Forum Archive : Variations


From:   Bruce Scott
Date:   13 March 2003
Subject:   Takhteh vs. backgammon
Google:   IE8ca.81714$


I'm a relatively clueless backgammon newbie. I signed up for a backgammon
tournament at my school. Before I did so, I asked what rules were in place.
The first question I specifically asked about Jacoby. The organizer had no
idea what I was talking about. It turns out that we weren't going to be
playing with a doubling cube at all. Oh well. He didn't have a set of rules
for me to read...but intimated that "it was just backgammon". I guess I
should have pressed him a little bit more.

I was playing a match, up 3-0 (first to five points). If I understand the
terminology, this is 2-away, 5-away. We had kibitzers. In this game, my
opponent had a failed back game. I was bearing checkers off. Opponent had
two checkers on the ace point and a blot on 3. My roll allowed me to hit
the blot on three and bear that checker off. After I did this, the kibitzer
said this was illegal. ?!  After an exchange that became somewhat heated
(everyone cooled down afterwards), it turns out that the organizer (and
some of the players) had a different game in mind than what I understood to
be "backgammon". The spelling they gave me for their game was "takhteh". My
opponent and I agreed to finish our game using the rules that we both
understood that we started playing with (thus a gammon win and 5-0 match
win). From now on, however, I will be expected to be playing takhteh. I
asked for a copy of the rules. The organizer still didn't have them for me.
"It's just like American backgammon [his phrase, I rankled a bit at it],
except for this one little difference." Not being able to hit and move
doesn't seem like a "little" difference to me.

I plan on continuing to play in this tournament. I have an entry fee
invested and am doing well so far. There are a couple of hundred dollars at
stake (an amount of money that matters to me--pretend that number is higher
in your mind if this is not an amount that matters to you). I'm already
into the fourth round. (It appears that we are playing some sort of
double-elimination with Swiss pairings, but the organizer is once again
unable to explicitly tell me how he is pairing.) So I expect to be playing
someone who is 3-0 next round. The thing is, I expect this to be one of the
Persian students who actually knows how to play takhteh. :)

I tried punching takhteh into the Yahoo search engine. I couldn't find a
set of rules. Besides a set of rules, I would also be interested in
strategy advice about how to change the way I play in comparison to
backgammon as played on FIBS. (I am really hoping that I'm not going to
find out that the play is so different that my backgammon skill, such as it
is, is largely wasted.)

Thanks for humoring me,
Bruce Scott

Kees van den Doel  writes:

Takhteh is Persian for "backgammon".  No doubling cube, no "hit and run"
in your  homeboard (you can  move to another  free point as long  as you
don't safety the blot that hit except by covering with another) , and no
backgammons. For the rest it's the same.

ME  writes:

From Greece and Rome, the game grew in popularity finding it's way finally
to Persia where it was known as "Takhteh Nard" which, roughly translated,
means "Battle on Wood" and the three dice method was reduced to two by the
Persian players.

see has some interesting
early backgammon rules, none like what you found though.

Amir Shahroudy  writes:

I am persian and I am playing Takhteh too much.
I have a comment for "no hit and run" rule in Takhteh.
After you hit a checker in your homeboard, you can also bear off your
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