Not so very long ago there became widespread an excellent kind of game, called Solitaire,
where I play on my own, but as if with a friend as witness and referee to see that I play
correctly. A board is filled with stones set in holes, which are to be removed in turn, but none
(except the first, which may be chosen for removal at will) can be removed unless you are
able to jump another stone across it into an adjacent empty place, when it is captured as in
Draughts. He who removes all the stones right to the end according to this rule, wins; but
he who is compelled to leave more than one stone still on the board, yields the palm. This
game can more elegantly be played backwards, after one stone has been put at will on an
empty board, by placing the rest with it, but the same rule being observed for the addition of
stones as was stated just above for their removal. Thus we can either fill the board, or, what
would be more clever, shape a predetermined figure from the stones; perhaps a triangle, a
quadrilateral, an octagon, or some other, if this be possible; but such a task is by no means
always possible: and this itself would be a valuable art, to foresee what can be achieved; and
to have some way, particularly geometrical, of determining this.
Play the game
Here you can play the game on different deserts. In the reverse problem the goal is to remove all the pegs from the desert. In the forward problem you start with a configurations of pegs and your goal is to bring a peg to the center of the desert.