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Maya Peycheva, Sole Woman Competing in the Backgammon Awarding Body (BMAB).

Maya Peycheva, a leading woman backgammon player from Bulgaria, competed in the Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (BMAB) Mid-European #6 event directed by David Presser from Israel and held before the 8th Merit Open International Backgammon Championship in Kyrenia, North Cyprus. Eighteen top players competed in the event including Super Grandmaster Mochizuki “Mochy” Masayuki. The Merit Open, the largest tournament in the world in number of players, gets underway today November 6.

The BMAB is the avenue to qualifying as a backgammon grandmaster or master. Currently there are 73 grandmasters including one Super Grandmaster and 172 masters. At this point only two women have made the list of grandmasters/masters – Karen Davis from the USA who is a master class 2 and Cecilia Sparke from the UK who is a master class 3. EvaŽižková from the Czech Republic has an application pending as a Master class 3.

Congratulations to Maya for entering the qualifying event and having the courage to compete head-to-head with some of the best players in the world including Super Grandmaster Mochy! She had a respectable 2-3 Win-Loss record in the five-round event – as did Mochy! Grandmaster (G2) Thomas Myrh (Denmark), Master (M1) Marcus Reinhard (Germany), and Grandmaster (G3) Roland Sahlén (Sweden) tied for the best Win-Loss record with 4 wins and 1 loss each. At this point, information is only available on win-loss record. Computer analysis of their matches to see who had the best Performance Rating which is what counts toward grandmaster/master qualification should be forthcoming shortly!

Next year, who will join her? We are hoping to have her join us in one of our monthly zoom events. Art Benjamin, BMAB Master class 1 and Karen Davis Master class 2 will present a Backgammon Expertise Learning Session on Tuesday November 9 at 7 pm Eastern. David Presser, Grandmaster Class 3 will lead the December 14 session with a leading European woman player. More on that later.

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