Year 9 student Luca from Newcastle Upon Tyne has been playing backgammon since the summer of 2020 when his dad, Kristian, introduced him to the game. “I decided to learn and improve as it seemed quite fun and I wasn’t the worst at it, so I decided to keep playing.”
Luca is the only kid in his family who has picked up the backgammon bug from dad. Luca’s twin and younger brother and sister also gave it a go, but didn’t continue on. Luca loves that backgammon is something special he shares with his dad.
“My dad and I occasionally play one another, sometimes for fun and sometimes in tournaments. As I have never read a backgammon book, I use my dad to help and go through my games with me. I learn through playing rather than studying. He gives me tips and general principles to help me improve. Being able to go and play with NEBA (North East Backgammon Association) has been helpful and Tim Cross giving my dad lessons which have passed onto me. People not being intimidating towards me during tournaments and being friendly instead has also been encouraging.”
Does Luca aspire to become a grandmaster? “To become a grandmaster, I think I need to study/read a backgammon book, which I haven’t done previously, and be more determined to improve.”
In his spare time, Luca also enjoys playing squash and chess. “When I am older, I aspire to become a barrister (lawyer). I also wish to become better at backgammon and if I become a grandmaster – give lessons to others or travel the world competing in tournaments.”
Luca Mills (right) is the UK National Youth Champion 2022!
He and Oliver Squires receive their prizes from The Guest Of Honour – UK legend Joe Dwek.