Chess on Ice

The other day I was grabbing a snack at a local sport’s pub when I noticed what struck me as an odd scene on one of the TVs. At first glance it looked like a couple of people encouraging a large, mobile Pet Rock to win a race. Of course, the sport was Curling, and it was an Olympic Qualification Event on the TV. I had “heard of” curling before, but I had never seen it played.

It turns out, there is more to the sport than meets the eye. More about that in a minute, but first, for the uninitiated such as myself, it is always good to start with finding out the basics. Here’s a fun little two minute video from Curling Canada that does the job nicely.

Entertaining, but that video doesn’t really explain why the sport’s nickname is “Chess on Ice.” Here’s a video that explains more about curling and mentions the nickname.

There is even a whole Chess on Ice YouTube channel that explains the sport in great detail. Here’s a short introductory video from the channel that starts to give a sense of the complexities of curling strategy.

Better yet, the sport is the subject of a debate among physicists, and there are even scientific papers about it. Here’s a video from Smarter Everyday about the controversy.

Cool stuff. Of course, being me, the most entertaining thing I found was a 360° Video that shows what it is like to “be the stone” 🙂

You can find out more about this unusual Olympic sport on the World Curling TV YouTube channel and the World Curling Federation web site.

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