Who Is Oswald Jacoby?

Who is he indeed? If you have been a backgammon fan for a long time, the name might ring a bell. Alternatively, if you play other games such as bridge, you would also probably recognize the name.

Oswald Jacoby became best known for his association with bridge but he met undisputed success in the field of backgammon as well. Remember the Jacoby rule? That was not an invented name – it actually came from Oswald Jacoby’s name. So is he, really?

Lewis Deyong once wrote about this famous guy, based on his personal experience. He wrote:

As well as writing a daily bridge column for 1000s of newspapers, his profession was as an insurance actuary (a job 100% devoted to calculating odds). He lived in Dallas, flying around America to compete at his various games, and was one of the most outstanding characters I ever met.

He also described Jacoby as “perhaps the world’s most impatient human being, who just wanted to speed up the game.”

More than this personal description of Jacoby, here are other facts that you might want to know.

Jacoby was dubbed the World Backgammon Champion in 1972. He also wrote a book titled The Backgammon Book. This was published in 1970 and was co-authored by John R. Crawford. Now look at the dates – he wrote the book two years before he became world champion. There must be something to the book, don’t you think? (Oh and yeah, this book is widely regarded as the first book to present backgammon in analytical terms.)

So ladies and gentlemen, that’s your bit of backgammon knowledge for the week. Till next time!

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