Bunhill: Games and Puzzles magazine

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The Independent Online
ONE of Bunhill's many burdensome responsibilities is to frequent the gaming houses of London's demi-monde to glean interesting titbits for you, dear reader. Among the backgammon players who haunt the Double-Five Club in South Kensington is Paul Lamford - chess international, bridge fanatic and British Isles backgammon champion.

Lamford, 40, makes decent pocket money gambling at backgammon - perhaps pounds 80 on a good night - but is now hoping to exploit his knowledge in a more serious way. Next month, he launches Games and Puzzles magazine. The original title folded in the mid-1980s when the proprietor expanded into retailing. Lamford bought the title for pounds 135.

A former boss of Robert Maxwell's chess and bridge publishing division, Lamford is confident he can sell 20,000 copies of the first issue. 'I can't figure out why no one has already done it.' Nine million Brits play card and board games, yet there is no general publication to cater for them.

He has signed up John Menzies as a distributor and has attracted potential investors after his story appeared in Venture Capital Report. He is seeking pounds 50,000 in equity.

'It's a very small gamble,' he assures me. I don't quite believe that, but good luck to him anyway.