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Chess at Lindores Abbey

Lindores Abbey Blitz in Riga, Latvia 2021

The Game Of Kings

Lindores Abbey has a proud and long association with the noble game of chess. We know that the learned monks of the abbey played chess here more than 800 years ago, and we are honoured and delighted to be continuing this tradition through partnership  and organisation of internationally-renowned chess tournaments.

We at Lindores Abbey are proud of our rich cultural heritage – the Tironensian monks emphasised the importance of hard work and intellectual pursuits to find enlightenment, and we feel it is important to honour their beliefs through the same activities. The abbey was founded in 1191 and welcomed many famous visitors throughout the centuries, including William Wallace, King Edward I of England and King David II, King James III and James IV of Scotland. The abbey has played a hugely important role in the historic and cultural development of Scotland and efforts to preserve this significant site are ongoing.

We are truly sorry not to be able to attend the tournament in Riga this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but we send our very warmest wishes to every competitor and hope that they find enlightenment through the noble game!


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.’

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

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