offramp: Katowice, Poland.
The 17th December 2017.
The temperature outside is -6°C, but with Hurricane Eleanor raging across Europe it feels more like -20°C.
Old people dead in the streets with their tongues irremediably stuck to lampposts. #cold #LOL.
Inside it is not much better. Players sit in long ex-WW2 overcoats and balaclavas, wearing thick fingerless mittens and woollen scarves. At the board they shokel constantly, trying to keep warm.
In this game White picked up his queen to make his 108th move. He hovered her over the d1 square. He remained in that position until his flag fell.
His opponent discovered that Kreisl had frozen onto a solid block of blue ice.
They had to use a blowtorch and a pair of pliers to wrest the queen from his grasp. Dubinski agreed to call the game a draw.
Kreisl was submerged in a paddling pool full of warm water and was fit again for the next round.
He credits his survival to the local vodka, <z Czerwoną Kartką>, a delicate tipple which stopped his blood from freezing.