Let's play Mornington Crescent!

For the uninitiated, Mornington Crescent (or MornC) is the greatest battle of wits and nerve in the world.

I’ll start: Heathrow Terminal 4

Previous (and boring) thread.

Cunctator never did get the hang of the game. It’s understandable that not everybody progresses beyond the initial moves within the first few years of study.

Never mind…are reverse angles being forfeited, with double entrances? If so, Swiss Cottage.

In 1996, I spent a week in London, studying this game under the tutelage of one of the true Grand Masters, and I regret to say that I was only able to absorb a fraction of the basic gambits then taught. The problem is the combination of formulaic moves which serve one well initially are utterly useless in certain circumstances; indeed, the use of such moves blindly will scuttle your efforts rather quickly.

It’s frustrating, especially to a Yank such as myself, who depended on the A-Z and was thus completely unready for tournament play.

Having said all that, I do recognize the proper play here, and feel I should give it, lest the game quickly progress past my meagre ability to contribute. As the 1994 championship’s Farringdon / Barbican fiasco proved, the only workable play from Swiss Cottage, reverse angles being forfeited, double entrances is:


Not bad. I don’t consider the outcome from the Barbican issue to be of great concern - it only concerned peak-time primary colours, and so distinguished Gledhill’s Amendment from the deep-level signalling paradox.


I hope I’m not backing myself into a corner by playing such an obvious, even textbook move, but…

Edgware Road

Be careful though; all is not as it seems.

Textbook maybe, but is that the third revised edition of Gromwald’s that you’re using? Where on earth did you manage to get hold of a copy of that?! It’s pulled in Jubilee stops, keeping moves south of the river in semi-tension.


Hmmm. This seems too obvious… what am I missing?

South Ruislip.

:smack: Never mind. Now I see it.

Go ahead and humiliate me.

Ah, yes, I thought you’d fall for the Circle Line diversion.

High Street Kensington

I may as well confess that many of my aforementioned tutoring sessions were in a local pub, and I may have been distracted a time or three by the local brews. But that’s just making excuses; the Circle Line diversion was explained patiently and I knew it cold at one point. I know after the fact rationalizing means little, but I even had a nice little mnemonic: Priest Buys Nothing, He Gains His Simple Keep to remind me Paddington, Bayswater, Notting Hill Gate, High Street Kensington.

However, the point is lost and there’s no crying about it.

From High Street Kensington, there are about six workable choices, and all of them, frankly, are a mess. Assuming this isn’t a peak hours only game (and if it is, I may as well bow out) I will play Blackfriars.

Just a quick reminder - the Circle Line diversion is when the train is passed forward, and there are less than two signals between the driver’s cab and the terminus.

Blackfriars is a risky move - assuming you’re not playing the Charing Cross name-change tactic!

London Bridge

All six a mess? I take it you didn’t remember Klaskarink’s classic escape move (which is usually applicable in the early stages of game, provided shunting hasn’t been invoked) and called Elephant and Castle.

Doesn’t Klaskarink’s necessitate northbound travel?

As I recall, you can’t call Elephant and Castle because (a) Waterloo hasn’t been played; (b) it’s a move south of the river, and © the opening play was Heathrow Terminal 4, the Heathrow stop closest to the river. Klaskarink’s commentary assumes a Picadilly or Bakerloo line opening, yes, but specifically NOT HT4, Lambeth North, and … one or two others which I don’t recall.

I welcome correction on this point.

Thank you!!! Yes, I was sure I remembered correctly.

Northern, not Bakerloo. The island-platform dominance surely makes that clear! Apart from that, you’ve got the gist of it.

Euston Square


I suppose I deserved that.

All righty, Stepney Green. And now we’re stuck for six moves making these annoying little hops.

Grrrr. Bromley-by-Bow.