Dale Newfield wrote:

How about this:

`I think the variation below prevents starvation, as every round results
``in at least one point being awarded.
`

Student picks a number, X.

`The master picks a rule that they think will take the student X turns to
``figure out.
`

The Student gets points for guessing in less than or equal to X turns,
and is given one anyway if the master made the rule too hard:
(1 point if not solved at X, 2 if solved at X, 3 at X-1, etc.)
The Master gets two points if it's solved in exactly X turns.

`If the rule is still not known after X turns, the rule is too hard, it
``is divulged, and the next round begins.
`

The result:
Make a rule too easy and you end up giving away points.
Make a rule too hard and still give away points.

`Do it just right and you don't lose ground on your "opponent" (you each
``get 2 points).
`
-Dale