hist-games: Lurch - a Czech variety of tables
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:
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.
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