Feature Columnists: Mark Driver - The Game

End Game

03 May 2002 - by Mark Driver

Modern backgammon is a child of the roaring twenties - a period characterized by systemic radical social transformation in the West that spawned a golden era of gaming. This is Mark Driver's last column of "The Game" series.


Rating:  5.00
"The Game" Archive
Show: Show Column:

The Modern Game

26 Apr 2002 - by Mark Driver

By the middle of the 17th century gaming fever had taken Europe by storm - Backgammon enjoyed a peak in popularity then and again at the beginning of the 20th century with the invention of the doubling cube.

Rating:  4.83

The Devil's Picture Books

19 Apr 2002 - by Mark Driver

Cards and backgammon have much in common and their specific origins are shrouded in mystery, though cards, like dice, are thought to have evolved from the occult divination practices of the ancients.

Rating:  4.43

Top Of The Pops

12 Apr 2002 - by Mark Driver

Throughout their long history both chess and tables evolved to meet the needs of successive generations of players and legend has it that backgammon and chess share the same birthday.

Rating:  4.83

The Backgammon Chronicles

05 Apr 2002 - by Mark Driver

Backgammon is a most complex game with a long and convoluted past that reflects the entire history of society's affinity for games and gambling. The following selective chronology aims to trace some significant events that shaped its evolution.

Rating:  4.71

Get Well Soon Mark

29 Mar 2002 - by Mark Driver

Mark Driver caught a flu bug and will be back next week. However, we rummaged around and found some of his past writings that you may have never read.

Rating:  4.75

Back To The Future

22 Mar 2002 - by Mark Driver

If time travel were a reality beyond the silver screen, what could we expect from an encounter with the classic authors of the game?

Rating:  4.83

The Dark Ages

15 Mar 2002 - by Mark Driver

Did the silicon revolution herald the age of enlightenment for the novice player or have we simply come full circle after living through the Dark Ages of the game?

Rating:  4.56

Cut To The Conflict

08 Mar 2002 - by Mark Driver

Backgammon is instantly recognizable by the characteristic starting position. What factors contributed to this charismatic arrangement, which outlasted all others to become an enduring and modern standard?

Rating:  5.00

Vision And Counting

01 Mar 2002 - by Mark Driver

Players are often fazed by the counting aspect of the game - shots, covers and pips - but how hard would it be if the checkers weren't so conveniently lined up in columns? Who can we thank for this aspect of the game? Why shepherds of course!

Rating:  4.38

The Time Machine

22 Feb 2002 - by Mark Driver

Timing is an all important aspect of backgammon strategy, yet hardly surprising given the close connection between the development of the game and the invention of the calendar.

Rating:  4.67

The Gammon Gods

15 Feb 2002 - by Mark Driver

In our game of choice, 'You can't win em all', certainly not while the Gammon Gods have a say in the matter.

Rating:  4.17

The Game Of Kings?

08 Feb 2002 - by Mark Driver

Is Backgammon still the game of kings, or is it now time to recognize its far wider popularity?

Rating:  4.43

In The Eyes Of The Public

01 Feb 2002 - by Mark Driver

Backgammon attracts players from all walks of life, the game appeals to young and old alike. But what is the public perception of the typical backgammon player? Are you starting to fit the mould?

Rating:  4.60

The Cruelest Game

25 Jan 2002 - by Mark Driver

Over the past decades our knowledge of the game has grown in leaps and bounds. But when the Dice God shoots thunder across the board one fact remains the same - Backgammon can be the 'cruelest game'

Rating:  4.67

A Win-Win Situation?

18 Jan 2002 - by Mark Driver

In a competitive two-player game only one player will emerge the victor, or will they? What constitutes a winner and loser? Is being a winner simply a case of having the right attitude?

Rating:  4.35

The Ultimate Stakes

11 Jan 2002 - by Mark Driver

Do players only perform their best when the stakes are high? What constitutes a high stakes game, when money, trophies, clothes, freedom or life itself are on the line?

Rating:  4.13

The Club Scene

04 Jan 2002 - by Mark Driver

How healthy is the backgammon club scene? What type of players do the clubs attract, and what are the barriers to participation at the club? Do aging males characterize the membership? What might the future hold?

Rating:  4.71

Cheating Scoundrels

28 Dec 2001 - by Mark Driver

How prevalent is cheating in the age of the Internet and just how easy is it to pull off? Do cheaters ever win in the long term?

Rating:  4.54

Do The Hustle

21 Dec 2001 - by Mark Driver

'The Hustler', a menace to society or valued member of the entertainment industry?

Rating:  4.80

A Finite Or Infinite Game?

