Backgammon Books

  Backgammon Games and Strategies

  AUTHORS: Nicolaos Tzannes
Vassilios (Basil) Tzannes

  YEAR: 1977
  PUBLISHER: A.S. Barnes and Company
  CITY: South Brunswick
  ISBN: 0-498-01497-5
  BINDING: Hardcover
  PAGES: 267
  SIZE: 26 cm high, 18 cm wide
  NOTE: Also published under the name, Backgammon Games and Struggles.

     "The book is aimed at beginners and the advice on strategy and tactics is outdated. The book would be of primary interest to collectors or those who wish to learn the Greek variants Plakoto and Moultezim."—Mark Driver, December 2001


     "The Tzannes brothers are passionate about Plakoto, Moultezim, and Gioul, and write in the hopes of popularizing them in North America: 'They are by far much more interesting and exciting than hit [common backgammon]. Plakoto is without any doubt the king of backgammon games. Moultezim is a serious game for the fundamentalist, the pure strategist, the complete backgammon player.'"—Albert Steg, May 1994


     "I found this book intructive and pleasant to read. I thought the advice was sound, even the one warning of 'streaks of bad luck.' Anyone playing games of chance is painfully aware of that. I especially enjoyed the section on Probability Theory and how it bears on the games."—Phil Thomsen, Customer Review at, March 2003

INTRODUCTION:  Origin of the game; Equipment; Summary of the Book
1. THE GAME OF HIT (PORTES):  Method of Play; Rules and Etiquette; Initial Moves and Simple Strategies; A Complete Game of Hit; Advanced Strategies for Hit; Further Illustrations
2. THE GAME OF PLAKOTO:  Method of Play; Simple Strategies and Initial Moves; A Complete Game of Plakoto; Advanced Strategies for Plakoto; Further Illustrations
3. THE GAME OF MOULETZIM:  Method of Play: Regulations; General Ideas and Simple Strategies; Initial Moves; Three Complete Games of Moultezim; Advanced Strategies for Moultezim; Variations of Moultezim; Further Illustrations
4. THE GAME OF GIOUL:  Method of Play: Regulations; Strategies for Gioul
5. DOUBLING AND CHOUETTE:  Doubling; Chouette
  COVER: Backgammon is rapidly becoming one of the popular table games of the western world. it has been dormant for a very long time, played only in aristocratic circles, in private clubs, and among members of the jet set. Now, as more and more people are looking for ways to fill their increasing leisure hours, backgammon will be rediscovered.
      Backgammon is not just a game; it is an obsession. In some countries it is a way of life. A typical game of backgammon lasts six to eight minutes if it is hit, and double that if it is plakoto or moultezim. These are the fastest, most absorbing minutes in a player's lifetime. The game moves at lightning speed and requires complete concentration. The mixture of chance and skill is perfectly balanced. Every play requires both of them.
      Chess is a game of logic and can go on for hours. Bridge has chance in dealing, and this could lead to a boring hand, sometimes to a boring evening. This is never the case in backgammon. There is hardly a moment of boredom. Even when all seems lost, there is still a finite probability of a turnaround. The suspense is there, the tension is never ending. What more could you want for an evening of relaxation?
      The authors have been playihng backgammon for a combined total of over thirty years. Their research into the literature revealed that very little has been written on the subject, and virtually nothing has been written on the two games of plakoto and moultezim. Such a void had to be filled, and this book is intended to fill it. The authors find it incredible that plakoto and moultezim are not known to the western world. Plakoto is without doubt the king of backgammon games. Moultezim is a serious game for the fundamentalist, the pure strategist, the complete backgammon player. A player who does not know these two games is not really fulfilled.
      There are two types of people in this world: those who play backgammon and those who don't. Illustrated with more than 240 diagrams of play, this book is written in the hope that you, the reader, will join that special breed who do.

Nicolaos Taznnes was born on Patras, Greece. He now resides in Norman, Oklahoma, and is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Tzannes holds a B.E.E. degree from the University of Minnesota, an M.E.E. degree from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University. His special fields are Communications. Linguistics, and Probability. He has authored several books and over twenty scientific articles in these fields. He has worked at Honeywell, IBM, Raytheon, and NASA as a scientist, and he has taught at Johns Hopkins and Tufts Universities. His interest in backgammon is both as a hobby and as an example of the scientific theory of games (a branch of Probabiliy). Dr. Tzannes is married and has three sons. He travels abroad almost every summer with his family, or to scientific symposia to give addresses to other scientists.
Basil Taznnes was born in Patras, Greece. He now resides in Norman, Oklahoma, where he is working toward a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics at the auniversity of Oklahoma. He holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Salonica, Greece. Mr. Tzannes has played backgammon throughout Greece, Italy, and the United States since the age of seven. He is considered to be one of the modern Greek backgammon theoreticians.

The two authors are brothers.

   How Good Are You At Backgammon?
75 Challenging Test Situations
for You to Rate Your Ability with the Experts

Nicolaos Tzannes, Vassilios (Basil) Tzannes
1974: Simon and Schuster, New York
   How Good Are You At Backgammon?
50 Challenging Situations for You to Rate Your Ability with the Experts
An abridged edition of their 1974 book.
Nicolaos Tzannes, Vassilios (Basil) Tzannes
2001: Writers Club Press, an imprint of, Inc., San Jose

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