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Labs backgammon club is mostly, but not entirely, about winning

May 23, 2017

Labs backgammon club is mostly, but not entirely, about winning

For Harvey Sharp, the same qualities that make for a great Network Infrastructure Manager also apply to being a great backgammon player: tenacity, patience, luck, skill, experience and a thick skin when being called 'a geek’.

The Octopus backgammon club was started by Harvey, way back in February 2014 (eons in ‘tech time’). It’s been going strong ever since, with more and more Labs employees wanting to try their luck at this 5000-year-old Persian game of skill and chance.

Those interested need not be ‘expert level’ to join the club. “The only qualification needed is being able to count,” explained Harvey. “The game is easy to learn, and yet can take a lifetime to master.”

Harvey’s mother first got him hooked on backgammon at age six. Asked what he loved most about the game, Harvey responded, “It’s the social aspect, but with the added bonus of competitiveness. It's great catching up with people from different areas of the business over a game.”

Karyna Silina recently became a club member and backgammon devotee. “I played a little when I was a schoolgirl, but we had slightly different rules. I had to download an app on my iPhone and prep myself before asking Harvey to join his league.”

Harvey only offers one tip for players: distract your opponent by talking about work. Some strategies, Havey adds, can be learned from books, “but for all of its subtleties, true skill is learnt from experience.”