1) A halved pair of golden dice
My chess career had come to nothing, at least the dream of being able to earn enough money to live on was over just in time. I had earned some money, could just about keep my head above water, but I also had to keep up the little lie that I still wanted to finish my studies at some point.
Coincidentally, the first official backgammon tournament was also in Hamburg. I was very excited. Did I really have special skills? The entry fee was 100 DM, quite a handsome amount. However, the gambling laws in Germany were such that there could be no cash prizes. So the winner received two golden dice. But I already had a taker, supposedly worth DM 2000. And I actually won!
So my career choice was clear: backgammon professional.