What comes to mind when Jamaica comes up? I think of reggae, a tropical paradise – among other things. I have to be honest and admit that backgammon is NOT among the first things that come to mind in relation to Jamaica, though. I was pleasantly surprised when I read a piece of news about a high stakes backgammon game that is going to be held at a place called Strawberry Hills in Jamaica.
It sounds grand, doesn’t it? Strawberry Hills. Anyway, the competition will be held on the 24th of April and will last till the 26th. The stakes are – are you ready for this? – over $2 million! This is not the first time that the tournament will be held, but it is attracting more and more people from all over the world. In fact, some players of only the highest caliber are coming back for this year’s tournament. This includes Chiva Tafazolli, the Iranian president of the World Backgammon Association. He is also the champion of last year’s event.
Truth be told, backgammon is relatively new to Jamaica. However, the enthusiasm of people in Jamaica has paved the way for this huge tournament. In particular, Chris Blackwell is one of the main players in the scene. He is the proprietor of Strawberry Hills and is also a well known icon in the international music scene. And of course, he is one of the most enthusiastic backgammon players you’ll ever meet.
If you have the cash and time, why not spend that weekend in Jamaica? I wish I could!