Sandra Sha Stars in Ohio

The Ohio State Backgammon Championships, directed by Joe and Fran Miller, has long prided itself on being a people-friendly tournament. The 27th annual event held in Cleveland March 25-27 was no exception. It made for a fun-filled weekend, with some new faces in the winners’ circle!


The exciting news of the weekend came from the stellar performance of Sandra Sha, a radiation oncologist from Orlando Florida. Sandra won the Intermediate Consolation while her husband, Randy Heysek won the round-robin Novice division. Their son Robert played and cheered them on. Not content with one trophy, Sandra finished second in the Intermediate Jackpot, won the Blitz event with 16 players and the Quickies event with 8 players. Candace Mayeron, director of the Los Angeles Open and the California State tournaments took second in the Blitz. Look to more trophies in the future for the Heysek-Sha family!


Native Buckeye Cary Hoarty, a college student in Cincinnati, took the Championship division, with ABT All-Star Neil Kazaross from Chicago placing second.


Rory Pascar (IL) won his first Masters Jackpot, defeating John O’Hagan, the newest inductee into the American Backgammon Hall of Fame, in an exciting final.


Bruce Russell (WI) won the Advanced division, while Cary’s mom, Laura Granger (CO) won the Advanced Consolation. Another Buckeye, David Abood won the Intermediate division.


Roberto and Irina Litzenberger (VA) celebrated winning the Doubles crown.


Thanks to director Ben Friesen for deploying electronic brackets with digital screens around the room. It was the perfect combination of cutting-edge technology with old-fashioned fun.


ABT - 27th ANNUAL OHIO STATE BACKGAMMON CHAMPIONSHIPS March 24-27, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio

ABT CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION (28): 1-Cary Hoarty (OH), 2-Neil Kazaross (IL), 3-Greg Merriman (MI); 1C-Marty Storer (NH), 2C-Chris Knapp (MA).

ABT ADVANCED DIVISION (25): 1-Bruce Russell (WI), 2-Jayson Bulmahn (NY), 3-Tigran Avanesian (OH); 1C-Laura Granger (CO), 2C-Richard Catalano (PA).

ABT INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (11): 1-David Abood (OH), 2-Daniel Hesse (MO), 3-Brian Kastner (OH); 1C-Sandra Sha (FL), 2C-Alex Brill (NY).

NOVICE TOURNAMENT (5): 1-Randy Heysek (FL), 2-Charlene Britton (OH).

OHIO MASTERS JACKPOT (20): 1-Rory Pascar (IL), 2-John O'Hagan (IN), 3-Dan Minardi (CO).

ADVANCED JACKPOT (16): 1-Jerry Shea (NY), 2-Bill Lonergan (NY).

INTERMEDIATE JACKPOT (2): 1-Bill Chibnik (IL), 2-Sandra Sha (FL).

DOUBLES (14 teams): 1-Irina & Roberto Litzenberger (VA), 2-Bill Lonergan (NY) & Dan Minardi (CO).

BLITZ (16): 1-Sandra Sha (FL), 2-Candace Mayeron (CA).

QUICKIES (8): 1-Sandra Sha (FL).

WARM-UP TOURNAMENT (21): 1-Ray Cifani (OH), 2-Boris Shafransky (MD), 3-Marty Storer (NH).

AFTER-TOURNEY TOURNAMENT (16): 1-Gary Koscielny (FL), 2-Igor Baburov (NY).



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