Backgammon Club at St Annes Tennis Club

Backgammon Club - Homepage by Ian Squire. Backgammon Club Captain @ SALTSC | 16th August 2019

St Annes Backgammon Club

St Annes Backgammon Club was officially formed in June 2018. Based at St Annes Tennis and Squash Club, there are a gathering of typically 6 to 12 players attending on the second Monday of each month from 7.30 pm to partake in playing and learning one of the world's oldest games. And what a fascinating game it is too!

Backgammon: an Introduction

Backgammon is one of the oldest known board games in the world. Its history can be traced back nearly 5,000 years to archeological discoveries in Ancient Persia and Eqypt. It is a 2 player game where each player has fifteen checkers which move between 24 board points according to the roll of 2 dice. The objective of the game is to be first to move all fifteen checkers off the board.

Backgammon involves a combination of strategy and luck. While the dice may determine the outcome of a single game, the better player will accumulate the better record over a series of games. With each roll of the dice, players must choose from numerous options for moving their checkers and anticipate possible counter-moves by the opponent. The optional use of a doubling cube adds much to the excitement of playing.

Like chess, backgammon has been studied with great interest by computer scientists. Owing to this research, backgammon software has been developed that is capable of beating world-class human players.

The birth of St Annes Backgammon Club

Hi, my name is Ian Squire and I live in the small seaside town of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. Having learned to play backgammon about ten years ago I taught my son Oliver to play and we played occasional games together. Oliver showed a keen interest and began studying the game, watching the masters play on YouTube etc and reading and developing his strategy.

In 2017 I took Oliver along to play in his first tournament, the Blackpool Imperial Cup, the largest UK single flight tournament. Not expecting to do very well against this sort of calibre of player, Oliver surpassed expectations and progressed towards the latter stages of the tournament, actually beating the UK number 2 ranked player!

Oliver was encouraged by this experience and went on to study the game further, with help from the UKBGF and some top class coaching through the UKBGF collegiate scheme.

Oliver now plays to a pretty high standard, usually beating me with ease, I hate to say!

So we were looking for a club and did some research to find the nearest clubs were quite a distance away in Manchester or Liverpool.

So we thought, why don' t we start up a little club? As I am a member of St Annes Tennis and Squash club we thought this would be a good venue with a nice quiet bar/lounge room. So we started meeting there on Monday nights, one of the quieter nights for the tennis club.

The club committee were very much behind the idea and sent emails to all club members and helped create posters etc.

We started meeting in June 2018 and have about ten regular players ranging from beginners to a few experienced players. We are teaching children and beginners to play as well as organising mini tournaments. We are always looking at how to grow and develop this fledgling club to engage players of all levels. So if you are in the area please pop along any Monday evening from 7.30 pm. It would be great to see new people coming along and you would be made most welcome indeed.

Free expert tuition!

Ian was a school teacher for 22 years in primary and special needs schools. He now owns and operates a local carpet and upholstery cleaning business in the Lytham St Annes area. Oliver is currently studying mathematics at Durham University.

"We love the game of backgammon and want to show others what a great game it is too."

The club nights are free to attend and players can join St Annes Tennis and Squash Club for just £5 social membership per year. A bargain indeed!

For more information please contact Ian Squire on 07817 111259 or send an email to:

For current news about St Annes Backgammon Club please search Facebook for St Annes Backgammon Club.

Hope to see some of you across the board on Monday evenings! In the meantime, keep on rolling!