Three-way tie in exhibition senior chess open

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The senior open chess tournament, staged at Shetland Museum on Saturday, resulted in a three-way tie for first place following a close and hard-fought competition.

The full-day event attracted 20 players, including previous Shetland champions and four young players invited to take part from last week’s junior tournament. Each player was permitted 25 minutes of timed play per round, with several games in each round going right to the wire, resulting in some very exciting and tense playing.

Derek Hughson, Jan Riise and Bobby Sandison all tied on four points. The prize money donated by event sponsors, The Kildrummy Corporation Limited, was split equally between the three winners.

Company founder and secretary Ken Beer, who also acted as arbiter on the day, presented the winners with their prize money.

Following the point tie-break, the opponent scores of each winner were added up to establish an overall winner. With a difference of only half a point, the replica Lewis Chessmen set, donated by Shetland Amenity Trust, was presented to Derek Hughson by trust chairman Brian Gregson.

Mr Beer said: “Playing with chess clocks and time limits tends to favour experienced tournament players, so I was not surprised by the three-way tie among the stars of the 1980s.

“From an arbiter’s neutral position, the standout performance was that of David Gifford: in his first over-the-board tournament he beat two of the three winners, both Shetland champions in their time.

“I should also mention the progress made by four juniors drafted in from last week’s Inksters Solicitors junior competition. They are learning, under pressure, to play against adults. It bodes well for the future of Shetland chess.”

Following the popularity of two chess competitions in successive weeks, Mr Beer is hopeful that a Shetland Chess Club can once again be established.

He said: “Kildrummy is honoured to be associated with the Shetland Museum’s must-see exhibition of the Lewis Chessmen. We’ve been delighted by the response of the public to these two chess tournaments, and going forward we will support the formation of chess clubs in Shetland and the development of a successful county chess team.

“Kildrummy’s appreciation must also go to the imagination and hard work of the Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Museum staff who inspired our own contribution.”

Both recent competitions have been organised by the Shetland Museum in association with The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked exhibition, currently on show in Da Gadderie.

This week is the last chance to see the exhibition in Shetland, as the chess pieces are set to travel to Lewis next week.

Following the interest shown through the ompetitions, work has started to revive the Shetland Chess Club. Anyone who is interested in helping to establish, or join the club is asked to email their contact details to


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