Adversaries in Chess, but still good friends
I run into Elias Peterson and Rókur Davidsen from the Faroe Islands in the dining room of Hotel Fredericia. The grown-ups at one table, Elias and Rókur of course playing chess at another. Both children brought both their parents, the sister of Elias mother also came along.
Elias and Rókur have just finished playing a game in the D-class (9-11) against each other. Elias won. That is the only games either of them have won, still they have had a lot of fun. Having lost his second game, Elias was told to be patient and use all his thinking-time. So he did, and in his third game he ran out of time. Ugh!
Both children have played chess for some years now. Rókur in six years, Elias learned it while in Kindergarten. He has also participated in the Nordic Championship for Youth four times. At home they play in two different clubs, even on separate islands.
They regularly meet for tournaments, and new to me, you don’t need to sail between the islands, as they today are connected by tunnels. Suðuroy being the exception, but then it is not hosting any Chessclub eather.
Chess is somewhat a big on the Faroes. The population is around 50.000, and about a half percent – 224 people – carry a rating. Last year the local chess-federation had its 50 year anniversary. Still Rókur is the only child in his club in Klaksvik, and enjoys visiting other clubs. His name Rókur by the way, actually means ROOK, like the chess piece. Quite fitting!