Women in the Winners’ Circle at Cherry Blossom

Women are coming up in the backgammon world and taking their place at the winner’s table! One in five Cherry Blossom Backgammon Championship entrants were women – compared with an average of 14 percent in the last year at all American Backgammon Tour (ABT) tournaments. A number of women commented that they were encouraged to participate by Women in Backgammon’s campaign to spotlight women’s achievements!



Women were also well represented in the Winners Circle! Carol Joy Cole finished second in the Last Chance of the ABT Championship division, garnering the Women’s Prize donated by Women in Backgammon. Marcy Kossar won second in the ABT Advanced division Consolation, earning the Women’s Prize in that division, and Clare Phelps won the Last Chance in the ABT Intermediate division, as well as the Women’s Prize for that division. Women took 6 out of the 8 top spots in the Novice division, with Emily Hathaway and Slick McNeil sharing the women’s prize for their 3rd/4th place finish.


In the Backgammon Masters Awarding Body event which is the pathway to qualification for grandmaster/master status, Karen Davis tied for 2nd based on her 3-0 win-loss ratio. Entrants were also ranked on their Performance Rating (PR), with Irina Litzenberger finishing third for her 5.80 PR and Karen Davis (6.28 PR) fourth in the field of 16 entrants.


Irina had a great tournament, winning the Doubles event with her husband Roberto in a field of 20 teams; 2nd in the Abraham Lincoln Open Jackpot; and tied for 3rd in the USBGF National Championship Playoff. Karen Davis and her doubles partner Kent Goulding, both American Backgammon Hall of Fame honorees finished 3rd/4th in the Doubles event.


Augusta Lorber won the Alfred Mamlet Freeroll event, in a field of 40 players.


Over a dozen women attended the Women in Backgammon networking breakfast on Friday April 22 – and noted their appreciation for the opportunity to get to know other women players.

(first row (L to R): Peggy Neubig, Karen Davis, Augusta Lorber, Lili Iravani; second row Monica Talbot, Negin Tofigh, Marianne Bowen, Andy Lindeberg, Carol Joy Cole, Irina Litzenberger, Marcy Kossar, Sarah Saltus)


Well done all!


ABT - CHERRY BLOSSOM BACKGAMMON CHAMPIONSHIPS (preliminary results from ChicagoPoint.com) April 20-24, 2022; Herndon, Virginia

ABT CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION (46): 1-Ed O'Laughlin (VA), 2-Grant Schneider (VA), 3/4-Victor Ashkenazi (NJ) / John O'Hagan (IN); 1C-Kit Woolsey (CA), 2C-Gary Koscielny (FL); 1LC-Boris Dekhtyar (NY), 2LC-Carol Joy Cole (MI); Women's Prize: Carol Joy Cole (MI).

ABT ADVANCED DIVISION (40): 1-Sharooz Moreh (NY), 2-Larry Brown (VA); 1C-Brian Vance (MI), 2C-Marcy Kossar (MD); 1LC-Mike Ireland (England), 2LC-Michael Mesich (MN); Women's Prize: Marcy Kossar (MD).

ABT INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (23): 1-Bill Chibnik (IL), 2-Steven Valliere (MA); 1C-Michael Andruchow (England), 2C-Behrooz Jamshidi (MD); 1LC-Clare Phelps (OH), 2LC-Anthony Auer (NY); Women's Prize: Clare Phelps (OH).

NOVICE DIVISION (22): 1-Fred Leary, 2-Spencer Gay (VA), 3/4-Emily Hathaway (MA) / Slick McNeil (GA), 5/8-Jessica Auer (NY) / Sheryl Glenn (MD) / Allison Schlatter (VA) / Negin Tofigh (VA); Women's Prize: Emily Hathaway (MA) / Slick McNeil (GA).

BMAB-USA #22 (16): 1-Alec Izzo (FL), 2/4-Karen Davis (FL) / Greg Merriman (MI) / John O'Hagan (IN). Best PRs: John O'Hagan at 3.54, John Klein (MD) at 4.25, Irina Litzenberger (VA) at 5.80, and Karen Davis (FL) at 6.28.

CHERRY BLOSSOM CLASSIC SUPER JACKPOT (16): 1-Michael Urban (Germany), 2-Victor Ashkenazi (NJ), 3/4-Kent Goulding (MD) / Jason Pack (NY).

GEORGE WASHINGTON MASTERS JACKPOT (24): 1-Kit Woolsey (CA), 2-Victor Ashkenazi (NJ), 3-Sean Garber (IN).

ABRAHAM LINCOLN OPEN JACKPOT (32): 1-Jerry Shea (NY), 2-Irina Litzenberger (VA), 3/4-Garry Kallos (Canada) / Gary Koscielny (FL).

THOMAS JEFFERSON LIMITED JACKPOT (24): 1-Larry Brown (VA), 2-Scotty Kelland (CT), 3-Jesse Borg (Gibraltar).

CHERRY BLOSSOM USBGF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS (128): 1-Dennis Culpepper (VA) / Daniel Adler (NY) / G.L. Harvie (VT) / John Klein (MD), 2-Arash Ghafouri (MD) / Gary Koscielny (FL) / Michael Mesich (MN) / Grant Schneider (VA).

USBGF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF (8): 1-Dennis Culpepper (VA), 2-Neil Berkman (VA), 3/4-Irina Litzenberger (VA) /Ed O’Laughlin (VA), 5/8-Daniel Adler (NY) / G.L. Harvie (VT) / John Klein (MD) / April Mesich (MN).

DC*METRO OPEN: Division 1: 1-Dennis Culpepper (VA), 2/7-Igor Baburov (NY) / Bahman Zandi (MD) / Stepan Nuniyants (WA) / Kent Goulding (MD) / Bill Finneran (MD) / Behrooz Jamshidi (MD). Division 2: 1-Brian Vance (MI), 2/5-Alec Izzo (FL) / Nima Sabbaghian (MD) / Tom Jayne (VA) / Ghazi Al-Kinani (VA).

NATION'S CAPITAL DOUBLES (20 teams): 1-Irina & Roberto Litzenberger (VA), 2-Natalie Colombe (VA) & Jason Pack (NY), 3/4-Christian Briggs (FL) & Kit Woolsey (CA) / Karen Davis (FL) & Kent Goulding (MD).

ALFRED MAMLET NEWCOMER'S FREE ROLL (40): 1-Augusta Lorber (FL), 2-Boris Shafransky (MD), 3/4-P.J. Macali (OH) / Phil Perelmuter (MA).

FTH BOARD TOURNAMENT (32): 1-Igor Baburov (NY), 2-Ray Fogerlund (NV).

$100 JP #1 (8): 1-Boris Dekhtyar (NY), 2-Stepan Nuniyants (WA). $100 JP #2 (8): 1-Stepan Nuniyants (WA), 2-Carol Joy Cole (MI). $100 JP #3 (8): 1-Jesse Borg (Gibraltar), 2-Igor Baburov (NY).

$50 JACKPOT #1 (8): 1-Curtis Melville (MI). $50 JACKPOT #2 (8): 1-Herb Roman (IL). $50 JACKPOT #3 (8): 1-Herb Roman (IL).


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