A Slight Diversion This Week: Do You Know How Old the Game of Backgammon Is? No? Well it Surprised Me Too.

Most weeks, as you know, I tend to write about tournaments, or players or strategies (for beginners), but in my googling …I came across some interesting stuff about the game that I really didn’t know.

For example, I learned that in 2004, some archeologists found an old game in the Iranian city of Shahr-eSukhteh (the city is about 5,000 years old) that many have since called the OLDEST version of Backgammon ever found.

Dated 3000 BC, the find included a rectangular board made of ebony, pieces made from turquoise and agate, and dice.

The board features an engraved serpent coiling around itself for 20 times, thus producing 20 slots for the game, instead of today’s 24 and there are 60 pieces instead of the current 30 so the game must have had quite different rules to the current game or may have been something completely unrelated.

What is dead certain, say the experts, is that this board takes the record as the oldest complete board game ever discovered. And what record did we beat? The Royal Game of Ur, whatever the hell that is.

You know, I think it’s cool to think that 5,000 years ago people were playing an early version of the game I love so much.

Next week, Christmas week, we’ll talk about backgammon last minute gifting.

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