Lawyer By Day, Competitive ‘Gammon Player By Night

A friend in Connecticut sent me something she read in the Connecticut Law Journal and I thought it was pretty cool.

The story was about a New Haven lawyer named Marcy Kossar who is getting back into competitive backgammon playing.

Good for her.

Kossar, we understand, is an avid backgammon player.

But for her, it’s more than a hobby.

She travels to competitions throughout the country where top players battle for money and pride.

Part of the reason she can do this is that her kids are in college.

She’s always played competitively, but now she’s really getting back into it.

“I’ve always been a games and puzzles person,” said Kossar, the director of development at New Haven Legal Assistance and in charge of raising funds for the organization.

She told the Law Journal, “I needed something else in my life [after her three children went to college], and this was like second nature,” she added.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Kossar traveled to a 64-player tournament in Detroit where she ended up netting $1,000 after paying her travel expenses.

She plans to participate in six more competitions between October and next March, including the prestigious national tournament in Las Vegas in November.

“When you win, you feel really lucky and it’s a lot of fun,” Kossar told the Journal. “Plus, you get to meet people that you’d never meet in your life.”

Kossar started playing the game competitively when she was living in Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s.

Back then, clubs and bars held weekly backgammon nights and the local games were played with $5 and $10 at stake.

She stopped playing for nearly 20 years to raise her children, and when she re-entered the competitive backgammon world two years ago, she noticed a significant change.

“The ability of the players had increased dramatically,” she said, because of the ability to play online against computers and other people around the world. “There are now computer programs available that analyze all of these moves in a game and tell you whether there was a better move you could make.”

Now it’s a lot more fun for someone with her intellectual capacity.

Now, she can analyze her own moves.

Ain’t that cool?

Watch for her at a tournament near you.

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