The Dominican Republic has won the Domino World Championship, which took place in the capital of the Republic of Abkhazia, Sukhum.
The Dominicans were the best in both individual and team competition, and received $24,000 out of the event’s $100,000 prize fund.
Second place went to domino players from Venezuela, with Russia finishing ninth, while the hosts from Abkhazia were 14th. Team USA was right behind.
“It was a very difficult tournament because everyone wanted to win,” Manuel Oquendo, head of the US National Domino Federation told ITAR-TASS news agency. “But the most important thing is that the players from all around the world were able to make friends. We meet twice a year and we are always happy to see each other. We all understand each other well, which means that we are one domino family.”
Meanwhile, the newly-crowned World Champion, Dominican Republic’s Joaquin Martinez, was pleased with the organization of the event and said that he would be glad to return to Abkhazia for yet another global event.
“I’d be happy to come here again,” he said. “Abkhazia has every chance to once again host the World Championship.”
The Domino Worlds is the first international competition held in Abkhazia, with the republic’s status remaining disputed.
So far its independence has been recognized only by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru, while Georgia still considers it a breakaway region.
Dominoes are played at a professional level, similar to poker. The game is especially popular in Latin America, where it is often broadcast on TV.