What an exciting 54th Backgammon World Championships (BWC) held in Monaco, July 22-30. For the first time, it featured a Women’s World Championships, replacing what was called the Ladies Event. It was an exciting event with 24 top women players from around the world.
The first official Women’s World Champion is Maggie Diamantidis, an American, who has recently taken up residence in Greece. To earn the trophy for this historic occasion, she won five straight 7-point matches including matches with two top Japanese players (Tatsuko Mochizuchi and Kazuko Numazawa), Natalia Pantea (Ukraine, living in Paris), Liz Granstedt (wife of three-time world champion Jörgen Granstedt), and an exciting final match with Laurence Sinitzky (France). Third and fourth place went to Annalisa Agosti (Italy), the winner of the Ladies Event at the BWC in 2021 and 2022) and Liz Granstedt (Sweden).
There have been 10 previous women winning the BWC Ladies event: Scarlett Serrero (France, 2008), Sara Utku (Sweden, 2009), Zoe Cunningham (UK, 2010), Lynn Ehrlich (USA, 2011), Laura Monaco (Italy, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015), Cecelia Sparke Rogers (UK, 2016), Anna Clark (UK, 2017), Alexandra Knupfer (Romania/Switzerland, 2018), Antoinette-Marie Williams, 2019), and Annalisa Agosti (2021 and 2022).
Four women have won the Backgammon World Championship: Carol Crawford (USA, 1973), Lee Genud (USA, 1981), Katie Scalamandre (USA, 2000), and Akiko Yazawa (Japan, 2014 and 2018).