WIB Joins the California State Backgammon Championship in Support of Women in Tournaments

What a week it was. Twenty-two women came to play and support each other as Candace Mayeron, producer of the 44th California State Backgammon Championship, supported a number of firsts. We launched the first Women in Backgammon breakfast on Saturday morning when twenty women came together to share stories of competitive experiences during the tournament thus far and congratulate each other on the fine turn out and performances. Stories flowed about goals for the future and past triumphs and defeats. It was amazing! All six tournaments that Women in Backgammon will be contributing awards of expertise will also have a gathering of women to make sure that every woman who shows up has support by those that have gone before. Take a look at our tournament page to make sure you choose to show up! Thanks to Candace for making it happen and thanks to Blue Shoe Content for sponsoring the breakfast.


One of our founders, Christine Merser, presented the mission of Women in Backgammon to a full house of players. Afterward a number of men approached her to find out more about why it’s needed and what the organization will do to promote women. Interesting discussions and support by so many at the tournament showed a new awareness of the gender issues and how to overcome them.


And, then there were the winners. Karen Davis (FL) (and one of our founders) and Irina Litzenberger (VA) split the Women in Backgammon Women’s Expertise Awards for Open players while April Mesich (MN) won the Expertise Award for Advanced players. Irina won the Wonder Woman event, with Laura Granger (CO) finishing second in a field of 12 competing women. Karen finished third/fourth in the Open Consolation. Karen, Laura, Lili Iravani (DC), and Carol Joy Cole (MI) were on Doubles teams finishing second in their brackets of 8 teams. Carol finished third/fourth in a Seniors event. Congratulations to the women who came and conquered. It was a strong showing!

Veteran Ed O’Laughlin (VA) won the Open division in a field of 67, while Kevin Kahl (CA) won the Advanced division in a field of 60 – again record turnouts for the ABT in 2021! Art Benjamin won one of the Seniors events, and Al Hodis won the other. Ted Chee (CA) won the Masters Jackpot.


Zdenek Zizka came from the Czech Republic with his mother Eva Žižková, one of the top BMAB rated woman player in Europe. Zdenek at age 23 is a Backgammon Masters Awarding Body grandmaster; he won the Juniors event. ZZ, as he is affectionately known, gave a terrific seminar on his new book, The Zizka Method. Christine and Karen did an interview with both of them which will be posted shortly.


A big, heartfelt moment of gratitude for Candace who welcomed our inaugural events and prizes and who facilitated our successful showing. The future? It’s bright indeed.

For complete results see: http://www.chicagopoint.com/results.html compiled by Carol Joy Cole.




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