TITLE: BACKGAMMON, A MANUAL GAME
His tablet has attracted kings, heroes and emperors. But also the skilled hands of Pineider’s Florentine artisans, who paid homage to this game with a precious leather case and a very special instruction booklet. We opened it for you, discovering that…
A BIT OF HISTORY
Backgammon, in Italian Tavola Reale or Tric-Trac, is a board game for two players with a history that has spanned many centuries. Its origin is traced back to about 4500 years ago, or rather to the “Royal Game of Ur”, found in the tomb of a Sumerian king during excavations in the Mesopotamian city of the same name, in present-day Iraq.
AND IT IS A DEBATE
A subsequent discovery, however, seems to be able to anticipate the date of birth by about 100-200 years and transfer the birthplace to present-day Iran due to the discovery of a tablet during the archaeological excavations of the city of Shahr in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.
The fact is that this game with very ancient roots has crossed many Eastern and Western cultures. To name a few: ancient Greece, India, ancient Egypt. Even China and Japan. Every culture has added or modified the rules of the game, changed the name or varied meanings, even giving an astral or symbolic vision of man’s destiny.
HOW TO PLAY
Backgammon is a strategy game where players sit facing each other, facing opposite sides of the board. On the board are drawn 24 narrow triangles called points. The colors of the triangles alternate, and are grouped into four quadrants of six. The four quadrants are the inside (home) board and both players’ outside board and are separated by a strip called the “bar”, which divides the board into two equal-width parts. Each player’s home is the right quadrant facing each other. The inner quadrants are opposite each other, as are the outer ones, which are located to the left of each player. The objective of each player is to move his checkers from the opponent’s home board to his own, following a horseshoe-shaped path, counterclockwise.
The triangles are numbered from 1 to 24: number 24 is furthest from the player and number 1 is the rightmost one in the home board. Players have to make the checkers follow the reverse paths, therefore the first point of one player is the 24th of the other and vice versa.
Each player must place their 15 checkers in order to start playing. Checkers come in two colors, usually white and red, or black and white. To place them on the board, each of the two players must place two checkers in point number 24, three in number 8, five in number 13, and the other five in number 6.
The player with the highest number starts playing first. If both get the same result, the roll is re-rolled. In backgammon, the winner scores no points, but the opponent loses. So if you win, your opponent will lose the points marked on the doubling die, or even double or triple that value. The doubling die is not an ordinary die to roll, but rather a scorekeeper. It starts with the value 1, but you can increase it each turn, before rolling the dice.
If you want to double the bet, and your opponent accepts, then the doubling die is rolled over to show the new value, and is placed in your opponent’s field. He becomes its owner and may offer another double during any of his future turns.
If the opponent does not accept the double, he must concede the game and lose the original value of the bet. You can double down multiple times but, by custom, you don’t double more than three or four times in the course of a game.
You can start with any checker you like, but it’s a good idea to remove checkers from your opponent’s home right away. You lose the turn if you can’t move any checkers and to win you must be the first player to take all checkers off the board. As? Rolling a roll that allows you to reach or go over the edge of the board.
To pay homage to the most iconic of board games, the Florentine artisans of Pineider have created an elegant leather-covered box that also contains the Checkers game. The set, completely handmade, consists of two pairs of hand-decorated dice, an aluminum numerical dice, two leather-covered glasses, 30 resin checkers with the Pineider logo and two pairs of dice from 1 to 6 in aluminum (all contained in an elegant container of microfiber pieces and dice).