Tavli – aka, backgammon


One of my favourite games ever is a game called “tavli” in Greece, best known as “backgammon” in English-speaking countries. The origins of the game are a little unclear – but it is one of the oldest board games, and its predecessors seem to have been invented around 3000 – 3500 BC! These days it is fairly popular in Greece, but nowhere near as popular as in Turkey. I still haven’t been to Iran, where it is likely to have originated from!

Now Dave has been here for four months now, and we never really had a chance to sit down and play. But since summer has finally arrived, I thought it was about time to show him one of my favourite summer pastimes (apart from snorkelling).

So there we were, sitting in an outdoors cafe in Athens, playing “portes” (which is the one of the four games played widely in Greece, and it’s the variation that you can find online).


I must say, he proved to be a competitive opponent, and we played for a couple of hours.

Now, I’ve been playing this game since I was about 4 or 5. So, 36 years of experience couldn’t be matched, and I won my first drinks this year!

…there will be more to come, as it’s a great game to play on Greek beaches 🙂


About Vanidio

I was born in Athens, Greece, and left at the not-so-tender age of 27 to go to London for a master's degree - or, rather, to go experience the city. I worked there for a while, and after four years I decided to move back to Athens, and got a really boring job with a decent (more than decent) salary. In December 2011 I took a year off work, and travelled to Latin America, Europe, Greece and the Middle East. When I came back, I spent quite a bit of time trying to fit in and organise my "normal" life - or decide that I don't really want a "normal" life. At that time, travelling was more important to me than almost anything else... And then things changed a bit, as I got an offer from a foreign company to organise tours for foreigners in Athens. Dream coming true? Yes! We've done a few tours so far, and hopefully more are coming... let's see! And then things changed even more, as I met a nice, handsome foreigner through one of these tours. And we are now living together, and planning our next trips together :) Life is strange, isn't it!

One response »

  1. oh wait a minute ..free drinks you said? i challenge you both for a rematch..i am (pretty)sure i ll win…pff, 36 years of experience means nothing to me ha ha ha
    i enjoyed your post

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