Congratulations to the eight women who have been selected to serve on Team USA in international women’s backgammon competitions. Team USA members include: Karen Davis (FL), captain; Kate Elmore (GA), Teri Harmon (CA), Marcy Kossar (MD), Irina Litzenberger (VA), Mary Morse (TX), Kara Schultz (CA), and Antoinette Williams (NY). Wendy Kaplan (IL) qualified as an alternate.
In 2020, Team USA prevailed in the online Genud Cup against the UK women’s team by a narrow margin. See PrimeTime Backgammon Winter 2021 for details of the 2020 Genud Cup. A rematch is planned for later this Fall.
To earn a spot on the team, women first competed in the Americas regional qualifier of the World Backgammon Internet Federation (WBIF) Inaugural Online World Women’s Championship. Women in Backgammon is donating 500 Euros to the winner of the world tournament. It began with regional qualifiers in the Americas, Europe/Africa, and Asia/Australia. Thirty women from the USA competed in the Americas regional qualifier (including Rain Ackerman with Canadian/US dual citizenship), with 10 women from the USA advancing to the WBIF Online World Women’s Championship Final. Sixty-four women competed from Europe/Africa, and 16 from Asia/Australia for a total field of 110 women players.
Women from the USA have fared well in the first three rounds of the World final. Six players have advanced to the final 18. As a result those six qualified for Team USA. Very well done!
The final two spots on the National Team go to the two best average PR's for all matches played in the qualifying and finals events with a minimum of four matches played. Kate Elmore earned one of those spots with a sparkling 6.44 PR. Antoinette qualified with a 7.32 PR, followed closely by Wendy Kaplan with a PR of 7.53.
The four women from the US who go the furthest in the World competition will qualify to compete in a playoff for the USA Online Women’s Championship title. In the case of ties, composite Performance Rating will be used as the tie-breaker.
Keep on rolling, USA!!!
Joseph Russell, Director, Women's Online World Championship