Prince Alexis Obolensky, regarded by some as the “The Father of Modern Backgammon,” was the first person to define, organize, and popularize tournament play in the United States and internationally. As chronicled by Hall of Fame member Bill Robertie, Alexis Obolensky developed a three-pronged strategy to popularize the game: 1) develop a tournament circuit, 2) involve “glamour—not just the rich, but the rich, famous, and beautiful,” and 3) reach the public via the media. He accomplished all three.
NOTABLE AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- In August of 1964, organized the first international backgammon tournament ever held. Later christened The Obolensky Cup, the tournament was held in The Bahamas from 1964 through 1970.
- Founded the World Backgammon Club in 1967, headquartered in New York City, to promote the game through tournaments and a master list of players.
- Organized the first World Championships. The tournaments were held in Las Vegas from 1967 through 1975. In 1972, founded the Backgammon Association of America which created standardized rules for tournament play.