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Ladbrokes Backgammon

The game of backgammon is a game of skill with elements of luck. You make moves alternating with your opponent like in chess, but you roll dice to decide how far you can move. I was hoping to get some shpiel from Ladbrokes to tell you about the game which you can play online, but in the meantime here's The History of Backgammon as presented (2007) at Ladbrokes:

Backgammon Board
Backgammon board supplied by It's Your Turn.com

The First Board Games

The origins of the game of backgammon can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where the game of Senet was played over 5,000 years ago. This board game was a race between two players played with sticks or bones instead of dice. Archaeological excavations in Mesopotamia discovered another racing game from around the same period. Referred to as the Royal Game of Ur, its rules are the subject of debate. An original board can be seen at the British Museum, and has been dated to around 2,600 BC.

Tabula and the Roman Empire

Backgammon continued to evolve over the next few thousand year, slowly taking shape in its current form. The Romans played a game called Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum , which means the 'game of 12 lines'. By the first century AD this game took the form of Alea, a board game with 2 rows of 12 points . In Latin, all board games were referred to as Tabula.

Persia and game of Nard

In the first millennium backgammon continued evolving, taking the form of Nard in Persia. The great poet Ferdowsi credits Bozorghmehr with inventing it around 1000AD. This game rapidly became popular all over the known world, being played as far east as Japan, and with the spread of the Moorish empire (circa 1100AD) as far west as Spain.

Backgammon and Europe

Backgammon was introduced to Great Britain by soldiers returning from the Crusades. Records show they played a two player game known as Tables . At the same time jeux de tables began to be popular in France, until it was banned by King Louis XI in 1254. The game's popularity also increased in England, and it was also briefly outlawed along with other wager based games until the reign of Elizabeth I. Over the next few centuries the game spread to the furthest parts of Europe - including Germany, Iceland and Sweden.

It is around this time around Europe that the rules began to be codified.

Computers and Backgammon

The 1960s boom in backgammon worldwide led to numerous books and magazines being published regarding backgammon. Champions and grandmasters all provided eager students with problems and guidance. However, the advent of computerised backgammon has been the most vital of all enhancements to the overall strategy of the game.

IBM engineer Gerald Tesauro developed TD Gammon - the worlds first neural networking computerised player. Subsequently the internet took backgammon into everyone's homes - FIBS (The First Internet Backgammon Server) launched in 1993, hosted in Sweden. This allowed people to play each other from anywhere in the world.

Online backgammon has matured a great deal since the time of Motif Backgammon. Backgammon software was included on every copy of Microsoft Windows XP. Internet backgammon servers are now commonplace with hundreds of thousands of people playing every day.

More importantly, after Jellyfish (backgammon software) came Snowie - software that allowed beginners and grandmasters alike to train and improve. Today the world has GNUBG - an open source backgammon program that lets players analyse the games they have played to spot weaknesses in their game.

Now, up to the moment, and here's your opportunity to play backgammon online at Ladbrokes, who have provided the material prior to this on the page.

* Link here for Backgammon at Ladbrokes *

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