14 Dec 2001 - by Mark Driver

Is backgammon a finite or infinite game? The mathematicians have provided some insight, but in the greater scheme of things, will the game be played forever? Or is backgammon destined to extinction?

Rating:  4.00

Luck, Fate And Superstition

07 Dec 2001 - by Mark Driver

In a game of skill and luck, would you rather be the most skillful loser or the luckiest winner? Does superstition deserve a place in the armoury of the player?

Rating:  4.20

How To Win A Tournament

01 Dec 2001 - by Bill Robertie

Tips from the master on what is needed to win a backgammon tournament.

Rating:  4.79

Games Of Chance?

30 Nov 2001 - by Mark Driver

Does backgammon deserve its traditional image as a game of chance? Is it in fact a game of skill? Can we even differentiate between these two concepts?

Rating:  4.23

Cheating Or Gamesmanship?

23 Nov 2001 - by Mark Driver

Cheating is as old as gaming itself. How do we differentiate between cheating and gamesmanship? Is the Internet a haven for dirty rotten scoundrels, or has it rendered all cheating to the realm of gamesmanship?

Rating:  4.13

Taboo Two

16 Nov 2001 - by Mark Driver

Mark elaborates with the definitions taken from actual legislation that illustrate the wide variety of terms that may govern the legal classification of a backgammon match or tournament.

Rating:  4.09


09 Nov 2001 - by Mark Driver

Since the beginnings of civilization gamesters have suffered an uneasy relationship with the law. Mark ventures into the Kafkaesque nightmare reality that is 'backgammon and the law'.

Rating:  4.15

Roll Over Beethoven

02 Nov 2001 - by Mark Driver

Backgammon can be played for different reasons, in numerous ways and with various rules. After much evolution are the current rules necessarily the most sensible?

Rating:  4.09

Virtual Reality?

26 Oct 2001 - by Mark Driver

Are the physical elements of Backgammon sacred? In reality, will future development and progress be virtually confined to cyberspace?

Rating:  4.43

Simply The Best

19 Oct 2001 - by Mark Driver

It is hard to determine who is the 'best' or the 'greatest' in Backgammon, perhaps impossible, probably meaningless and certainly subjective.

Rating:  4.18

The Enigma Of Rules

12 Oct 2001 - by Mark Driver

The rules of backgammon have gone through many changes since the time of Edmond Hoyle. Have the rules evolved for the better or the worse? Does a commonly accepted version of the rules even exist?

Rating:  3.87

A Man's Game?

05 Oct 2001 - by Mark Driver

Is Backgammon a 'Man's Game', which is unappealing to most women, or are the males themselves to blame for the lack of female participation?

Rating:  4.90

The Money Game

28 Sep 2001 - by Mark Driver

Is the money element skill in backgammon, or killing backgammon? Does backgammon deserve a reputation as a hardcore gambling game, and if so, does this imagery bode well for the future of the game?

Rating:  3.81


21 Sep 2001 - by Mark Driver

In the Brave New World of the Internet, find out whether you are playing Backgammon or CRACKGAMMON?

Rating:  3.88

The Spirit Of The Game

14 Sep 2001 - by Mark Driver

Tuesday the 11th of September marked the darkest dawn of this new millennium, a pitch black day in the history of humanity. Was it right to be thinking of playing Backgammon at a time like this?

Rating:  4.93


07 Sep 2001 - by Mark Driver

Backgammon in schools? Some parents would scorn on this as a gambling game while others may see its values as a learning tool in the realm of mathematics and the lessons it can provide in dealing with complex situations in life.

Rating:  4.63

The Fame Game

31 Aug 2001 - by Mark Driver

Backgammon, televised for mass-market consumption - will it ever happen? Will we live to reap the benefits that such a high profile could bestow upon our backgammon community?

Rating:  4.50

No Name, No Game

24 Aug 2001 - by Mark Driver

Most GammonVillage members would not doubt that the game they play - a dice game with 30 checkers on a board divided into four quadrants is the 'regular' or 'official' game of backgammon. But is it really? How can we be sure?

Rating:  4.29

The Game

09 Aug 2001 - by Mark Driver

Is a game a sport if it's not physical? What about Backgammon? Some people call it a mind sport while others say that sports are games "played by real men" and that "a sport must cause you to break sweat". What do you say?

Rating:  4.30
Show: Show Column:
List Price: $325.00Sale Price: $265.00
Join the GammonVillage Store Affiliate Program today.
Help Wanted
Backgammon Board Game Cartoon
Social Networking
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Follow Us
U.S. Backgammon Federation
The U.S. Backgammon Federation
Terms & Conditions I Privacy Policy I About Us I Contact Us I Advertise I Affiliates I Site Map