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Gibraltar National Backgammon Team returns from Championship with runner up win

The Gibraltar National Backgammon Team recently returned from the 2022 World Team Backgammon Championship in Venice, where one member reached the final.

Captained by Michael Pitaluga, he and the rest of this year’s team; Nadine Chipolina, David Frier, Gilbert Licudi and Natalie Passano, played against the national teams from Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, Sweden and reigning world champions, Romania, before being knocked out of the competition.

In a similar way to last year’s performance in Germany, the team managed to score points in every match, winning a total of 9 points for Gibraltar and avoiding defeats with nil points.

Individually, all team players achieved at least 1 win for Gibraltar.

“The highlight of the tournament however was beating world champions Romania 4-1, a notable win that caught the attention of most attendees and officials who were quick to congratulate the Gibraltar team, as the win effectively knocked the defending world champions out of the competition,” the Team said.

“Of particular note, Natalie Passano became the local team’s top scorer for a 2nd consecutive year, winning 3 out of her 5 matches. The Championship was eventually won by Italy, with Japan runners up.”

This year saw the first-ever “Seniors” tournament for players aged 50 and over.

Some 32 players from around the world competed for the title, which saw Team Gibraltar’s David Frier win his matches in every round, making it all the way to the final.

“Unfortunately, Italy’s Fabio Sallusto took the win in an exciting, hotly contested final, but David proudly returned home with the Runner Up trophy, putting Gibraltar on the tournament’s official results table,” the Team said.

“The Backgammon Association of Gibraltar is proud of Team Gibraltar’s continued development and performance, with the team well-recognised and respected by its international peers.”

“Attending world championships annually and competing against top international players consolidates the hard work put in by the association and all local players, to continue learning, improving their game and placing Gibraltar on the international map.”

The 2023 World Team Backgammon Championship is due to be held in North Macedonia where those players who make the 2023 Gibraltar National team will be taking part.

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