Women Stepped Up to the Plate at 13th Atlanta Spring Backgammon Classic
The 13th Atlanta Spring Backgammon Classic, held March 2-5, 2023, attracted players looking forward to the end of a long, cold winter and enjoying the peach blossoms and sunshine. Attendance broke the 100-entrant mark for the first time, with 108 entrants in the ABT Championship and Advanced events, plus another 8 in the Novice division! Women were out in numbers as well, both as entrants and winners!
Stacy Turner from Florida won the ABT Championship and Joe Urso (NY) won the Consolation for the second year in a row. Michael Neagu came from Canada to bask in the sunshine and take Last Chance.
Women made their mark in several events. Laura Granger (CO) won the Advanced division edging out Samra Hadden (GA). Samra in turn won the Atlanta Cup Limited Jackpot, with Irina Litzenberger (VA) taking second.
The Novice division winners were two fine women players, Ece Agirbas (GA) who placed first and Joan Libby (FL) who came in second.
For the first time the Atlanta tournament included a BMAB event directed by Roberto Litzenberger (VA). Twenty-six players including a record seven women entered the event. It was won by Philippe Salnave (FL). Eight players tied for 2nd/9th including three women Karen Davis (FL), Irina Litzenberger, and Tiffany Van (TX). Hometown player DiDi (GA) won the best PR with a stunning 3.37 Performance Rating average.
Grandmaster Chris Trencher (NY) won the Super Jackpot while Mike Horri won the Taylor-Wilensky Masters over ABT All-Time #2 Ray Fogerlund (NV), with Gary Koscielny (NY) and grandmaster Petko Kostadinov (SC) finishing third/fourth in the 32-player event. Michael Klein (Cayman Islands) won the Speedgammon event.
The Doubles event was won by Michael Neagu (Canada) and partner Leyla Zaloutskaya (NY), who edged out Laura Granger and Dan Minardi from Colorado.