Chess Stars Tournament
The tournament will take place over two days and the games will be played in the distillery itself, overlooking the abbey ruins where no fewer than five monarchs once walked. The games will be streamed on screens throughout the visitor centre for the public (the game-side seats are by invitation only). Attendees will have the unique opportunity to meet and chat with the grandmasters in an informal atmosphere after the matches.
A proportion of ticket sales will also 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.’FOR MORE INFORMATION
The three guests so far confirmed for 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 (“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.
Grandmaster Ding Liren is a three-time Chinese Chess Champion (2009, 2011, 2012) and 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. He also 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. He also became the first Chinese chess player to qualify for a Candidates Tournament (in 2017), the penultimate stage in the World Championship.
Lindores Abbey Thabill
To mark this culturally and historically significant event, Lindores Abbey Distillery was commissioned to create a commemorative Aqua Vitae spirit, Lindores Abbey Thabill.
Normally made from an unaged, malt-based spirit, the basis of this edition will be an exquisite 12-month old Lindores spirit which has been maturing in oak casks from Thiron-Gardais in France. The town is home to Tiron Abbey, the mother abbey of the Tironensian order and sister abbey to Lindores along with Kelso and Arbroath.
The name ‘Thabill’ refers to a 1480s inventory of the abbey which mentioned ‘twa pairs of thabills wt thair men’ – translating into today’s English as ‘two chessboards with their pieces’. Chess has been a part of the abbey’s history for more than 500 years, and this spirit is a fitting tribute to the game of kings.
Only 500 bottles will be produced, making this an extremely rare opportunity to sample the most mature Lindores spirit thus produced. The bottles will be sold at the tournament, and will cost £150.00 including VAT. A proportion of the proceeds of the bottles sold will be donated to STAR, which is the Lindores Abbey Distillery chosen charity. The bottles will then be made available to the public after the event both online and in the distillery shop.
A 10% discount will also apply for members of Lindores Abbey Distillery.
Ticket details TBC.
Although game-side seats are by invitation only, there will also be tickets available to watch the games on screens throughout the visitor centre.