Roll the Dice: There’s a Backgammon Club in Town

First Meeting Is April 27 at the Library

Jamie Weinstein was a single guy living in Manhattan and working on Wall Street when backgammon drew him in.

He watched the board game being played across the street from where he worked. It seemed deceptively simple. Children play it. With the roll of the dice, the players raced to move their pieces along the board’s triangles and remove them before their opponent could removed all of theirs.

Then one day, Weinstein was invited to play a game. He’d been hooked ever since.

 “I’ve become a life-long practitioner,” said Weinstein, who describes the game as being as exciting as blackjack, as skillful as chess, and as addicting as poker.

Now married with children and living in Easton, Weinstein wants to share his passion for the game with his neighbors. He’s started an Easton and Redding Backgammon Club. The club’s first meetup is on April 27 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in the Easton Public Library’s community room. Future meetups will be held on Tuesdays.

The response to the meetup on the Hey Easton! (EOD) Facebook page where he announced the club’s formation has been good. Some in town remember playing the game. Others are eager to learn how to play.  

Although the game’s predecessors can be traced back thousands of years, backgammon as we know it was first played roughly 400 years ago. It gained renewed popularity during the 1960s and 1970s when Prince Alexis Obolensky, known as “The Father of Modern Backgammon,” co-founded the International Backgammon Association. The game is still played everywhere in the world through casual meetups, private clubs, and open tournaments. 

“I used to play back in the day,” said Donald Reilly who plans to attend the meetup.

Food and beverages will be provided at the meetup. The rules of the game and tips and strategies for how to approach the game will be discussed for those who are new to backgammon. Towards the end of the meeting there will be an “open play” for potential members who are interested.

Experienced backgammon players and beginners are welcome.

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