The history of Backgammon goes back approximately 5,000 years further than ancient Egypt. So technically, being on the site â€śdo you rememberâ€ť, is quite optimistic. If you do remember the early versions of this game, and I get it wrong, please donâ€™t curse me!
This board game existed for millennia in Ancient Egypt and Southwest Asia. Itâ€™s hard to imagine some of our own boardgames having such staying power. But who knows. I hold out high hopes for monopoly, not such high ones for "pop up pirate" but who knows?
While the rules are fairly simple, I wonâ€™t explain them exhaustively here, because reading rules about counter games can lead to severe tiredness, and in some cases high states of confusion. However, as a brief explanation:
Backgammon playing pieces are known variously as checkers, draughts, stones, men, counters, pawns, or chips (which covers all the bases, I think). The objective is to remove all of your own pieces from the board before your opponent can. You play with two dice which each can count for either moving one or two of your pieces.
Thereâ€™s been quite a lot of international competitions held in backgammon. The first world championship competition was in Nevada in 1967. Tim Holland was declared the winner that year and at the tournament the following year. The Championship has been played since, and since 1975 has been in Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo tournament draws hundreds of players and spectators, and is played over the course of a week.
Like chess and any board game, I canâ€™t imagine being a spectator. I donâ€™t really understand the attraction. But maybe the attraction is Monte Carlo itself. Iâ€™m sure if the championships were held in Plymouth they wouldnâ€™t attract quite as many contestants or spectators!