Three times a month, a mixed group of people gather at ‘Out of the Blue’ in Dalmeny Street, Leith to partake in one of the oldest games in the world. They sit with coffee, beers and wine to play a tactical game that is 5000 years older than monopoly and where the fortunes can change with the throw of a dice.
The game they play is Backgammon. A game that takes minutes to grasp in that you need to move your counters around and off the board before the other player,but takes a lot more practice to conquer the most strategic moves for each roll of the dice a feat no player can ever get right all of the time!
Backgammon can be addictive fun, even Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory, could not spend a day without playing two games of backgammon and he would spend half an hour after dinner playing backgammon with his wife Emma. In a letter dated 1826 Charles describes the social benefi ts of playing the backgammon against his brother Erasmus on a canal boat between Edinburgh and Glasgow. “when it grew dark we played at backgammon & drank some toddy till we arrived… I found my Backgammon friend very useful as he told me all about the vessels & shewed me the way to the inn.”
The Edinburgh Backgammon Meetup is a diverse group with people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to play and chat. There are different levels of play including beginners and people who want to learn how play the game and some people who will be attending the Liverpool Backgammon Open Championship later in the year and some other players who have an eye on playing at tournaments
around the country.
The Meetup prides itself on been inclusive and the more experienced players are always happy to coach less experienced players in the game. The Meetup was set up just over a year ago by Gareth Timms and Paul Veitch. Gareth says he was inspired to create a meetup as he wanted to play against a variety of people and not just play online or against the computer, although Gareth knows the recent resurgence of backgammon has originated from the number of high quality computer programmes that are now available. Gareth is amazed at how many people have been looking for a place to play regular ‘face to face’ backgammon within the Edinburgh area and is delighted that after celebrating its 1st birthday Edinburgh Backgammon Meetup provides that opportunity but in a relaxed and friendly manner.
Gareth and Paul believe that whilst the competitive nature of the game is essential so too is the chance to create new friendships.
If you would like to come along to a session or would like more
details please call Fiona on 0131 665 1170.