Meet the Maker: Allyn Kahn, Inventor of the Mentagy Puzzle

Allyn KingAllyn Kahn is a long time Chess coach turned award winning game maker, best known for the Mentagy Puzzle.

Allyn has exhibited at Gulf Coast MakerCon previously, and we’re happy he’s joining us again this year. You can check out this great recent story in the Tampa Bay Times about Allyn and his Mentagy puzzle here  , and read on to learn more about his work and what he’s bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016!

I am a Chess Expert with more than 30 years of college teaching experience. Over the years I have taught Math, Logic and Philosophy. I presently teach Critical Thinking online at Champlain College in Vermont, and teach Chess in after school enrichment programs in Tampa Bay.

A few years ago I invented the Mentagy Puzzle ™ to help my chess students. It turns out mentagy puzzlethat the puzzle is popular with all ages from 8 to 88. The Mentagy Puzzle™ is easy to learn and entertaining, and has won several awards, including the Creative Child Award, Academic Choice Award, and The Tillywig Brain Child Award.

My original motivation for developing Mentagy was because I was looking for a game that was simpler than chess. I wanted something that still had enough complexity so that I could use it to teach basic strategic concepts common to many games. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I ended up making up my own puzzle game.mentagy


For Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016, I will be bringing the Mentagy book and the Mentagy Puzzle Box. People will be able to try out Mentagy, which will be on sale at our table. A second Mentagy book is in the works.  I will also have some chess sets set up for people to play a game against a friend, or you can challenge me.

Gulf Coast MakerCon is a great place to witness creativity in action! Seeing what other people are doing will inspire you to tap into your own inventive spirit, whether it is in the field of music, art, photography, games, robots, or technology.


Visit to learn more and try out the online version of Mentagy. You can meet Allyn in person, and try out Mentagy for yourself, at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016.

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