Somerset glass sculptor retains Viking chess game world title

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World quickplay hnefatafl champion is Tim Millar, a glass sculptor from Somerset, who retained his title at the weekend.

The third world championships, hosted by the Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel, were held in the Fetlar Community Hall on Saturday.

Tim donated a trophy that will be displayed in the Fetlar Interpretive Centre and will hold the names of every winner. He also won a carved board and set made by Theresa and George New of newscatnesscarvings.

The junior winner was Dean Thomason, who lives in Edinburgh but whose mother hails from Fetlar. He is the first winner of a hnefatafl title with Shetland roots. In addition to the coloured playing board and set given to every junior competitor, he won a boxed hnefatafl set.

As part of the display of the Lewis Chessmen at the National Museum Scotland the Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel was asked to mount a display showing how the game is played nowadays. This presentation, including an opportunity to play as well as a powerpoint display of the rules and some boards, will be at the Shetland Museum next year when the Lewis Chessmen are displayed there.

The Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel always test proposed changes to the rules by practical play to try to keep the chances of both attacker and defender as equal as possible. In an extension to this policy the panel intends having evenings in the Fetlar Community Hall over the winter when visitors can drop in, play, watch and hopefully become keen enough to compete in next year’s event on Saturday 1st August.

The game can also be played online on the aagweneilson.de website. The option for English language and that for the FHP rules can be selected so that budding contenders can hone their expertise for the next tournament.

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