Women’s National Championship at Sunny Florida

The inaugural live Women’s National Championship sponsored by the U.S. Backgammon Federation (USBGF) was held October 10, 2022 in conjunction with the Sunny Florida Backgammon Championship. The event drew 19 players. Karen Davis (FL) won the event, becoming the first USBGF Women’s National Champion. Lynn Ehrlich (NY) was finalist in the Championship division with Melanie Hughes winning the Consolation and Irina Litzenberger (VA) finishing second in the Consolation. Lisa Speer (FL) won the Intermediate Division, with Yvonne Dalpay finishing second.


Women in Backgammon provided prizes including $1000 in added money, and Women in Backgammon customized backgammon boards to Lisa Speer, winner of the Intermediate division, and Melanie Hughes, winner of the Championship Consolation. The Alan and Joan Grunwald Prize Fund provided a $1500 diamond-studded Belair watch to the Championship winner.


In all, 150 players entered events in the Sunny Florida Backgammon Championship held October 5-10 at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, with 133 competing in the four Main division events and others in side events. Frank DiMaggio (NJ) won the Championship, Joe Urso (NY) won the Sunny Florida Classic super jackpot, and Dennis Culpepper (VA) won the Masters Jackpot.


Twenty-five women played in the Sunny Florida Backgammon Championship, and won their share of prizes. Irina Litzenberger (VA) won the Championship Consolation. Joan Libby (FL) won the Rookie division. Karen Davis finished second in the USBGF Tournament of the Stars with grandmaster Marty Storer, and third in the Masters Jackpot. Melanie Hughes (FL) and Jerry Shea (NY) won the Doubles event defeating grandmaster and Giant #2 Michy Kageyama and Kazuko Numazawa in the final. Carol Joy Cole (MI) finished first in the Seniors event, and defeated Marcy Kossar (MD), winner of the Juniors event, in the playoff between the Seniors and Juniors winners. Carol also finished second in the USBGF National Championship Regional Qualifier. Lynn Ehrlich won the opening Sunny Florida Open Advanced division event, with Marcy Kossar finishing third.


Women in Backgammon hosted a networking breakfast for over a dozen women players, staff, and guests on October 10. Karen Davis presented key findings from the inaugural survey of backgammon players. It will be published in the Fall 2022 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon.


Kudos to the women who competed in the tournament – the second largest on the American Backgammon Tour!


USBGF WOMEN'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP Division 1 (11): 1-Karen Davis (FL), 2-Lynn Ehrlich (NY); 1C-Melanie Hughes (FL), 2C-Irina Litzenberger (VA).

USBGF WOMEN'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP Division 2 (8): 1-Lisa Speer (FL), 2-Yvonne Dalpay (FL); 1C/2C-Maria Schaeffer (FL) / Marianne Bowen (VA).