We just finished our second annual Women In Backgammon Palm Beach ‘Classic,’ and what a day it was.
Thanks to our benefactor, Jason Briggs who hosted the event at his home, as well as donating personalized Crisloid backgammon boards to the winners of the Championship and Intermediate A divisions and personalized doubling cubes to the second place winners. This year, we had twenty-four women entered, including some of backgammon’s greatest women who came from far and wide to celebrate the growth of women competing in competitions in greater numbers than ever before.
Katie Scalamandre, 2000 Backgammon World Champion, won the Championship division for the second year in a row. Lee Genud, 1981 Backgammon World Champion; Karen Davis, Chairman of the U.S. Backgammon Foundation Board, a member of the American Backgammon Hall of Fame, and 2022 Giant of Backgammon; and Lynn Ehrlich, director of the New York Metropolitan Open Championship including the Lady Liberty Cup, tied for second. Rachel Lorentzen won the Intermediate A division, with Gigi Goyette, Terry Hains, and Madeline Leonard tied for second. Jeannie Roberts from France won the Intermediate B division, with Webb Egerton, Sophy Letts, and Diana Vought tied for second.
Jason Briggs also graciously hosted a brunch on April 29 in honor of Katie Scalamandre, with Lee, Katie, Karen, and Lynn playing exhibition teaching matches. Special guests included Anne Obolensky, daughter of American Backgammon Hall of Fame backgammon player Prince Obolensky, Michelle Rogers, director of the Palm Beach Backgammon Club, along with Mary Jean Gulden, Ann Hokanson, and Joan van der Grift, Palm Beach supporters of backgammon education and other philanthropic causes.
Our goal set two short years ago is to promote women’s participation, place and preeminence in competitive backgammon. Looking around the room, and the circle of women who have joined the commitment to our mission, we have come a long way. And, we have a long way to go.
A special thanks to Lisa Speer, who put the luncheon together and Nano Cabrera who ran the tournament.