Chess champ takes on rivals in Co Down

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An international chess grandmaster is set to take on a number of challengers simultaneously at a Northern Irish church hall.

Around 20 competitors will vie against Raymond Keene at the free event in Groomsport, which is designed to raise the profile of the game in the Province.

Among those taking part were the Hungarian-born reigning Ulster champion Gabor Horvath, and Tanya Jones, Green Party candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Her connection to the chess world is via her son, Gawain Jones, who is a chess grandmaster.

The event is staged at the Parish Church Hall from 7.30pm, and is set to continue into the night.

Organiser James O’Fee said that Mr Keene (who holds an OBE for services to the game) will play against rivals in a circle, moving from one board to another – with the circle shrinking as competitors are beaten.

The event is sponsored by ad agency Lyle Bailie International, and its CEO David Lyle (OBE) said: “We are delighted to support a challenging display like this which shows a different and more cerebral side to Northern Ireland”