Mother-son duo Grandmaster Zdenek Zizka & top-rated woman player Eva Žižková
Women in Backgammon co-founders Christine Merser and Karen Davis interview mother-son duo from the Czech Republic – 23-year old Grandmaster Zdenek Zizka (ZZ) and top-rated European woman player Eva Žižková. ZZ’s new book The Zizka Method emphasizes assessing how the game is likely to evolve in the future under alternative plays. Eva shares how she recognized and nurtured her son’s talent at an early age while developing her own skill as a first-rate competitor. ZZ, as he is affectionately known, is the number one rated player on Backgammon Galaxy out of 30,000 players. He recently won the Athens Open. Eva finished third in the 8th Merit Open Ladies Event in North Cyprus, the largest backgammon tournament in the world. Thanks to Candace Mayeron, producer of the 2021 California State Championship, for bringing them to the U.S. for the first time.
Teri Harmon - Competitive Backgammon Player
There are theories around the challenging disparity in percentages of women who actually compete in backgammon. Talk about odds not in our favor. Some say the challenge is that backgammon is a high risk, gambling-centric mind sport, and women are not comfortable in that arena. Teri Harmon, who works in finance as well as playing competitive backgammon, has addressed women’s adversity to risk for years. She brings her thoughts to the table and Christine Merser, co-founder of Women in Backgammon, adds some historical context (who knew) to enlighten our thinking when heading to the tournament tables.
Art Benjamin - Mathemagician, Harvey Mudd Mathematics Professor & Backgammon Pro
Join Christine Merser, one of the founders of Women in Backgammon, as she interviews Art Benjamin on everything from preparing for a match to his thoughts around the future of the game. Ever the optimist, his positivity about approach and process for those playing the game is inspiring. And, he has a few stories to tell as well. Don’t miss this interesting conversation.
Candace Mayeron - Backgammon Tournament Director
Meet Candace Mayeron, whose contributions in backgammon's growth over the past decade has brought her the USBGF's 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. She has some interesting insights about why women are not represented in larger numbers in the competitive backgammon arena. Don't miss this first podcast from Women in Backgammon.