Viking Chess takes off in American Midwest

6:39 min

Now it's true - the Vikings did really cross the Atlantic. The Swedish outdoor game of Kubb, dubbed "Viking Chess", has taken off in the American Midwest, home to thousands with Swedish ancestry.

Eric Anderson from Eau Claire in Wisconsin, who has Swedish grandparents, became hooked on kubb after being introduced to the game by relatives while on a year-long vacation with his wife in Karlskrona, Sweden and brought the game back to his small town in 2007, organising games for family and friends.

Interest took off and Eric Anderson set-up the US National Kubb Championships in Eau Claire, which last year saw 80 teams enter with 300 players. Similar tournaments have been arranged in neighbouring states such as Ohio, Minnesota and Minneapolis

"It's been a nice way for me to connect with my ancestry and think about Sweden when I play. The game has exploded here."

Eric Anderson has made it to Gotland, where the game was invented, to play in the Kubb World Championships in 2011.  

Kubb involves opposing teams throwing wooden batons at wooden blocks culminating in knocking-over a larger piece, "the King."