It's an exciting time for women who seek to play backgammon for enjoyment and competitive excellence. When we started Backgammon. Winning. Women., we had no idea how deeply held were a need and a love for additional ways to commune around the game. More competitive opportunities. More places to play. More events to attend to hone skills and exchange ideas. What a pleasure it has been for us to dive into providing what we can to enrich the game we love.
Not everyone has the same goal in playing. Competition. Yes, some of us want to compete, spending considerable time setting goals; honing our game through lessons, competition, reading, and practice. Others want to play socially, enjoying both the company of others, meeting people with a similar passion for the game, and playing at clubs (we do need more clubs in this country) and online. Some want to learn the game, enjoying the fun, intellectual stimulation, and challenge it offers. Some want to watch it. Whatever your interest, we know that there should be outlets that effectively meet your needs around the game.
We think we can all agree that backgammon is a great game. Played by all ages. Always unique; no game the same as the one before it. Uses those math muscles we need to continue to nurture. Providing conversation and camaraderie and community. Our article this month on the new NYC Backgammon Club speaks to how a new approach to modern marketing using social media and an event format that cultivates friendships while having fun can strike a responsive chord. The result? A dramatic burst of enthusiasm and attendance. It's a model for growing the backgammon community nationwide. The best part about the amazing new club in NYC? It's twenty and thirty-something year olds.
There is a wonderful synergy to life and playing. Life has luck and skill and community. Learning to manage them all is one of life's journeys to success. Backgammon has the same components. Pretty interesting.
We appreciate everyone's support as we try and be an enabling body for where the game is going. Our growth, both in people following us, subscribing to our newsletter, attending our sessions, has been extraordinary. We want to do more. This month, we ask you for input as we put together the next phase on developing a membership option to provide more of what is necessary to keep the growth moving forward. Please answer the poll question we pose with what you would like us to provide in our membership options.
And, thank you for your continued support and community around the love of the game.
-Karen Davis & Christine Merser, co-founders, Backgammon. Winning. Women.
The New 20s & 30s Club in New York City
Remy started the NYC Backgammon Club 4 months ago, which serves women and men in their 20's and 30's in New York City and Brooklyn. When we found her account on Instagram we quickly wanted to set up a call so we could learn more about what she is doing!
“What I love about it is that we now have lots of people who play at all levels showing up. Women who have never played but want to learn, people who play and want to compete, and those who want to watch and socialize. It's growing fast and I'm trying to keep up. Social media is what made it happen, and I am thrilled with the direction we are headed. If you are in your 20s or 30s and want to play, join us!!” Follow them on social media to see what Remy and the NYC Backgammon Club are up to.
Christine met with Remy to talk about joint projects. What's in the works? A tournament set up by Backgammon. Winning. Women. in January. Remy mentoring women wanting to start clubs in their cities, giving them the template she has proven works. Backgammon. Winning. Women. setting up some giveaways and sponsoring higher learning with lectures and teaching for some of the events. And, who knows what else?
What an exciting time for backgammon.
Here are some pictures of what Remy's club enjoys!
BWW Provides Stipends for Our Commentators A few months ago, we started paying a stipend to the backgammon greats who provide their expertise and time in providing invaluable commentary for matches we showcase in real time and on our YouTube channel. We have had great success with our channel with tens of thousands of views over the course of the past two years since launch. In a recent match, after we sent the stipend, one of the experts providing service thanked us and said it wasn't necessary. We believe that if backgammon is to succeed, compensation must be commiserate with expertise and time invested. While our stipend is well beneath what it should be ($50 per match), it's a start and a commitment to build the sport the way it should be built, valuing those providing service to the industry. - Karen & Christine
Winning Women Women are increasingly placing in American Backgammon Tour and international events. In August-September they include: Sunny Florida – August 2023 ABT Championship, Karen Davis, 1st Consolation; ABT Advanced, Samra Hadden, 2nd; Novice, Teresa Schaeffer, 1st; BMAB-USA Florida, Karen Davis, 2nd on PR rating at 4.76; Sunny Florida BWW Cup, Lee Genud, 1st; Gigi Goyette, 1st Consolation WBGF World Team and 4th Skopje Backgammon Open – August 2023 World Team Championship, Team USA, 2nd, including Antoinette Williams; captain Candace Mayeron; Doubles Consultation, tied for 3rd/4th, Marianne Husum and Dagfinn Snarheim (Norway); Ladies Tournament, Gülderen Gucavli (Turkey), 1st; Angela Toliver (North Macedonia); Speedgammon #1, Marianne Husum, 2nd. The Inaugural World Backgammon Federation (WBGF) Women's World Team Championship kicked off September 1, 2023. Sixteen teams are competing with 84 players: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK, and USA. Team USA includes: Kara Schultz, Irina Litzenberger, Karen Davis, Kate Elmore, Mary Morse, Antoinette Williams. Viking Classic and BMAB – September 2023 Candace Mayeron won the ShieldMaiden Challenge, with Carol Joy Cole finishing 2nd. Christina Elias won the Early Raven – Advanced/Intermediate event.
