I learned to play backgammon while living in Turkey.

Whether it was while drinking tea in the back streets of Istanbul, at a friends house enjoying sunset drinks on a “teras” or on the beach in Kas along the Mediterranean coast. But my most formidable opponents, and my best training, I’ve met them at the Sabah Workshop in Gaziantep.

At the end of a long day, we’ll head into a “han” (the Turkish word for "inn" where merchants stayed when traveling the trading routes of the old silk road) in the ancient bazaar where tea, snacks and nargile await... and a few fierce games. Orhan plays fast and likes to talk smack. Or midday, needing a boost, we go for Turkish Coffee at Tahmis Kahve, a coffee house dating back to 1635 - a single game and two Turkish coffees later... back to work.

I’ve since traveled the world, always seeking out or bringing a backgammon board along with me, always in large attaché case form. I loved traveling with a partner, and finding places to play backgammon along the way - at a cafe, at the airport, on the beach, in the hotel room before dinner... a great way to pass the time engaged and having fun.

But I never found traveling with a large attaché case very practical, hard to pack and hard to carry on. Difficult to lug between destinations too, or to carry to the park.

also never found a traveling board I loved... always either too cheaply constructed, or not quite properly made. So we set out to make it ourselves, using our beautiful Sabah leathers and the skilled craft of one of Istanbul’s best small leather good workshops.

The size is just right. Small enough for portability, and large enough for a proper game. The construction and presentation is beautiful enough to make it table art, and quality of materials & craft allows for lifelong durability. It’s a true keepsake. An amazing gift. And has been beloved by our customers so far.

Might we suggest a few backgammon-friendly situations!

A day at the beach!