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Atlanta Backgammon Classic

The Atlanta Backgammon Classic, held February 29-March 3, 2024, attracted players looking forward to the end of a long, cold winter and enjoying the peach blossoms. Attendance hovered around the 100-entrant mark, with 96 players in the ABT Championship and Advanced events, plus another ten in the Novice division!


The lion’s share of the credit for the event’s popularity must go to its friendly and efficient director, Jeff Proctor. With the excellent assistance of Jonathan Hardigree, Ed Corey, and Dimitriy Obukhov, Jeff demonstrated that a lean tournament staff can still ensure a quality experience for players.

The major winners were Joe Urso (NY), who won the Championship event; Jerry Ungar (FL), who won the Advanced event; Mike Senkiewicz (NY)/Ray Fogerlund (NV)/Chris Trencher (NY), who tied for first in the Super Jackpot; David Todd (MO), who won the Masters Jackpot; Stephen Trundy (TN), who won the Limited Jackpot; and Avi Cohen (FL) and GL Harvie (VT), who won the Doubles.


Women put up an excellent challenge in nearly all events. Most notably, Irina Litzenberger (VA) tied for 1st in the Backgammon Masters Awading Body event, kicking off the Player’s Cup – a year-long tour. Women’s World of Backgammon (WWB) awarded Irina with a crystal bowl. It will also award a crystal bowl to the woman with the most wins at the Cherry Blossom, Michigan, and Denver BMAB events. And the woman with the most points in the Player’s Cup for 2024 will be recognized with a crystal vase from WWB.


Karen Davis (FL) had a good tournament, finishing 4th out of 24 players in the BMAB on the basis of Performance Rating (PR) with a 5.75 PR. She made it to the fourth round of the ABT Championship event, the third round of the Masters Jackpot; and with backgammon partner Marlon Aronstam to the third round of the Doubles.


Melanie Hughes (Caribbean) made a long trip from the Caribbean, where she lives on her sailboat with her husband, to play in the tournament. She also made a long journey in the Advanced division, battling it out until finishing second in Last Chance.


Marianne Bowen (VA) teamed up with backgammon partner and top Atlanta player Di Di to finish second in the Doubles.


Carol Joy Cole (MI) finished second in two $25 Jackpots.


But it was the Novice division where women dominated the Novice workshop and daily tournaments. Seven of the ten Novice players were winners and three placed first or second in the daily tournaments: Slick McNeil (GA); Anne Major (GA); and Hannah Chouete (SC). Karen Davis, co-founder of Women’s World of Backgammon, joined the group and described the many opportunities WWB offers to improve their game and make their way to the winners’ circle.

Summary of results:

ABT Advanced: Melanie Hughes, 2LC

BMAB Player’s Cup: Irina Litzenberger, tied 1st on basis of Win-Loss; Karen Davis, 4th on basis of PR

Doubles: Marianne Bowen (VA) & Di Di (GA), 2nd

NOVICE TOURNAMENT #1 (6): 2-Slick McNeil (GA).NOVICE TOURNAMENT #2 (5): 2-Anne Major (GA).

NOVICE TOURNAMENT #3 (7): 1-Hannah Choueke (SC)$25 JACKPOT #1 (8): 2-Carol Joy Cole (MI). $25 JACKPOT #2 (8): 2-Carol Joy Cole (MI). [CJC was second in two different $25 Jackpots] 


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