I have just returned from the 16th New York Metro Open that was held in Jersey City, New Jersey. If attendance of this tournament is an indication of the year to come, it portends that 2023 will be a strong year for live tournament play. The Open division had 97 registrants, the Intermediate 76, the Advanced Beginner 44, and the Beginner 14. Lynn Ehrlich hosts one of the finest venues on the ABT circuit. The Hyatt Regency is on the Hudson River with a spectacular view of southern Manhattan and a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Many unique restaurants are within easy walking distance of the hotel. If you want to expand your choices, the PATH subway station, which is maybe 50 yards from the hotel entrance, is your $2.75 gateway to Exchange Place in New York’s financial district. Lynn will be hosting the 2024 Hall of Fame awards dinner at the Hyatt.
The competition at the tournament, however, upstaged the venue. Victor Ashkenazi won the ABT Championship against Jack Edelson with 20 seconds left on his clock in the final double match point game. Mario Kuehl’s late double 5s sealed his win in the Super Jackpot against Victor in another DMP nail-biter. Marty Storer continued to claim first prizes, this time in the Doubles (with Marianne Bowen) and Seniors events. Next up is the 10th Texas Championships in San Antonio hosted by Bill Riles and Tara Mendicino. I hope to see you there!
We recently elected three new people to the USBGF Board of Directors. I would like to welcome Kara Schultz, Antoinette-Marie Williams, and Jack Edelson. Kara will be working closely with April Mesich, our Chief Marketing Officer, to expand our marketing efforts. Antoinette seems to know everyone, everywhere in backgammon. Her player directory is as thick as the phone book I grew up with back when we used phone books. Antoinette would like to contribute as a writer to PrimeTime Backgammon Magazine. She will also chair our Nominations and Governance Committee.
Retired from the Board are Karen Davis, Art Benjamin, Neil Kazaross, and Rich Munitz. I am excited to have fresh faces but I will also miss the retirees. The story of their contributions to American backgammon, and their passion for serving, is deep and covers many decades. Though they are no longer on the Board, I know they won’t be retiring from service to backgammon. Karen, with her limitless energy, continues to be a driving force in the production of PrimeTime Backgammon Magazine. She is an extraordinary organizer for backgammon in Florida; Washington, DC; and Women In Backgammon. Rich continues to work on the Online Tournament System and has plans for significant upgrades in 2023. Rich and Neil will continue to serve on the Rules and Ethics and the Ratings and Statistics Committees.
I was proud to announce in the Fall issue of PrimeTime that the USBGF had achieved a new record of 1,400 members. I am proud, once again, to announce that we have achieved another milestone, now with 1,500 members. The USBGF is healthy, and we’re investing in the ABT. I encourage you to invest in backgammon by supporting your local club. Please consider attending an ABT tournament this year, or one more than you may have planned to attend. Tournament organizers and directors do what they do because they love the game. Though they may receive some financial benefit, their true reward is seeing tables filled with boards and tumbling dice, and hearing players talk about their bad beats or their brilliant checker play and cube decisions. Backgammon grows when you show your support by participating. Your participation is an investment in the future of backgammon.
Take care and we hope to see you at an upcoming event!