From Fetlar home page,
From Fetlar Newsletter Christmas 2014,The Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel.
The Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel (FHP) was set up in 2007 with the object of playing the game, testing rules and deciding a set of practical rules to publicise world-wide in order that all players were able to contend when they met with a standard set of rules.
This objective was achieved and now people from Australia to Norway and the USA to England have adopted the FHP rules.
The game is asymmetrical, despite the fact that the board looks exactly the same from any direction, the opposing sides not only have different numbers of pieces but different objectives. Unlike chess the pieces oppose each other from the centre and the sides. This means that Hnefatafl players need not sit opposite each other while playing.
The FHP decided that the only way to test rules was by playing them out across the board. All rules and all rule changes are adopted after practical application before being publicised across the globe.
The board size adopted is eleven squares by eleven squares. This is the form we know as Hnefatafl.
The defender is said to have the advantage but we hope to make that advantage less over the years as the rules are developed.
The FHP decided that a popular activity would be to host a world championship tournament.
The latest 2018 version of the rules for Hnefatafl developed by the Fetlar Museum Trust ( incorporating Hnefatafl Panel ) can be downloaded here in PDF(1.5Mb) . Please note that these rules were developed for use by an 11 x 11 square board. These rules were those in force on 14-07-2018.
https://www.fetlar.org/assets/files/hne ... visual.pdf
https://www.fetlar.org/assets/files/new ... s-2014.pdf
The island lost a great ambassador and true gentleman with the recent passing of Peter Kelly in November. Peter was a doyen of modern Hnefatafl and very worthy Grand Master of the game. His work with Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel gained national and international recognition, with interviews on
both Radio Shetland and Radio 2 as well as his appearance on the Shetland edition of Countryfile in 2013. He was invited on several occasions to give demonstrations of the game and the “Fetlar Rules”. He helped raise Fetlar’s profile by the hosting of several world championships.
Peter will also be greatly missed for his interest in all things astronomical and for his sense of humour.
Peter Kelly, one of the most active proponents of hnefatafl, has passed away aged 75 after a long illness. A resident of Fetlar, one of the Shetland Islands of Scotland, Peter promoted the game and the island, making both better known around the world.
Peter's hnefatafl project was begun in 2007, with the formation of the Fetlar Hnefatafl Panel.
Their objective was to create a standard set of rules for competition play, and to publicize them worldwide. This was achieved, and as Peter acknowledged, "people from Australia to Norway and the USA to England have adopted the FHP rules."
Most famously the rules were used on Fetlar itself, for the annual "World Quick play Hnefatafl Championship". The success of this tournament in its first three years inspired other tournaments, including the English Regional Hnefatafl Tournament which has run for two years so far.
Peter was very active in promoting, encouraging and publicizing hnefatafl play. After getting much of the population of Fetlar hooked on the game, he travelled around the Shetlands holding events to promote the game among children of all ages.
And through the web he passed his enthusiasm on to a worldwide audience. In 2013 he helped to bring the game to UK television screens, when
the BBC programme Countryfile visited Fetlar.
Peter has left behind a game more popular and well-known than he found it. His example, of organising on an island of fifty people a tournament that has become familiar to players around the world, has inspired others in more accessible locations to do the same. They are helped by the rules he has created and publicised. His efforts in have earned him the gratitude of hnefatafl players everywhere, and the well-deserved title of Grandmaster.