By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick went from the gridiron to the chessboard today.

“This is one of the best games ever invented — I’ll play this before I play the Xbox,” said Vick, for whom chess is a newfound passion.

“I started playing when I was at Leavenworth,” said the star quarterback and convicted felon.  “Honestly, yeah, that’s how I started passing my time.”

Now, Vick plays several times a week with a chess buddy.

At Lincoln Financial Field today, Vick was among several team players who took on challengers during “Eagles Chess Day,” an annual tournament for more than 200 of the best young chess players in the area.

Eighteen-year-old Jowell Ammons says Vick is a formidable foe:

“I was not expecting him to know how to play chess at the level he knew how to play.  Usually during these events a lot of Eagles players will come, but they’re kinda ‘okay’ at chess.  Mike Vick surprised me because he was excellent!  But in the end I had to come out with the win.”

Vick did prevail over at least one other player.

Vick, who served time for his role in a dogfighting ring, has since made many public appearances at schools and community groups criticizing his own participation in the practice of dogfighting and encouraging young people not to get involved with it.


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