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Women Ablaze in Michigan!

The fireworks inside and outside the Michigan Summer Championships held in the suburbs of Detroit from June 29 to July 3 were a spectacle to behold. The field of over 150 entrants in the Main Open, Intermediate, and Limited divisions counted a number of women in the winners’ circle!

The Women in Backgammon Fireworks Cup was capped at 16 entrants. Marcy Kossar (MD) won the final with Rhonda Monro (MI) taking second place. Marcy was delighted to win the 1st place prize including $500 in added money and a Women in Backgammon board, donated by Women in Backgammon. Marianne Bowen (VA) won the Consolation, defeating newcomer Maggie Sweeney (MI) in the final.

Karen Davis (FL), Women in Backgammon co-founder, finished tied for 4th/5th in the American Backgammon Tour Open division, defeating prominent grandmasters and a world champion along the way. Newcomer, Maggie Sweeney took 2nd in the ABT Intermediate division, and Fran Miller (OH) won the ABT Limited division.

Irina Litzenberger (VA) continued to display her prowess in the Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (event) ranking 8th out of 26 on the basis of PR with a 5.72 PR. Karen Davis tied for 3rd on the basis of Win-Loss rating, with a 4-1 win-loss record.

The popular Michigan Doubles event enlisted 32 teams. Mixed Doubles teams have become more frequent in the list of winning teams. Gary and Joan Koscielny (FL) placed 2nd. Marcy Kossar teamed up with Canadian Garry Kallos to tie for 3rd/4th.

Women in Backgammon hosted a table at the annual USBGF Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner on July 2. Celebrants included: Marianne Bowen, Karen Davis, Julius High, Alec Izzo, Roberto and Irina Litzenberger, Leslie Lockett, and Philippe Salnave.

Hall of Fame honorees inducted into the American Backgammon Hall of Fame included Matvey (Falafel) Natanzon and Mochy Mochizuki. Zdeněk Žižka made a very moving tribute to the late Falafel in a video presentation prepared by Blue Shoe. We invite you to watch the tribute below. Wilcox Snellings similarly honored Mochy, with Mochy making an extremely gracious response.

Mochy also presented a well-attended seminar hosted by Michigan tournament director Carol Joy Cole on his new book with Marc Olsen Master Class.

** Photos courtesy of Steve Sax and Karen Davis

ABT - 48th MICHIGAN SUMMER BACKGAMMON CHAMPIONSHIPS June 29-July 3, 2023; Novi, Michigan


ABT OPEN (86): 1-David Winn (TX), 2-Carter Mattig (IL), 3-David Stein (IL), 4/5-Karen Davis (FL) / Yury Millman (MN); 1C-Adrian Nedelcu (IL), 2C-Lynn Lusk (CO), 3C/4C-Tim Mabee (IL) / Joe Russell (CA).

ABT INTERMEDIATE (56): 1-Josh Posthuma (MI), 2-Maggie Sweeney (MI), 3-Ken Johnson (MI); 1C-Rich Catalano (PA), 2C-Bill Toth, 3C/4C-Jim Airgood (MI ) / Bill Chibnik (IL).

ABT LIMITED (9): 1-Fran Miller (OH), 2-Michael Ryan (MI); 1C-Mark Shepardson (VA); 1LC-Rhonda Woodbury (IL).

MICHIGAN MASTERS (32): 1-Dana Nazarian (CA), 2-Roberto Litzenberger (VA), 3/4-Dmitriy Obukhov (MI) / Joe Russell (CA).

BMAB-USA MICHIGAN (26): 1/2-tie: Neil Kazaross (IL) / John O'Hagan (IN), 3/5-Karen Davis (FL) / Alec Izzo (FL) / Claude Landry (Canada). PR Winners: 1-Masayuki Mochizuki (Japan) at 1.67, 2-Kit Woolsey (CA) at 2.69, 3-Neil Kazaross (IL) at 3.36, 4-Marty Storer (NH) at 3.54, 5-John O'Hagan (IN) at 3.72, 6-Ray Fogerlund (NV) at 4.57, 7-Cary Hoarty (OH) at 4.69.

DOUBLES (32 teams): 1-John Quinn (MI) & Mike Vasilatos (OH), 2-Gary & Joan Koscielny (FL), 3/4-Sean Garber (IN) & Mark Milke (IN) / Garry Kallos (Canada) & Marcy Kossar (MD).

LIMITED DOUBLES (4 teams): 1-Will Morgan (TN) & Tal Siegmann (MI).

JUDY FIELD MEMORIAL BLITZ (128): 1-Michael Mesich (MN), 2-Donald Gabbai (VA), 3/4-April Mesich (MN) / Peter Swartwout (PA).

GREG MERRIMAN'S $200 FIRECRACKER JACKPOT (16): 1-Herb Roman (IL), 2-Greg Merriman (MI), 3/4-Jim Curtis (IN) / Richard Munitz (NY).

GREG MERRIMAN'S $100 FIRECRACKER JACKPOT (8): 1-Scott Day (IN), 2-Alec Izzo (FL).

WOMEN IN BACKGAMMON FIREWORKS CUP (16): 1-Marcy Kossar (MD), 2-Rhonda Monro (MI); 1C-Marianne Bowen (VA), 2C-Maggie Sweeney (MI).

EMIL MORTUK MEMORIAL SENIORS JACKPOT (64): 1-Bill Lonergan (NY), 2-Farhad Forudi (OH), 3/4-Herb Roman (IL) / Jim Zinkhon (IL).

PRINCE BARLOW'S JUNIORS JACKPOT (24): 1-Michael Mesich (MN), 2-Cary Hoarty (OH), 3-Prince Barlow (MI).

USBGF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER (64 Seniors + 24 Juniors): 1-Bill Lonergan (NY), 2-Michael Mesich (MN).

SUMMER FREEZE-OUT (32): 1-Kit Woolsey (CA), 2-Mike Clapsadle (MI), 3/4-Prince Barlow (MI) / Sean Garber (IN).

FRANK TALBOT'S NEWCOMER FREEROLL (22): 1-Alec Izzo (FL), 2-Bob Ellis (TN).

DETROIT DMP $20 QUICKIES (16): 1-Prince Barlow (MI).

$100 BACKGAMMON ELEGANCE TROPHY JACKPOT (8): 1-Ricky Griggs (MI), 2-Scotty Kelland (CT).


$50 WELCOME WARM-UP (26): 1-John Isaac (CA), 2-John O'Hagan (IN), 3/4-Farhad Forudi (OH) / Ricky Griggs (MI).

$30 WELCOME WARM-UP (24): 1-Steve Hast (PA), 2-Jeff Clark (MI), 3-Bill Hathaway (PA), 4/5-Basil Farah (Canada) / Mike Rezai (OH).

$20 WELCOME WARM-UP (7): 1-Will Morgan (TN), 2-Tal Siegmann (MI).

AFTER TOURNAMENT TOURNAMENT (16): 1-David Kettler (TX), 2-Greg Miller (AK), 3/5-Donald Gabbai (VA) / Philippe Salnave (FL) / Marty Storer (NH).


Masayuki "Mochy" Mochizuki (Japan) and Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon (Israel/USA).


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