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Backgammon» Forums » Variants

Subject: Greek Variant rss

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Dimitris Tzanerakis
Greece
Athens
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Well, to a Greek this is not really a variant, but rather the way the game is played.

Apart from the regular backgammon part (called "portes", which means doors in greek) there are two other parts, "fevga" (go in greek) and "plakoto" (which roughly means "on top"). Collectively the three parts are called "Tavli" and games are mostly played for fun, not for money.

Each part won is worth 1 point, unless an opponent did not had a chance to collect any of his pawns, in which case the part is worth two points. Usually a game is won at 7 or 5 points, with players going through each part consequtively until one of the two has won.

To determine who starts the game, both players roll one dice, with the player who rolls the highest number rolling again with both dices starting the first part. If playing more than one part the winner of the current part always rolls first opening the next one.

In all other aspects, ie dice rolling, pawn movement, etc, the variant is played identically to backgammon, apart from the foolowing rules for the two new parts.


Plakoto

Starting positions and moving directions of plakoto (usually only two pawns are placed on the starting pip and the rest are out of play).



Players play in opposite directions. If a pawn reaches a pip with a single opponent pawn, then it goes on top of the opponent, which gets blocked and can not be moved, until any of the blocking pawns are moved away from that pip. For the player who blockes, the pip is like a normal blot.

Special rules:
1.) Blocking the opponent's last checker on his starting position ends the game immediately.
2.) A player cannot start/continue to bear-off if one or more of his pawns are/get blocked in his homefield.



Fevga

Starting positions and moving directions of fevga (usually only one pawn is placed on the starting pip and the rest are out of play).



Both players play in the same direction. Each player must move his first pawn until it reaches the opponents start field, before another can be moved. A single pawn occupies a pip, and it cannot be blocked (as in plakoto), or taken out of play (as in backgammon).

Special rules:
1.) Each player must have at any time at least one free pip in his start field as well as on the opponent start field.
2.) Each player always makes sure that the opponent has at least a playable position. If the opponent doesn΄t have a playable position for any roll, then the player has to move enough pawns to make room for his opponent.

The third part is ofcourse the regular backgammon game.


Well, that's all folks! If you need any rules clarifications do not hesitate to ask.

The above rules were paraphrased from http://www.tavli-network.gr/, also the source for the pictures.
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I've played Plakoto in college. There was a small group of active players. However, we lost the original board and the second board got taken over by Chess players at the peak of the popularity.

There was some minor resurgence in the meantime, but I was not a part of it.

Great game, although I forgotten how to play well lately.
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Paulos Ioannou
Greece
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very good variants although the classic game of Backgammon is definitely the best of all.
 
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