The puzzle consists of a looped handle interlocked with nine rings. The object is to remove the nine rings from the handle. It will take 341 moves to do the puzzle but there’s a definite method to solve it and once you know it you’ll certainly be able to solve the puzzle every time. But like any great puzzle the goal can sound very simple “just remove the nine rings from the handle” but how to discover the two rules will require a lot of thought and some measure of patience.
The puzzle has been analysed by many mathematicians and more recently computer scientists alike. It is particularly interesting because it’s been shown that the process of removing the rings can be directly related to binary numbers. Known around the world as the Chinese Ring puzzle, or just the Chinese Rings, it’s real name is Jiulianhuan but over the years it’s also been know as Nine Linked Rings, The Linked Rings, Chinese Folk Rings, Devil’s Needle and more…. In France they call it Baguenaudier, in Italy it’s known as Anelli di Cardano or Cardano’s Rings.
Perhaps China’s most famous puzzle ever, certainly equally as well known as the Tangram puzzle. Stewart Culin (an American ethnographer 1858-1929) proved the Chinese Ring puzzle was invented by the Chinese general Hung Ming in the 2nd century AD.
Emperors and common people alike have celebrated this amazing puzzle. We know about a beautiful jade puzzle owned by Emperor Kangxi who reigned 1662-1722 and in the modern era Pu Yi who was the last emperor of the Qing dynasty (1906-1667) had his own beautiful silver and jade puzzle.
The puzzle is mentioned in literature from as early as 1760 and there was even a folk song written about it.
Even the west has know about the puzzle since the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli, a contemporary of Leonardo de Vinci, wrote about it in a mathematics publication in about 1510.
The Chinese Ring puzzle is a type types of “n-ary” puzzle meaning each move has “n” number of state – in this case 2 states being binary. These types of “n-ary” puzzles have either 2 states – binary, or 3 states – ternary, and more. We’ve given n-ary puzzles their own category on this website.
Size: Length of looped handle 220mm Nicely boxed with solution in decorative Chinese themed box as shown.
Check out this very good website Classical Chinese Puzzles with the history of Chinese puzzles including the Chinese ring puzzle.