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    Alexey Pajitnov
      A mathematician in his native Moscow, Alexey always had an interest in gaming. From Pentomino, a puzzle game with geometric-shaped pieces that fit together in a box, he developed the prototype for Tetris in 1984. Although the game went on to sell over 40 million copies, Soviet licensing agreements at the time were structured in a way that Pajitnov did not receive any of the profits.

Tetris' popularity stems from the fact that it is easy to pick up, yet so difficult to master - an often elusive formula in gaming. Since its inception, Tetris has grabbed the attention of both hard-core and casual gamers alike, as well as the female audience. The success of Tetris has resulted in a barrage of wanna-bes and clones, but despite technological improvements and innovative twists to the theme, it's hard to beat the original.

Pajitnov later went on to create games like El-Fish and Ice and Fire, as well as games for Nintendo. Spectrum HoloByte published Pajitnov games like Faces, Welltris, Knight Moves, and Hatris. Hired by Microsft last year, Pajitnov's first project is to create several of the brainteasers in the company's latest Entertainment Pack, The Puzzle Collection.

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