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Lindores Abbey

Chess Stars Tournament 2019

On 25th and 26th May 2019, Lindores Abbey Distillery hosted the Lindores Abbey Chess Stars Tournament bringing the game of kings back to the abbey after 500 years.

There were four participants playing in a double round robin format with time control 25min + 10sec: World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, former World Chess Champion Viswanathan ‘Vishy’ Anand, three-time Chinese Chess Champion Ding Liren, and Sergey Karjakin, World Rapid Chess Champion and World Blitz Champion.


The rapid chess tournament was played over two days in the distillery itself, overlooking the abbey ruins where no fewer than five monarchs once walked. The games were streamed on screens throughout the visitor centre for the public. The attendees had a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the grandmasters in an informal atmosphere after the games.

A proportion of ticket sales was donated be donated to STAR, the Lindores Abbey chosen charity. Siblings Reunited, reunites brothers and sisters separated in the care system, through adoption or Kinship care by providing the opportunity for quality and regular Sibling contact.

Helen McKenzie Smith, the custodian of the Abbey with her husband Drew, commented: ‘It is an absolute honour for Lindores to host these grandmasters. We are thrilled to be welcoming some of the greatest chess players that the world has ever known to the abbey and the distillery, and to be bringing the game of kings back to the ancient abbey after a hiatus of more than 500 years. The monks who lived and worked here were recorded as being great chess players, so we feel this tournament is a fitting tribute to their history.’




The four players at the tournament are recognised as some of the greatest players that the world has ever known.

Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster and currently the highest rated chess player in the world. He holds the title of World Chess Champion, and became a chess grandmaster at the age of 13 years. In the course of his brilliant chess career he has won dozens of the strongest (elite) tournaments, and world titles not only in classical chess, but also in rapid chess and in blitz.

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan (“Vishy”) Anand is an Indian chess grandmaster and a former World Chess Champion. He became India’s first grandmaster in 1988, and he was the first Indian chess player to win the world title (in 2000). Since then he has been one of the top ten (elite) chess players, remaining the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2007 to 2013.  Anand was the FIDE Rapid Chess World Champion, and is widely recognized as the strongest rapid chess player of his generation, becoming World Rapid Chess Champion in 2003 and 2017.

Vishy Anand
Vishy Anand
Ding Liren
Ding Liren

Ding Liren

Grandmaster Ding Liren is a three-time Chinese Chess Champion (2009, 2011 and 2012). He has represented China at four Chess Olympiads from 2012 to 2018, winning team gold medals in 2014 and 2018 and individual gold medal in 2018. Ding Liren won team gold and individual silver on his board at the World Team Championship in 2015. That year he became the second Chinese chess player to break into the top ten of the FIDE world ratings. Ding also became the first Chinese chess player to qualify for a Candidates Tournament (in 2017), the penultimate stage in the World Championship.

Sergey Karjakin

Sergey Karjakin is the youngest grandmaster in history, a feat recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records. Sergey qualified for the title at the age of 12 years and 7 months. In 2016, Karjakin won the candidates tournament, but later that year he lost to the current world champion Magnus Carlsen in the match for the title of World Chess Champion. He was the winner of the FIDE World Cup 2015, the World Rapid Chess Champion (Astana, 2012), the World Blitz Champion (Doha, 2016), and is the two-time winner of the world team championship with the Russian team (2013 and 2019).

Chess Stars Tournament at Lindores Abbey Distillery
Chess Stars Tournament at Lindores Abbey Distillery

Final standings

Margnus Carlsen – 3.5,

Ding Liren – 3,

Sergey Karjakin – 3,

Viswanathan Anand – 2.5.

Round 1 (May 25, 2019)
Carlsen, Magnus – Ding, Liren ½-½ 44 E24 Nimzo Indian Saemisch
Karjakin, Sergey – Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 66 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Round 2 (May 25, 2019)
Karjakin, Sergey – Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 40 E94 King’s Indian Classical
Anand, Viswanathan – Ding, Liren ½-½ 40 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Round 3 (May 25, 2019)
Carlsen, Magnus – Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 31 E48 Nimzo Indian
Ding, Liren – Karjakin, Sergey 1-0 33 E00 Catalan
Round 4 (May 26, 2019)
Karjakin, Sergey – Ding, Liren ½-½ 39 C47 Four Knights
Anand, Viswanathan – Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 40 B08 Pirc Defence
Round 5 (May 26, 2019)
Carlsen, Magnus – Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 49 D02 Queen’s Pawn Game
Ding, Liren – Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 55 A20 English Opening
Round 6 (May 26, 2019)
Ding, Liren – Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 65 D30 Queen’s Gambit (without Nc3)
Anand, Viswanathan – Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 30 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin


All games in PGN: download

23 May

25 May


Magnus Carlsen wins his fifth title of the year at Lindores Abbey

Magnus Carlsen won the fifth tournament of the year 2019. But things were not so simple for the World Champion. He struggled quite a bit in this tournament and was losing against Karjakin as well as Ding Liren in rounds 5 and 6.

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Ding Liren and cold stand between Carlsen and Lindores Abbey Chess Stars 2019 victory!

Yes, you read that right! The two crucial factors that will make Carlsen’s task difficult of winning the Lindores Abbey Chess Stars 2019 are Ding Liren, who has fared excellently against Carlsen in recent times and the other being cold. The tournament is being played in a distillery and Magnus is feeling quite cold in there.

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Two days in Scotland

When you sit back home and watch a chess tournament, you see the players, their moves, their games and their scores. However, when you are present at the venue, you not only watch the games, but you try to soak in the environment.

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