The Lewis chessmen are the cluster of 78 pieces of chess which are believed to have been made in 12th century. The pieces are magnificently sculptured in walrus ivory bears; the figures representing modern chess and are considered as the oldest pieces of chess. The pieces were discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in the outer Hebrides, Scotland. The real origin of these exclusive chess pieces have not yet been confirmed and still are an enigmatic issue. Unconvincing guesses surrounded its origin till today in which the majority of historians and scholars believed its probability of being originated in Trondheim, Norway.
This guess however has been strongly questioned and has given way to a different statement by Gudmundur G. Thorarinsson which now has grown to more vivacity by the discovery of a Chess piece at Siglunes that the pieces hailed from Iceland.
Thorarinsson, who revealed the theory about the real origin of these antiquities in 2010, is renowned as an engineer and the chairman of the Icelandic chess federation during the Fischer-Spassky match of the century for chess world championship held in Reykjavik in 1972. He also became a member of Althingi, Iceland’s parliament. Armed with the qualities of a good speaker Thorarinsson’s provoking theory based on the contingent evidence states that the Lewis chessmen probably were sculptured in the old workshop at Skalholt under the supervision of Bishop Pall Jonsson and his group Margret the Adrolt, Thorsteinn the Schrinesmith and other artisans. This place was considered to be the seat of Bishops from 1056 to 1801 in southern Iceland. On the basis of this revelation a symposium will be held on Friday, August, 19th, 2011 for the authentication on the probable origins of these most enigmatic and precious antiquities. The proposal of this agenda will be honoured by the overseas scholars like Davis H. Caldwell and James Robinson from the museum of Scotland and British Museum. Thorarinsson also has the name on the agenda to illustrate on his own theory of the origin of Lewis Chessmen followed by several Icelandic scholars and professors who’ll throw the light on Bishop Pall and the subject of the conference. The agenda of the conference will be taken ahead by an open discussion in English.