Mind games are all go for family
THE Chinese Olympics may now be just a distant memory, but a father and daughter from Hildenborough are travelling to Beijing to continue to fly the British flag.
Paul and Maria Tabor are about to represent their country in the International Mind Sports Association games, an event supported by the Olympic Committee, but they are not expecting to emulate the village's other former Olympic hero, Dame Kelly Holmes.
CHALLENGING GAMES: Paul Tabor will be participating in an international competition with his daughter, Maria
Both keen players of the strategy board game Go, they will have their work cut out for them in a gruelling 10-day competition that will bring together around 2,500 competitors from 150 different countries.
Mr Tabor, 48, said: "We've been lucky to make it to China, but we would be incredibly lucky to score particularly highly there. We're going to go out there and do our best, but it will be somewhat different to what we're used to. In this case, we're somewhat outclassed."
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The game of Go dates back some 3,000 years and legend has it the future of Tibet was once decided over a Go contest because a Tibetan ruler refused to go into battle.
Mr Tabor, who is a business analyst by day, added: "The Chinese invented the game and they've got hundreds of professional players.
Both Maria and I are very proud to be representing our country and consider ourselves to be very fortunate."
Maria, who studies philosophy at Nottingham University, is the current reigning British youth champion – a notable achievement having only taken the game up around four years ago.
The 19-year-old said: "It's such an honour. It's one of those games that's very challenging and takes more thought than most board games."
There are a total of six gold medals up for grabs in the Go event.
When the games begin on Thursday they will also see competitors pitting their wits against each other in chess, draughts, bridge and Chinese chess.