Celebrating 15 years in backgammon games

The Father Of Modern Backgammon

by Joe Pasternack
20 September 2001

Prince Alexis Obolensky

Father Of Modern Backgammon

I was sent to Qui Nhon, Vietnam in August 1965. We did have some free time and an occasional USO Show. I found a book about backgammon and was quite interested. Veterans of Foreign Wars Organizations in the States, wrote to us in support of our service. I wrote back and told them of my interest in Backgammon. Low and behold a backgammon board arrived in about two weeks.

I taught my buddies and myself how to play. Wrote back to VFW and told them their bg board was a good morale booster. To my surprise, over the course of the next month about 100 boards arrived. The Vets back home contacted Prince Alexis Obolensky and told them about BG in Nam. The Prince wrote a great letter to me.

Joe Pasternack in Vietnam.
Many letters were exchanged. He told me how to run a tournament. The brass found out about my backgammon gifts from back home, and my distribution of the boards. They volunteered me to organize teaching and tournaments in my spare time. When I returned home I was thrilled to meet the Prince. This was the start of a great friendship.

Over the course of the next ten years I helped the Prince found the WORLD BACKGAMMON CLUB, run worldwide tournaments with many celebrities attending, promote the game of Backgammon. This is the first of several articles that will talk about BG in the seventies and the FATHER OF MODERN BACKGAMMON, the charismatic Prince. Without the publicity generated and efforts of the Prince, backgammon would not enjoy the popularity it has today.


Joe Pasternack
Director of Corporate Development
World Backgammon Club

Two people that loved Backgammon - Prince Alexis Obolensky playing with Lucille Ball.

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Celebrating 15 years in backgammon games