top of page

Women Bloom at the Cherry Blossom Championship

Women flourished at the Cherry Blossom Backgammon Championship, held April 18-23, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Dulles in Herndon, VA in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Leyla Zaloutskaya (NY) won the Cherry Blossom Women in Backgammon Cup, with Irina Litzenberger (VA) finishing second. Leyla and Irina are excellent Championship competitive players. Irina was featured on the cover of the Spring 2023 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon, the quarterly magazine of the U.S. Backgammon Federation for her numerous individual tournament wins and first place in numerous doubles events with her husband, Roberto Litzenberger. Carol Joy Cole, director of the Michigan Summer Championships won the Consolation; she also won the Consolation of the Night Owl Jackpot. In January she won the Lady Liberty Cup sponsored by Women in Backgammon.

Women in Backgammon provided $500 added money for the Cherry Blossom Women in Backgammon Cup and covered the cost of recording and transcribing all matches in the event so that participants have an opportunity to learn from their experience.

Karen Davis, co-founder of Women in Backgammon and originator of the Cherry Blossom Championship, stepped down from her Cherry Blossom organizational role this year after organizing the event since 2017 and threw herself into enjoying playing in the event. She tied for first in the Backgammon Masters Awarding Body event; came in second in the Martha Washington Masters Jackpot in a field of 40 top entrants; and finished first in the Doubles event with Kent Goulding, a fellow member of the American Backgammon Hall of Fame.

Novices participated in a three-day workshop aimed at building skill and confidence. Three different round-robin events were held with 55 entrants in the Advanced Novice division and 6 entrants in the Novice division. Women receiving trophies included: Joan Libby (FL) and Scout Jones (CO) who won trophies in Session #1; Jamie Rosen (NY) who won a trophy in Session #2; and Alison Schlatter (VA) and Monica Talbot (MI) who won trophies in Session #3; and Louise Marcigliano (NY) who won the Novice trophy. Julius High and Tom Jayne led the workshops and helped players learn new skills and connect with fellow beginners.

Mark your calendar for the upcoming Michigan Summer Championship which will be held June 29-July 3, 2023 at the Sheraton Novi (MI). Women in Backgammon will be sponsoring the Women in Backgammon Michigan Fireworks Cup with $500 in added money as well as recording and transcribing matches. For more information contact Carol Cole at 810-232-9731. The next tournament with similar Women in Backgammon sponsorship is the Sunny Florida Backgammon Championship, August 19-23 at the Hilton Marina Hotel in Fort Lauderdale (FL). For more information contact Ben Friesen at 810-348-1695.



Partial results from

CHERRY BLOSSOM WOMEN IN BACKGAMMON CUP (14): 1-Leyla Zaloutskaya (NY), 2-Irina Litzenberger (VA); 1C-Carol Joy Cole (MI).

ADVANCED NOVICE: Session #1 (23) Trophy winners – Joan Libby (FL) / Scout Jones (CO). Session #2 (19) Trophy winners – Robert Fairchild (TX) / Sheldon Richter (MD) / Jamie Rosen (NY). Session #3 (14): Trophy winners – Remington Brooks (OK) / Fred Leary (MD) / Scott Overbey DC) / Alison Schlatter (VA) / Monica Talbot (MI).

NOVICE (6): Louise Marcigliano (NY).

BMAB-USA #25 VIRGINIA (18): 1/3-Karen Davis (FL) / Jeb Horton (NC) / Scott Kelland (CT), all with 4-1 records. PR winners: Marty Storer (NH) at 2.82, John O'Hagan (IN) at 3.52, John Klein (MD) at 3.79.

MARTHA WASHINGTON MASTERS JACKPOT (40): 1-Victor Ashkenazi (NY), 2-Karen Davis (FL), 3/4-John O’Hagan (IN) / Bahman Zandi (MD), 5-Dana Nazarian (CA).

NATION'S CAPITAL DOUBLES (20 Teams): 1-Karen Davis (FL) & Kent Goulding (MD), 2-Ray Zamani (FL) & Bahman Zandi (MD).

NIGHT OWL OPEN JACKPOT (12): 1-Herb Roman (IL), 2-Michael Neagu (Canada); 1C-Carol Joy Cole (MI).

Recent Posts

See All

Women's World Team Championship Teams

Seven women’s teams have registered to date to compete in Stockholm, Sweden, from 8-14 July for the title of Women’s World Backgammon Team Champions. They include Denmark (Pernille Rosendal, captain),

Winning Women - May/June

Women are increasingly placing in American Backgammon Tour and international events. In May/June they include: 16th GERMAN BACKGAMMON CHAMPIONSHIP May 17-20, 2024; Niedernhausen, Germany CHAMPIONSHIP


bottom of page