By Brenda L. Holmes
Sean Garber has been playing backgammon on a regular basis since 1993. He’s now the director of the Hoosier Backgammon Club which will be competing in the Ohio Valley Challenge Cup this weekend in Indianapolis.
“Our club plays every Wednesday night,” Garber said.
The Hoosier Backgammon Club meets at 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Willow Lake East Shopping Center at 86th Street and Township Line Road.
Players with little experience to those who are veterans of the game are welcome to join the group for an evening of play. There is a $10 entry fee each week and there is a small amount of prize money involved. The second Tuesday of each month the club plays for free.
“We usually have between eight and 10 people show up every week,” Garber said. “It varies from week to week.”
He said he helped form the group back in 1993 when he read an article in Games Magazine.
“There was a number to call to help organize a local club,” he said. “That’s when the Hoosier Backgammon Club started.”
Each year, backgammon clubs from around the Midwest travel to a city for the Ohio Valley Challenge Cup. The location rotates between Indianapolis and several other cities.
This year’s event has been organized by the Hoosier Backgammon Club, which is currently the two-time defending champion.
“It’s the biggest backgammon event in Indianapolis,” Garber said. “There are other larger events in other parts of the country, but this is one of the highlights for our club each year. Especially since we’re the defending champions.”
Each club competing will register its top six players.
“Teams are made up of six players which are determined by points standings for the year,” he said. “All clubs keep their standings.”
When the competition is held, the number one player from both teams play each other, the number two players from both teams play each other, and so on.
Scores from each match are compiled and the teams with the top numbers take home the cup and earn bragging rights for the year.
“Games go up and down in popularity,” Garber said. “I just really enjoy playing.”
Backgammon was always known as the game on the other side of the checkers board. It surged in popularity in the 1970s and ‘80s and is still popular worldwide. But the game itself has been around for thousands of years.
The Ohio Valley Challenge Cup is March 16 and 17 at the Wingate by Wyndham, 6240 Intech Commons Drive, Indianapolis. Preliminary events for individual players are noon and 7 p.m. March 16. The cup competition is March 17.
For more information about the Hoosier Backgammon Club, contact Garber by calling 241-0605 or by e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. New players are always welcome.