Upcoming Events The top 16 women in the Americas region of the WBIF Women’s World Championship will compete for the title of U.S. Women’s Champion. The event will take place in the Fall. More details to follow. Las Vegas Open will take place at the Westgate Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, September 20-24. View details here. The 5th Denver Wild West Shootout will take place at the Best Western, Denver, CO, October 4-9. View details here. The St. Louis Gateway Open will take place at the Holiday Inn, St. Louis, MO, October 19-22. View details here. The Connecticut Championship will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn, Windsor, CT, November 3-5. View details here. The Capital Classic will take place at the Dulles Marriott, Herndon, VA, November 16-19. View details here. The California State Championships will take place at the LAX Hilton, Los Angeles, CA December 7-10. View details here.
World Women's Championship
Women Shine in Sunny Florida
Women were in the spotlight in the Sunny Florida Backgammon Championships held August 16-20, 2023, in Fort Lauderdale. The tournament, originally organized by Backgammon. Winning. Women. (BWW) co-founder Karen Davis, featured a Sunny Florida BWW Women’s Cup, a Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (BMAB) event, in addition to the American Backgammon Tour divisional events.
Lee Genud (FL), 1981 Backgammon World Champion, won the BWW Women’s Cup, taking home a beautiful trophy, added prize money donated by BWW, and a beautiful BWW backgammon board. Gigi Goyette (CA), came from Malibu to capture the Consolation prizes, making her dream of winning a BWW board come true, along with her trophy and prize money. She made the most of her visit to Sunny Florida, taking an Everglades airboat ride to see alligators and herons with Martin Barkwill from Newcastle in the UK and Karen Davis.
Karen had a great tournament as well, winning the Championship Consolation event in a field of 52 players, finishing strong with 6-straight-winning matches and double sixes on the last throw to take the event by storm! She had the second-best Performance Rating (PR) in the BMAB event, meeting her goal of playing a 4.76 PR.
Samra Hadden came from Atlanta to take second place in the ABT Advanced Division. Teresa Schaeffer (FL) ended on a high note as well, winning the Novice division.
WBIF Women's World Championship
As we have grown over the past year, so many have asked us how they can contribute. In addition, we have heard from so many of you with ways you would like us to provide additional tools for your backgammon tool box.
We are launching our membership program next month. We hope everyone will join and contribute and improve their game, while engaging with friends and fellow players. To that end, please take a moment and fill out our one-question poll to help us ensure we are providing as much value as possible for our members.
Thank you to Chris Bray, who passed this to us, after it was passed to him by Alexander Auer. "I’m always at war with luck and disorder. I’m always trying to impose my will over the randomness of the dice, over what seemingly has no structure. I may be sounding sort of melodramatic, but what I’m trying to do in backgammon is create order out of chaos. I guess in a psychological sense, I’m trying to make sense out of the world. People think there’s so much luck in backgammon. But that’s very unfair. They think there’s not that much to the game. That’s totally false. Backgammon is much, much more difficult, much more complex, much deeper than anybody can imagine. The dice create the surface chaos, which is always riling things up, but there are patterns underneath the surface that involve advanced, beautiful, non-obvious, non-trivial ideas. It’s my job to uncover these patterns.” – Paul Magriel You can read Alexander's obituary for Paul here.
A BWW thank you to Joe Urso, for giving forty-five packed minutes around the Walter Trice spellbinder, Backgammon Boot Camp. All about opening rolls, early doubles, positions that will come up again and again in your play, and with stories layered in. And, those attending participated as much as Joe Urso taught.
Stay tuned for the next round of book learning.