The Cruelest Game

“Backgammon is sometimes called the cruelest game. In 2008, during a snowy November outside Moscow, two strangers played on a board that one of them had carved in a labor camp. When the match ended, the winner got up, walked out of the room to get a knife, and then made good on their wager: ‘We had agreed to play backgammon– whoever loses dies,’ he explained at the time of his arrest.”

From “Chaos of the Dice” by Raffi Katchadourian in The New Yorker, May 13, 2013.

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