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BWW December Newsletter

Who among us hasn't wanted to change their name at least once in their life? Well, here we are again at the name game tables after input from all of you. The name "Backgammon Winning Women" didn't work for many of you. So, back to the name tables we went, and our new name (and final!) is "Women's World of Backgammon."


Our following over the last year has increased globally by leaps and bounds. At our last online event, where ZZ talked about doubling cubes, we had our largest turnout yet. Many of the attendees were from across the pond.


And then there is our sponsorship of the WBIF World Women’s Championship (500 added Euros in prize money) and coverage of the WBIF World Women’s Team Championship. Karen was instrumental in advocating for both signature events as a member of the Board of the World Backgammon Federation.


We did run this name by a number of you who were around us at the recent Capital Classic tournament in the Washington DC area, and it received a resounding thumbs up.


So, this is it. In stone. And now we can move on and start adding programs and exciting additions to what we do.


Thank you for your honest feedback. We do appreciate it when those who support our efforts let us know what is working and what is not.


We’re working on a bit of review from this past year and our commitment to 2024 and some new programs and increased options for women joining the tournament playing field. We’ll share what we have in January!


--Karen Davis & Christine Merser

Winning Women

Women are increasingly placing in American Backgammon Tour and international events. Results are from the In November-December they include:


The Capital Classic – November 2023

Novice #2 - 1-Nazila Jalili (VA), 2-Mary Greene (MD)

BMAB-USA Virginia – Tied for 2/7-Ghazi Al-Kinani (VA) / ABT Marianne Bowen (VA) / David Danischewski (NY) / Sean Garber (IN) / Curtis Melville (VA) / Marty Storer (NH).

Doubles – 2-Noah Monro (MI) & Rhonda Monro (MI).


46th California State Championship – December 2023

ABT Open – 3rd/4th Consolation-Carol Joy Cole (MI)

ABT Intermediate – 1st Connee Cowles (MN)

Paul Dingwell Amateur Jackpot – 1st Kara Schultz

Seniors #1 - Alice Kay (CA); 3rd/4th Teri Harmon (CA)

Doubles #2 – 1st – Carol Joy Cole (MI) & Jake Jacobs (AZ); 2nd Connee Cowles (MN) & Clement McNally (FL)

Wonder Woman’s Jackpot – 1st Marianne Bowen (VA); 2ndCameron Stangel (TX)


USBGF Women’s National Online Championship – Update

The top 16 women in the Americas region of the WBIF Women's World Championship are competing for the title of U.S. Online Women's Champion. The first Round began on November 7. Tiffany Van and Leyla Zaloutskaya will play the final. Karen Davis and Antoinette-Marie Williams were semi-finalists. The final round consists of best-of-three 11-point matches. Two points are awarded for winning and one point for best PR. 


WBIF Online Women’s World Championship – Update

Maya Peycheva (Bulgaria) and Kara Schultz (USA) have reached the final of the WBIF Online Women’s World Championship after 13 rounds of play. They will play their match on on Friday, December 22, at 10:30 am Eastern US/16:30 CET.  Leyla Zaloutskaya from the USA finished third. Ninety-four women around the world entered the two-stage event: first placing in the top one-third of entrants in five rounds of Regional Qualifiers in the Americas, Europe/South Africa, Asia/Australia/Oceania; second advancing through nine rounds in the Final competition. Register here to watch the match during WWB's livestream of the event, complete with commentary. 


WBIF Online Women’s World Team Championship – Update

Three women’s teams out of sixteen countries competing are still in contention in the WBIF Online Women’s World Team Championship: Norway with 8 points; France with 7 points; and Sweden with 6 points. The best win-loss individual score is 8-0 for Hanna Thorsen from Norway. Top individual PRs in the first eight rounds are held by: Pia Jeppesen (Denmark) 4.75 PR; Kara Schultz (USA) 4.90 PR; and Ingrid Sonnabend (Germany) 4.92 PR.

Upcoming Tournaments Upcoming Tournaments


ABT: The 17th New York Metropolitan Open will take place at the Hyatt Regency, Jersey City, January 3-7, 2024. View details here

BMAB: January 3 in conjunction with the New York Metropolitan Open, Jeb Horton director.


ABT: Texas Championships/UBC-USA will take place at the Gunter Hotel, San Antonio, February 7-11. View details here. 


ABT: Massachusetts State Championship will take place at the Colonnade Hotel, Boston, February 23-25. View details here. 


ABT: 14th Atlanta Classic will take place at the Sonesta Hotel, Atlanta, February 29-March 3 View details here

BMAB: February 29 in conjunction with the Atlanta Classic, Roberto Litzenberger, director.


Want to know when the potential reward justifies taking a cube in dangerous situations? Check out this YouTube video by Zdeněk Žižka, the youngest player to make Grandmaster, and finalist in the 2022 Backgammon World Championship. ZZ, as he is affectionately known, says the key lies in a qualitative assessment of your game if you subsequently get lucky or unlucky. Taking is right if you have a “great game” after getting lucky and “backdoor chances” if you are unlucky. Dropping is right if you have to get lucky twice to have a good chance of winning. You should drop when you’re barely in the game even when you get lucky once, and if you get unlucky, you’re at risk of getting gammoned. The video contains excellent examples to help you hone your assessment skills. Big takeaway? Even if it’s a scary situation or you are being blitzed, you may have a take if the future has enough promising ways to win. Backgammon. Winning. Women. sponsored a Zoom session on November 8, 2023, with ZZ presenting his “stories” for taking or dropping cubes in blitzing, volatile, or scary positions and illustrating his approach with excellent examples.

Want to make a giant leap in your backgammon game? Watch this video where Julius High shares tools he developed to help Intermediate players improve their checker play. Julius directs Novice Workshops and Events on the American Backgammon Tour. Key to getting better? Count the number of crossovers it will take to get your checkers into your Home Board compared to your opponent. If you’re ahead in the race, race! If you’re behind, stay back! And when you’re ahead, clean up your blots and reduce the chances of getting hit and sent back to the starting point. Big takeaway? Take the time to figure out where you stand in the race. If you missed Part 1, you can watch it here. 


Women's World of Backgammon sponsored the recording and transcription of matches of women’s events at American Backgammon Tour events and supplied women entrants with copies of their XG match files.

What's Your Game Plan, written by the brilliant and entertaining duo Mary Hickey and Marty Storer is out of print. Marty found a few copies (dare we say we have 15 in our inventory), and he sent them our way. It's a great beginning and intermediate player's guide to setting up your 'game plan.' Oh, and you don't need an interpreter to decipher what the lesson is. 

Next up in our discovery of remarkable women in history known to have played backgammon is Mary Queen of Scotts. 

Mary, Queen of Scots, is known for her turbulent reign and tragic fate. However, she also had a penchant for backgammon, which she often played during her time in captivity. Despite her challenging circumstances, Mary found solace in the game, using it as a means of distraction and entertainment.


Walking down Park Avenue in New York City recently, I came across this window at Scully & Scully. I learned Backgammon in the 70s at the height of its golden era. I believe in the comeback of a game that can be played anywhere, and now with increasingly advanced mathematics, it's even more interesting. And there it is back on Park Avenue. It made me smile as I walked onto my appointment. 


--Christine, WWB co-founder

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