Roll up, roll up and roll the dice: backgammon club opens doors to new members

jonathan plays backgammon smaller

New players are being sought to join the South Lakes backgammon club.

The group began playing two years ago following the launch of the Lake District backgammon championship tournament at Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel.

Players have met regularly at the hotel ever since, and organiser Jonathan Kaye is now hoping to recruit newcomers.

Backgammon is one of the world’s oldest board games, combining skill and chance, and is played in cafés across the Mediterranean and in the most exclusive of London clubs, with world championships staged in exotic locations.

“It’s a fascinating game, not difficult to learn, and it is great fun,” said Jonathan, owner of the Cedar Manor.

The hotel will be staging the third annual Lake District championship, supported by the UK Backgammon Federation, in the spring. Previous contests have attracted top players from across the UK.

But Jonathan says that the local group welcomes novices and complete newcomers to the game.

“We have had some really good sessions with players of all ages attending,” he said.

A keen player himself, Jonathan used to roll the dice during his time living in London, where for 10 years he managed the exclusive Chelsea nightclub, Raffles, frequented by celebrities and royalty.

“Everyone who has been on holiday to Greece or Spain will see how popular backgammon is there, with games being played at roadside cafes by all age groups,” he said. “It can be played online, but we think it’s far better to meet socially – rather than on social media.

“We want anyone who might be interested to get in touch, and then we will let them have dates for regular meetings.”

Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players. The playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice, and a player wins by removing all of his pieces from the board before his opponent. Excavations have revealed that the game was played around 3000BC in Persia (Iran) and it was played in various forms by the ancient Romans, and subsequently throughout Europe. The first world championship was held in Las Vegas in 1967, and later moved to Monte Carlo for many years.

Anyone interested should contact Jonathan on 015394 43192 /


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