News & Reports Aug 8, 2014 | 7:46 AMby Tromso Olympiad 2014

Blitz and chess playing seals

Many Olympiad participants were unable to stay away from chess even though it was a rest day. The Arctic experience centre Polaria hosted over 90 players at yesterday’s blitz – and showed off some chess-playing seals!

Blitz action on the rest day in Polaria next to the Olympiad venue | photo: Daniel Skog, COT 2014

by Daniel Skog, a Tromsø 2014 Chess Olympiad volunteer

If you're hooked, you're hooked – and several Olympiad participants and locals attended the chess day at Polaria, just a stone’s throw away from the Olympiad arena. 

Focus! | photo: Daniel Skog, COT 2014

One of them was Sigurd Rushfeldt, a Norwegian football legend, chess enthusiast and official COT 2014 ambassador

Sigurd Rushfeldt, official COT 2014 ambassador, in action | photo: Daniel Skog, COT 2014

In the first round, Rushfeldt lost to Israeli GM Victor Mikhalevski. However, he got back on his feet in the second round and won his game against Wendell Meusa from Barbados. In the final standings Rushfeldt ended up with 3/9, while Jahongir Vakhidov from Uzbekistan won the whole event with 8/9, half a point ahead of GM Maxim Turov and FM Ulugbek Tillyaev.

7 wins and 2 draws brought IM Jahongir Vakhidov from Uzbekistan tournament victory | photo: Daniel Skog, COT 2014

The two chess-playing seals were also quite an attraction – demonstrating amazing chess prowess!

What a spectacular chess player! | photo: Daniel Skog, COT 2014

Fascination with chess is apparently not limited to humans | photo: Daniel Skog, COT 2014

The sporty seals also enjoyed a game of basketball | photo: Daniel Skog, COT 2014

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