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Backgammon international event attracts large number of local players

240 backgammon players from 30 countries are this week participating in the 2nd Gibraltar Backgammon Championship. The initiative of the Caleta Hotel the event has attracted five world champions – the 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Importantly too is the large number of participants from Gibraltar represent eight per cent of the total entry with more than 16 locals competing in the event.
Amongst them is Tourism Minister Gilbert Licudi who is a keen player himself and last year together with a number of players from the Gibraltar Backgammon Association attended the European Backgammon Championship. He expects to represent Gibraltar again in Iceland this year at the same event.
Mr Licudi told the Chronicle yesterday, as he prepared to play against European Champion Michael Larsen in the tournament, that it was really extraordinary to see the calibre of players in this event.
The fact that there are a large number of local entries, he said, showed the strength of the interest that had been created locally especially after the first tournament and with the creation of the Gibraltar Backgammon Association.
Mr Licudi said this game, like chess, was not just for adults, and it needed to be introduced locally to children as well.
“Backgammon is a game of logic, mathematics and probability, very much along the lines of chess.”
The Minister spoke of the backgammon tournament enhancing Gibraltar’s place in the international backgammon competition, of fostering a great interest for backgammon on the Rock but most importantly was the fact that the event draws people to Gibraltar.
“It is one of the events that has really captured the international community and although still in its infancy this event is already sold out to its full capacity.”
The event, he added, was also important from a tourism point of view.
“It is already turning out to be a big success in the international backgammon community. This event shows the attraction Gibraltar has for the international community.
“From a tourism point of view this is also very important because we get lots of people visiting for the very first time.”

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