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Can you play Backgammon?

Backgammon sounds pretty simple – a game played where two players move their counters on the backgammon board in opposite directions, the object being a race to take your counters off the board with the movement of the counters being controlled by the throw of two dice.

Precursors of backgammon are among the most ancient of all games and may date from as early as 3000 BC. The ancient Romans played a game, Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum (“Twelve-lined Game”), which was identical, or nearly so, to modern backgammon.

The game became highly popular worldwide in the late 20th century and that includes here in Nelson, since at least 1979.

Initially Kevin Ihaia and Digby Lawley brought together a group of friends, and with the hosting support of Rob MCCegney (all three well known in Nelson) at The Hitching Post Bridge Street café where, in the courtyard out the back, there was even a giant backgammon set painted on the ground, the Nelson Backgammon Club began.

Backgammon tournaments at the Hitching Post were well attended by top players from around the country, club members and seafarers.  Back then a close relationship was developed with the Timaru Club which included many return trips, the club was also represented at Wellington and Hamilton tournaments.

The club might sound imposing when you hear current players have won South Island, national and international contests but, when playing, you soon find elements of chance and skill are so nicely balanced both are usually essential to victory. This makes for exciting contests in which players of all skill levels can compete.

When looking to advertise the club – putting up posters and such – or even just talking to casual acquaintances it becomes obvious backgammon is well known throughout Nelson. Meanwhile, members find setting up a board in public, at camping grounds or waiting at the airport say, soon attracts both onlookers and players.

If you want to play backgammon, socially or to a competitive level, the Nelson Backgammon Club meets every second Thursday, upstairs at The Buxton, 223 Hardy Street, Nelson.  Everyone is welcome, anytime from 5.30pm. For details contact Tony (022) 0130 384.


The Buxton Restaurant and Bar
223 Hardy Street

Postal Address:
PO Box 9058


(022) 0130 384

Open Hours

Every Second Thursday

223 Hardy Street

223 Hardy Street, Nelson, New Zealand

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