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Sunday, 8 January 2012


Among the treasures found at Ur is a board laid out as if for the game of backgammon dating back to about 2500BC.

The movement of the pieces along the backgammon board depends on the numbers thrown. Until the six-sided dice was developed by about 2000 BC, a number was established by throwing sticks and counting those which fall with a given side upwards.

During a game of backgammon in the year 480, the Byzantine Emperor Zeno had a dice roll that was so unlucky that he wrote an epigram to record it and we still know of it to this day.

Backgammon was introduced to Britain by the Crusaders in the late 12th century. It was originally known in England as "Tables."

Illustration of backgammon players from the 13th century Carmina Burana

By 1750 it was called the "back-game," - backgammon as  in certain circumstances a player must return a piece to its starting place to begin moving it forward all over again.

Backgammon remains to this day one of the most popular board games in the Middle East.

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