Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Tάβλη artefact Wednesday - Hellas-Alexander backgammon table

This artefact, already seen by many people on Twitter, comes to us courtesy of reporter at large Anthony Colangelo:
Club branded tavli tables (the game - or rather games, as there are variations within the broader variation - are a variant of backgammon) are common in Greece (at least for major clubs), so it's not necessarily a surprise to see the existence of this and related items in Australia, even if they aren't exactly officially endorsed by the clubs themselves. The unofficial nature of a board like this also opens up the possibility that variants on this board's particular design also exist - if so, we'd of course love to see them.

The existence of such an item reminds us of course of a time when clubs like South Melbourne Hellas and Heidelberg United Alexander were integral parts of Greek-Australian culture in Melbourne, much like playing tavli itself, which I suppose if you moved in the right kinds of circles would still be visible as a pastime but which I myself don't see the young people partake in much these days.

And that includes myself of course - being a chess player in my youth (not a very good one mind, learning not even the basic elements of chess game theory, and giving up in the mid 1990s when I had reached the lofty peak of an accidental win against my high school's best player), our family backgammon table (if we still even have it), just been gathering dust for the past 20 years.

But enough maudlin nostalgia! What an item! The dagginess and the wogginess of Australian soccer personified in a single object!


  1. Ours was gathering dust as well until my father lost a bit of mobility 3 years ago and he has not ventured out as much.

    So, I visit him more often and I FINALLY leant how to play the game properly!

    He still whips me, but at least the knowledge has been passed on.

  2. That's a very fun find. Good work from all involved.

  3. Now this is Australian soccer! Scrap the trophy, have the clubs vie for this. If cricket can have the ashes, soccer can have tavli.


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