hist-games: Lurch - a Czech variety of tables

reid robert reidrobert7 at yahoo.fr
Wed Sep 22 04:39:19 PDT 2010


Those interested in the history of Backgammon might like to look at the 
following Czech website: 

 
http://www.deskovehry.info/pravidla/lurc.htm
 
The game of Lurch described there (from an 1870s Czech source) is clearly a 
member of the Puff family with the characteristic use of the opposite side of 
the dice for doubles (e.g. 1-1 plus 6-6) and a complex elaboration of the 
acey-deucy throw (1-2). What is most of interest, though, is the starting 
position. Players enter their pieces in adjacent halves of the same side of the 
board (thus A in 12-7 and the B in 1-6). A has movement 12-1-24-13 and B has 
1-12-13-24. This is precisely the arrangement found in the Buf de Baldriac 
recorded in the Alfonso manuscript which I suppose must be regarded as the 
direct ancestor of the Czech game. The uniqueness of this set-up is that the 
opposing pieces encounter each other twice in the course of their progress, 
whereas in other tables games of contrary movement they do so only once.
 
 I am inclined to think, though, that the game's name does not solve the 
identity of the game 'Lurch' occasionally encountered (but nver described) in 
English sources which is more likely to have been a descendant of Ludus 
Anglicorum (since it uses the term lurch for one of its winning positions) and 
thus similar to Revertier.
 
Best wishes,
 
Robert.


      
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