Seychelles loses Chess player at Tromsø Olympiad - sudden death mourned by Chess community
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Chess community is mourning the death of one of its active members Kurt Meier who died yesterday at the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway.
Meier who was part of the island nation’s selection at the Olympiad collapsed while playing a match against a Rwandan player.
A press statement published by the organisers of the Tromsø 2014 Chess Olympiad confirmed that Meier had collapsed during the final round of the Olympiad.
“The Red Cross was present in the playing hall and quickly undertook emergency first aid, including the use of a defibrillator. An ambulance arrived shortly afterwards and continued emergency care. The player was then taken to University Hospital North Norway (UNN) in Tromsø,” read the statement published on its website.
SNA has learnt that Meier was confirmed dead at the hospital.
Meier aged 67 is originally from Switzerland and he is married to a Seychellois national.
Along with his wife and son they formed part of the archipelago’s selection of 10 players competing at the Olympiad which has seen the participation of some 1520 players worldwide.
A total of 650 matches have been played simultaneously for the past 12 days.
The worldwide Chess community saddened by this tragedy.
In a very brief phone conversation from Tromsø, the Chairman of the Seychelles Chess Federation Benjamin Hoareau told SNA the Seychelles delegation was “still in shock and saddened following this tragedy.”
Meier has been described as a very good player having contributed the most points for Seychelles on the men’s side.
The Seychelles Minister for Community Development, Social Affairs and Sports, Vincent Meriton told SNA that he had expressed his deepest sympathy and support to the Meier family and to the Seychelles chess delegation in Tromsø.
The news has also saddened the other delegations and chess players worldwide.
“Really sad to hear that one of the players from Seychelles apparently died during the last round of the Olympiad today,” said Hikaru Nakamura who is ranked 1st in the US and amongst the top 5 Chess players worldwide on his twitter account.
Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation SBC’s Sports Journalist, Jefferson Quillindo who is accompanying the Seychelles delegation said the Olympiad has seen some tough competition and he told SNA that at the end of the competition Seychelles’ men’s team is ranked 150 out of 177 teams while the women’s team is ranked 130 out of 136 teams.
The Seychelles delegation is expected back in the country on Monday.
The next Chess Olympiad is in 2016 and this will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.