Friday, 12 January 2007

Chess showdown ends in check melt

Europe's unseasonably warm winter has almost put paid to a chess match between London and Moscow, using huge pieces carved from ice.
The pieces began melting so quickly that some were almost indistinguishable by the time the match finished.

Huge chessboards had been laid out in the Russian and British capitals, with grandmasters Nigel Short and Anatoly Karpov taking charge of the teams.

The match was held as part of a Russian "Old New Year" festival in London.

The temperature was 12C in London's Trafalgar Square and 5C in Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square - both well above average for the time of year.

The whole of Europe has had an exceptionally warm autumn and winter, with Moscow bereft of its usual snow and ice.

On the London board Russia's "king", which was crafted in the shape of a Kremlin tower, had lost its Soviet star before the game even began.