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Kick-off to WBIF Online Women’s World Championship

--Karen Davis & Joe Russell

The World Backgammon Internet Federation (WBIF) is hosting the second Online Women’s World Championship. It was launched in mid-July and the first two rounds have now been completed. There are 94 women competing worldwide including 56 in Europe/Africa; 32 in the Americas (North, Central, South); and 6 in Asia/Australia/Oceania. It consists of a first phase of three regional qualifiers and a final worldwide competitive phase. In addition, results for US players will determine sixteen players to compete for the title of U.S. Online Women’s National Champion. The tournament is directed by Joe Russell, Chair, Board of Directors, U.S. Backgammon Federation.

First Phase of Women’s World Championship

The first phase of the Women’s World Championship takes place in three regions: the Americas; Europe and Africa; Asia/Australia/Oceania. The format of the qualifying phase is Swiss Format of five rounds. Rounds 1 and 2 have now been completed.

Eight players from the U.S. have 2-0 win-loss records in Rounds 1 and 2: Antoinette-Marie Williams; Marcy Kossar; Lynda Clay; Seda Eflanli; April Mesich; Teri Harmon; Marjie Harbrecht; and Marianne Bowen. The top six Performance Ratings (PR) were achieved by Kate Elmore (5.67); Irina Litzenberger (6.39); Leyla Zaloutskaya (6.85); Karen Davis (6.85); Kara Schultz (6.87); Antoinette-Marie Williams (6.99).

The top European players with 2-0 win-loss records in Rounds 1 and 2 include: Yuliia Tkach (Ukraine); Cecilia Rogers (UK); Ingrid Sonnabend (Germany); Pernille Rosendal (Denmark); Svetlana Timina (WBIF-no flag); Anna Price (UK); Tetiana Riazanova (Ukraine); and Julia Haward (UK). Top PRs were accrued by:

Pia Jeppesen (Denmark) 3.26; Ingrid Sonnabend (Germany) 5.22; Eva Zizkova (Czechia) 5.44; and Martha Gjelseth (Norway) 5.53.

In Asia/Australia/Oceania players with 4-1 win-loss records in Rounds 1-5 include: Sepideh Ghanadi from Iraq; and 3-2 records: Maral Tahori from Iraq, the winner of the inaugural 2022 WBIF Women’s World Championship; and Cynthia Belonogoff (Australia).

Final Phase of Women’s World Championship

The top 33% of players in each region will qualify for the Final Phase All player's that finish with a 5-0 or 4-1 record in the five-round Swiss format will qualify for the Final Phase of the WBIF Online Women's World Championship, where qualifiers from all three regions will be combined. The remaining players will be drawn based on best Performance Rating of players with 3-2 records. The Final Phase will combine the qualifiers from all regions and be Swiss Format with double elimination. This will include 11 women from the U.S.; 19 from Europe; and 2 from Iraq/Australia.

U.S. Online Women’s National Championship

The Americas regional qualifying match records will also serve as qualifying for the 2023 USBGF Women’s Online National Championship.

Sixteen players will qualify from the field of 32 Americans entered in the Women’s World Championship for the USBGF Women's National Championship.

The eleven that qualify for the Final Phase of the WBIF Women's Online World Championship will also qualify for the USBGF Women's Online National Championship.

In addition, five more players will be selected from the remaining players. To determine those players, the lowest three composite performance ratings (PR's) from the sixteen players that finished with a losing record will be put into a pool with the five players that finished with a 3-2 record but did not qualify for the Final Phase of the World Championship. The five players with the lowest average PR's from that group of eight will qualify for the USBGF's Women's National Championship. The USBGF Women's National Championship will start at the conclusion of the Women's Online World Championship. It will be a single elimination event with 13-point matches.

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