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Eliters Newsletter
Issue Number 44
October 2006
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Spotlight on Backgammon Yahoo! (BGY!)

Backgammon is NOT Parcheesi!!

Backgammon is a game of luck and skill. It has been around a long time, with origins dating back possibly 5000 years. The ancient Greeks played. So did the Romans. The game we know today was refined in England in the seventeenth century, which is also when it acquired the name backgammon. One significant innovation of the twentieth century was the addition of the doubling cube in the 1920s. 

The rules of backgammon are simple and easy to learn. In fact, it is quite remarkable that a game as rich and interesting as backgammon has such a simple set of rules.  Backgammon is a game for two players, played on a board consisting of twenty-four narrow triangles called points.  The triangles alternate in color and are grouped into four quadrants of six triangles each. The quadrants are referred to as a player's home board and outer board, and the opponent's home board and outer board. The home and outer boards are separated from each other by a ridge down the center of the board called the bar.  The points are numbered for either player starting in that player's home board. The outermost point is the twenty-four point, which is also the opponent's one point. Each player has fifteen checkers of his own color.

The initial arrangement of checkers is: two on each player's twenty-four point, five on each player's thirteen point, three on each player's eight point, and five on each player's six point.  A doubling cube, with the numerals 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 on its faces, is used to keep track of the current stake (or match points) of the game.  The object of the game is move all your checkers into your own home board and then bear them off. The first player to bear off all of their checkers wins the game.

For more information on the typical games offered in tourneys, refer to Help Topic 3106.  For more information on Cube Strategy, refer to the Feb 2005 issue of the newsletter. 

Some variations of the game that are used are:

No Hit Backgammon:  In this version, the object is NOT to hit your opponent and send them to the bar.  If you do, you lose.  If no one hits the regular Backgammon finishes the match and the winner is the player bearing off their checkers first.

No Hit & No Bear-Off Backgammon:  A bit more difficult than simple No Hit, this version plays exactly the same way with one exception.  If no one hits, then the first to bear off the first checker loses.

Best of Three:  Regular or a No Hit variation.  Players need to win two matches to advance.

BGY also has Double Eliminations, Round Robins, Super Robins, Foursomes and Partners. 

New this month is A.R.T., a creation of BGY TD Miff.  Play in 10 tourneys and be invited to the Activity Reward Tournament.  For more details on this see the ART article below.

So, you are confused, you say? 

Well the BGY team is ready to teach anyone who is interested in learning the game.  The HA is Rich (richjb54), the AA is Andrea (andrea_Lynn_0o0), Annette (Annettelewis05) is a GL and we have several TDs (Sistersue, Miff, Ismail, Wabbit, Angina, Bodoistvan, Bloopansy, Lisaleasau, and Privacy) ready and willing to help. 

So, if you want a challenge that has stood the test of time and is incredibly fun, come into Lion's Lair and try us out.  Don't get discouraged, get into it and have some fun.  Practice makes perfect and there is always someone to ask and help.

We'd love some more company in our Lair!!

Join Backgammon Yahoo! League Today

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