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What the hell is backgammon all over the court?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-02-29      Origin: Site

In ancient times, there was a "table game", although men, women and children, princes and nobles all loved it, but it was still banned by the Qianlong emperor. That's backgammon!

The game of backgammon

The origins of backgammon vary widely. However, it can be confirmed that it had already spread in China as early as the Wei and Jin dynasties of The Three Kingdoms.

A backgammon in the middle of Qing Dynasty

This ancient board game was especially popular in the Tang Dynasty. To what extent was it popular?

According to legend, during the Xianheng period of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty, there was a man named Pan Yan in Beizhou who was very obsessed with backgammon and took the game with him wherever he went.

One day, when he was out at sea, he met a storm, and the waves overturned the boat, and he had to hold the board tightly in his right hand, while the left hand held the backgammon tightly, and put the backgammon dice in his mouth. In this way, drifting on the sea for two days and one night finally landed, although the hands have long been bloody, but the hands of the backgammon and dice are safe and sound.

Bone dyed gammon pieces and dice

Not only that, in addition to the common people in the Tang Dynasty, many court aristocrats were also very fond of playing backgammon.

According to the Annals of the Tang Dynasty, Wu Zetian asked Di Renjie to explain the dream of fighting Shuanglu, and Di Renjie replied: "If you lose Shuanglu, it means that there are no children in the palace." This is God's will to warn your Majesty, the crown prince can not be empty for a long time, "a pun, witty expression urged Empress Wu to establish a crown prince suggestion.

There is also a story about Di Renjie's "double land victory over Qiu" recorded in Ji Yi Ji: Wu Zetian asked Di Renjie to fight double land with Zhang Changzong. Di Renjie to court clothing purple 𫄟 robe as a bet, bet Zhang Zongchang wearing the South Sea county, the price of more than gold collection As a result, Zhang Changzong repeatedly defeated, Di Renjie won a complete victory, won the set Cui Qiu.

Tang agate glazed double land chess pieces from Shaanxi History Museum

By the Song Dynasty, backgammon was more popular everywhere. At that time, restaurants and teahouses in the north often had double land plates for people to enjoy tea while playing double land. In Japan, there exists a book called "Double Land", which briefly describes the game of double land. Shuanglu in Japan was introduced into the Tang Dynasty, so its format and playing methods were completely copied from the Tang style.

Part of the Hikone Screen, a Japanese national treasure, shows the two women playing backgammon

A set of Shuanglu mainly includes a chessboard, 15 black and white pieces each, 2 dice. The board is engraved with 12 vertical lines; The die is a hexahedron with a number from one to six.

Qing jade double land chess pieces green jade 15, white jade 15 with rosewood box

When playing, first roll two dice, the value displayed on the top surface of the dice is several, then take a few steps. The first to enter all 15 pieces of their own side within the last six lines, that is, win. Because this kind of chess game has a large range of advance and retreat, the outcome is easy to change, so it has a strong interest and chance.

Since then, it has become the best means for many people to gamble, until the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, because of the gambling of the previous dynasty, the emperor has since ordered the prohibition of the use of backgammon.

Do not play chess, but can collect the board

Backgammon does not have a grid-like board like chess or Go, and its play is similar to our modern flying chess. There are not only special pieces, but also a special chessboard, and at first glance you may be confused about the pattern on the chessboard.

Ming Dynasty ivory double land collection of the Palace Museum

In China has not been clearly unearthed in the Tang Dynasty double land chessboard kind, there are two red sandalwood painting double land chessboard equivalent to the Tang Dynasty, collected in Japan's Shoakurwon Museum. One of the decorative pieces is very exquisite, the positioning of the chess pieces in the chess board is inlaid with ivory, and the wood paintings on the sides and legs are inlaid with white teeth, green horns, ebony, bamboo, boxwood and other materials, especially the back of the birds is inlaid with bamboo silk, and the decorative effect is excellent.

Tang Dynasty red sandalwood painting double land bureau Japanese Nakakura yuan Yuan collection

And the other one is no less than the former regardless of shape, pattern and exquisite degree of production.

Tang Dynasty red sandalwood painting double land bureau Japanese Nakakura yuan Yuan collection

Tang Dynasty red sandalwood painting double land Japanese Nakakura yuan yuan collection part

Until the archaeological discovery of Turpan Astana in Xinjiang Province made up for the deficiency of backgamme in Tang Dynasty.

Tang Dynasty backgammon unearthed in Astana, Turpan, Xinjiang Xinjiang Museum collection

Unlike the Japanese chessboard, the surface of this chessboard is divided into three strips with different colors, and the two long sides are painted dark blue.

Tang Dynasty backgammon chess board unearthed in Turpan Astana, Xinjiang

The three areas in the middle of the chessboard also use turquoise, bone pieces and other materials Mosaic clouds, flower branches, birds and other patterns. The whole chessboard is exquisitely made, simple and elegant.

Tang Dynasty backgammon line trace unearthed in Astana, Turpan, Xinjiang, Xinjiang Museum collection

Unfortunately, the pieces of this board have not been handed down.

Zhou Fang, a famous painter of the Tang Dynasty, once painted a scene depicting court women playing backgammon in the Tang Dynasty. You can see a chessboard in the painting, the design is exquisite and practical, the production is very exquisite.

My Wife's Double Land Map, Tang Zhou Fang, Freer Art Museum, USA

The two-layer base will support the chessboard to the appropriate height, and the middle of the transverse block can make the whole structure more reliable, and the above can also be placed on the glass and other debris, which is very convenient

Part of "My Wife's Two Lands"

The game in the painting seems to have only recently begun, for the two women's pieces are still in the inner and outer grids of their own side.

Pu Shuang by Hong Zun, a native of the Southern Song Dynasty

There is a special record of backgammon literature called "Spectrum double", the book on the types of backgammon, chess pieces, the method of playing, the format of the cloth, the rules of the line have a more detailed introduction.

Because the shape and play of double continents are roughly divided into two categories: southern double continents and northern double continents, the double continents chessboard in different dynasties will also be different.

Liao Dynasty lacquered wood backgammon Liaoning Museum collection

This set of backgammon collected in the Liaoning Museum, its owner is a woman in the highest ruling class of the Liao Dynasty, both the board and the pieces are very different from the backgammon we see in Tang paintings.

Chipped enamel lion pattern double land chessboard Ming Xuande, the imperial supervision of the production of the Palace Museum collection

Forty-fifth again wrote, "Ximen Qing and the count sat gambling and playing double land."

By the Qing Dynasty, backgammon was banned, but gamblers in order to escape the attack, the backgammon board was designed into a very hidden chess table style, which was widely used.

Early Qing Huanghuali high waist detachable chess table China Guardian 2010 autumn beat

Beijing Poly 2020 auction in the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty Huanghua pear Kang table type backgamnet game RMB 450,000-850,000

With the gradual change of the backgammon board, we can not only see the ancient people's love for backgammon, but also see the efforts made on the board in order to be more comfortable and convenient.

Backgammon is no longer played, but it is as collectible as a work of art.

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