find that they can be outsmarted by a set of matchboxes.

[Reference: Martin Gardner, Further Mathematical Diversions, Pelican Books, UK, 1981]