Tim Holland, Backgammon Master, Dies

Backgammon may be considered a mere amusement by most these days, but in the 1960s and 70s, the ancient game enjoyed a revival. Tim Holland was considered the best backgammon player in the world during that time, winning world championships in 1967, 1968, and 1971 (no tournaments were held in 1969 or 1970); he died on March 10 at the age of 79. “He did not speak; he did not smile; his eyes rarely left the table,” Jon Bradshaw wrote in Fast Company. “There was a palpable arrogance in his play. He rolled the dice and moved the men about the board with the poise of a man who knows that victory is only a matter of time.” Between 1969 and 1974, the number of Americans who played backgammon skyrocketed from 200,000 to 2 million.