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-  ’Chess on ice’  (© David Wall/Danita Delimont)

Officially, summer began on December 1 here in New Zealand (where the first days of March, June, September, and December respectively are considered the start of autumn, winter, spring, and summer). But this icy view of Naseby, on New Zealand’s South Island, shows that harsh winters here offer great conditions for outdoor curling, or what competitors call ‘chess on ice.’ And when there’s a multi-game tournament going on, that’s a ‘bonspiel’ in curling lingo. This year marks the first ever Curling World Cup. The second leg of the four-leg event brings the curlers to Omaha, Nebraska, today through December 9. Canada’s teams won the first leg, in Suzhou, China. Will they face stiffer competition in the Cornhusker State?