Shetland Junior Chess Competition

14 March 2011

The junior chess competition held at Shetland Museum and Archives on 12 March was a great success and has been credited with giving chess a bright future in Shetland.

The competition was held in association with The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked exhibition and proudly sponsored by Inksters Solicitors. Brian Inkster was Shetland Junior Chess Champion, and joint Scottish under 17 Chess Champion in 1982.

The five round tournament was played with a professional and enthusiastic attitude from the young competitors.  Michael Samek from Lerwick scored a maximum five points and was the overall winner.  Michael was presented with a specially commissioned Inksters Solicitors trophy and £60 prize money. 

Shetland Junior Chess Competition

Michael Samek (Junior Chess Champion) and Brian Inkster

James Riise from Bixter, and Lindsay Garrick of Tresta, were joint second placed winners with four points each in a very close competition.

32 children from all over Shetland took part in Saturday’s event with an age range of primary six through to secondary four.  Ken Beer, Derek Hughson and Jan Riise, all Shetland Champions of the 1970s and 1980s, acted as arbiters. 

Chief Arbiter Ken, said “I have controlled dozens of tournaments in Shetland over the years but this was the biggest and the best, and I want to hold more.  The competitors were a joy to work with and the standard of chess was impressive.  I have no doubt that we can develop a junior chess team over the next year or two that will rival or surpass the exploits of the 1980s when Shetland players habitually won national tournaments.  Shetland chess has a bright future, thanks to the initiative of the staff at Shetland Amenity Trust and the touring Lewis Chessmen exhibition.”

Shetland Junior Chess Championship

Jan Riise added “A community chess club is absolutely necessary to capture the enthusiasm of (Saturday). For me the telling feature was parent/child engagement throughout the day.  I really feel a solid foundation has been established, among a genuinely engaged and supportive group. Who would have thought a couple of months of some rather special artifacts resting in our museum would have generated this resurgence of chess interest.”

The winners of the junior competition have been invited to participate in the senior competition, sponsored by The Kildrummy Corporation Limited, to be held in Shetland Museum and Archives on 19 March.  Entry is open to anyone over 15 years.

Shetland Junior Chess Championship

Shetland Amenity Trust, and Shetland Museum and Archives expressed their gratitude to Inksters Solicitors and The Kildrummy Corporation Limited who have supplied sponsorship funding to purchase chess sets and clocks in addition to the prizes for these competitions.

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