As with many games, dominoes has centuries of history and is kept alive by those who love it.
Played with a passion around the world but particularly popular in Latin American countries, the game of dominoes is alive and well in Connecticut, too.
The thriving domino community came together last month as 18 teams squared off at the Hartford Public Library for a cascading series of games of Doble Seis, or Double Six. The city's first organized tournament, created by assistant community librarian Leticia Cotto, was a major cultural event of Hispanic Heritage Month, attracting players from Hartford, Wethersfield, Willimantic, Waterbury, Enfield and East Hartford.
After two undefeated hours, Peter Rodríguez and Juan Rivera slapped down their remaining fichas — domino pieces — to win. The Hartford duo plays out of Peter's Café on Park Street.
Although the branch libraries have hosted smaller sidewalk tournaments each year, this was the first time the central branch has hosted a city tournament, Cotto says.
Many of the Hartford tournament's players have won regional tournaments in New Jersey and Massachusetts, says Victor Quiñonez, a Hartford resident who officiated the library competition. Quiñonez, ithe president of the Hispanic Domino Institute of Connecticut, says that Hartford has more than 10 domino clubs, each with 25 or more members.
"I think the best [domino] players in the state are here in Hartford, and the best players in the United States are in Connecticut," says Quiñonez, a self-described dominoes ambassador who also serves as the Connecticut state delegate to the Federación Internacional de Dominó or the International Domino Federation.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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