Friday, June 22, 2007

Chess on ice

Chess on ice.


That comparison is something curling has had to deal with since the dawn of time. Much of it (but not all) is rubbish, but we have always wondered what actual chess players think... has anyone ever asked them about the comparison? Do chess players wrinkle their nose in disgust at the mere mention of curling? Has anyone ever offered that “chess is like curling with multiple pieces, physical components and a very different playing surface”?

Doubt it.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (photo) is the world chess federation chief, and in a May 31 interview on this website, he was asked about his sport’s endless quest for Olympic inclusion:

Q: Are you still trying to bring chess into the Olympic family?

A: We are working on it every day. You probably know that we opened a FIDE office in Lausanne, getting closer to the IOC headquarters. We work in all the structures of the IOC – committees, IOC associations etc., and ask the IOC to state criteria for an international sports federation to join the Olympic family. They are reluctant to state it, and we keep pressing.

For example, why curling became an Olympic sport? When they applied for the status, they advertised curling as ‘Chess on Ice’. Isn’t it absurd that chess on ice is an Olympic sport, and ‘mere’ chess is not?

Hmm. Sounds like the biggest problem may be that curlers, and curling mandarins, are guilty of using the comparison themselves. A lot.

Ilyumzhinov, by the way, is also president of the Republic of Kalmykia, a Russian subject, and according to various media reports faces persistent accusations of diverting his republic’s resources for his own use, of human rights abuses, and of suppressing media freedom.

Oh, and he apparently claims to have once been abducted by space aliens.

Hey, we don’t write all of this stuff; sometimes we just pass it on ...


• U.S. curling skips Deb McCormick and Pete Fenson were horsing around – er, bearing around – in Alberta recently and stumbled across a taping of the hunting TV show Canada in the Rough. In no time, the pair were caught on video – Deb fishing, Pete bear hunting – plus both sitting on a bear stakeout, and talking hunting. Oh, and there’s a hot tub scene. Honest.

Will the curlers make the final cut? You can find out this Sunday, on Global Manitoba CKND at 7:30 AM, and on Global Ontario Sunday at 8:00 AM ...


Matt. said...

I asked the guy who runs Canada's Chess Federation about the whole chess on ice thing.

I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

Curling = chess on ice? How absurd!