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Jordan | E-motions | Saturday, November 24th, 2007


Yesterday Ann & I went out for tea and/or coffee on Steinway St. We went to the fun Egyptian place Eastern Nights that looks nothing like it did a few years back when the Village Voice or Queens Gazette reviewed it. I’m guessing ownership changed hands beacause the decor is straight up EPCOT Center (by which I mean, totally fantastic) in its faux Egyptology. There were a pack of English speaking local “of the Orient” kids and a quartet of fellow tourists in there ahead of us, all enjoying huffs on their hookahs. I passed (although I asked Ann if she thought they had an Albuterol blend) and drank, instead, the horrible clove-ridden mud that is Turkish Coffee. This is not my first time drinking it, nor is it my first time enjoying it. Indedd, of the latter, I am still waiting for that to happen.

Anyway, we noticed that the gang of four to our right were playing what looked like an old tyme Backgammon set. Oddly enough, just today Ann was cleaning out a closet and game upon many games of skill and chance that we’ve collected over the years. Including a Backgammon board. Neither of us know how to play.

“But it is a 2000 year old game! And it says Ages 7 & Up! How difficult could it be?”

Well, after reading the instructions three times I feel like the biggest idiot on the face of the Earth. I just – I just can’t make heads or tails of what the hell they are talking about. But children play this game! Not just children, but ANCIENT children? As they were dying of the Black Death they played this? Why can’t I make sense of the rules?

So, someone, please read this and get back to me.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Jordan,

    Sometimes those tiny rules sheets that comes with cheaper sets (ones made in China with plastic checkers and the cardboard board) actually do not explain the rules properly, so it’s not you.

    You can find the rules of backgammon, one written by Paul Magriel from his famous book “Backgammon” and another slightly condensed version written by myself here:

    It is the same site where you found the image used above in your post.

    To see an actual match played, dice rolls and how moves are made, on a webpage, check out the final of the 2007 World Championships in Monte Carlo, which I had recorded manually and inserted into a program that analyzes players, look under “MATCHES” at this link:
    and click on the link to “FINAL: SAVIO VS. PAN”.

    I hope this helps.

    Best regards,

    Michael Strato
    Editor –

    Comment by Michael Strato — November 24, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

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