Women in Backgammon is a nonprofit organisation founded in 2021 to promote women’s participation, place, and preeminence in competitive backgammon. It was founded by Karen Davis, one of the top female players in the world, and Christine Merser, CEO of Blue Shoe Strategy, a social media strategy firm. Christine is returning to competitive backgammon after 40 years, trained by Prince Alexis Obolensky in the 1970s. WiB has already made great strides in providing women the support needed to find their place at the tournament tables.
Why was Women in Backgammon formed?
WiB’s goal is to overcome women’s underrepresentation at competitive backgammon tournaments. Women represent less than 15 percent of entrants in the American Backgammon Tour (ABT), with less than one-fifth cashing at ABT tournaments. Women are underrepresented in the ranks of the best players – only four out of 175 BMAB grandmasters/masters are women; only one is on the Giants of Backgammon top 32 list, and two in Giants 64 list. Only four women have been backgammon world champions in over 50 years.
Why are women underrepresented in competitive backgammon?
We intend to learn more, but early conversations indicate:
- Women need to feel more comfortable attending male-dominated events and more comfortable taking risks
- Women need to be able to afford time and money to attend competitive backgammon tournaments
- Women need more training to improve their skills
- Women need more confidence that they can compete at the highest level and see successful women role models.
What is Women in Backgammon Doing?
WiB provides prizes and added money at major backgammon events including:
- 500 euros to the WBIF Online Women’s World Championship 2022
- 1000 euros to the Women’s Event at the Backgammon World Championship 2022
- $6000 in added money to women at six ABT tournaments annually, plus prize backgammon boards, lessons, and match recording at tournaments
- WiB features monthly Backgammon Expertise Learning Sessions on Zoom and converted to YouTube videos pairing top-performing women around the world with expert backgammon teachers to help women improve their game and see role models through exposure to top-performing women around the world
- Sponsor events for women to gain experience, confidence, and heightened visibility of women champions including the Palm Beach Women’s Classic in April, the Hampton Women’s Classic in August, and the WiB Mixed Doubles event January-June 2022
- Offer opportunities for women backgammon players to network and share experiences, provide support to each other
- Conduct research and surveys to better understand how to close the gap in women’s participation, place, and preeminence in competitive backgammon
- Raise funds to provide travel scholarships, networking breakfasts, lessons/match recording, and support and recognition for women in competitive backgammon
How Can You Help?
We welcome your help as we pursue this ambitious agenda.
- Register on our website https://www.womeninbackgammon.com/ and social media https://www.facebook.com/herbackgammon to receive women’s backgammon news and notices of events
- Share the links with your network of friends sharing our passion
- Watch the Women in Backgammon monthly Backgammon Expertise Learning Sessions on Zoom or YouTube
- Participate in WiB sponsored tournaments and events, including those with WiB added money and/or prizes
- Join the Inner Circle of Sponsors by providing financial or volunteer assistance and encourage your network of friends to contribute as well.
- Volunteer to serve as a buddy/best friend for women new to tournament play, and teach/mentor women who want to start to compete.
Find WiB on Facebook