Backgammon Variants
Chasing the Girls
This game from Iceland is very old, and may date from Roman times.
Setup: The players have just six checkers each, one on each point in the opposite righthand table, as shown below. The checkers move in a counterclockwise direction and continue to circle the board until one player has no checkers left.
Start:
Each player rolls one die. The player rolling the lower number goes first and rolls both dice again to start his turn.
Moving the checkers: Only rolls of doubles or rolls containing a 1 or a 6 are played. A roll of 66 is played twice (as in regular backgammon); all other doubles are played just once.
With a mixed roll, any number other than 1 or 6 is ignored. The 1's and 6's are played as in normal backgammon. For example, a roll of 61 permits a player to move one checker a total of seven points, or one checker six points and another checker one point.
Only one checker is allowed on a point. If a roll brings a checker to a point already occupied by one of the same color, the checker is placed on the next available point beyond it.
Hitting:
If a checker lands on a point occupied by an opponent's checker, the opponent's checker is removed from the board.
Cornerrattler:
When a player has only one checker left, that checker is known as a cornerrattler and the method of play changes:
 The cornerrattler may land only on points numbered 1, 6, 7, and 12.
 A roll of 1 moves the cornerrattler ahead to the next corner point.
 A roll of 6 moves the cornerrattler ahead two corner points.
 A roll of 11 or 66 move ahead two corners or four corners respectively.
 Any other double allows the player to roll again.
For example, suppose your cornerrattler is on the onepoint and you roll 61. The 6 moves you ahead two corners to the sevenpoint, and the 1 moves you ahead one more corner to the twelvepoint.
One other feature of a cornerrattler is that it is imune from attack if it is sitting between two enemy checkers. In the example below, Red has a cornerrattler between two of White's checkers.
If White rolls 31, he may not use the 1 to hit Red. (If White wants to move the checker on the fivepoint, he must move it to the eightpoint, the next available space). However, if White rolls 61, he can first use the 6 to move the checker from the sevenpoint to the far onepoint, and then use the 1 to hit Red and win the game.
If both players are reduced to cornerrattlers, a long chase may develop before one of them is hit.
 R. C. Bell: Discovering Backgammon.
 H. J. R. Murray: A History of BoardGames other than Chess; Oxford University Press, Oxford, England; 1951 (page 121).
