Mind Sports Olympiad

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Mind Sports Olympiad
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{{Use dmy dates|date=December 2012}}File:Black figure plate with warriors playing a board game Antikensammlung Berlin 1.jpg|thumb|Ancient Greek hoplites playing a board game, c. 520 BC, similar to image used as basis of MSO logoBrain Spotting, (The Sunday Times]], Richard Johnson, online copy from author's website retrieved 14 July 2012)The Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) is an annual international multi-disciplined competition and festival for games of mental skill and mind sports. The inaugural event was held in 1997 in London with £100,000 prize fundMind Sports Olympiad Supplement, The Times, 11 August 1997, online version available from studiogiochi MSO archives weblink and was described as possibly the biggest games festival ever held.The MSO was the first event of its kindMind Sports Olympiad, The Manila Standard, 17 August 1997, weblink retrieved 16 July 2012 celebrating mental skills and awarding gold, silver and bronze medals for each eventThe Mind Sports Olympiad Supplement s, The Times, July - August 1997 and was highly influential on the mind sports movement and competitions that have followed since. The main MSO tournament has been held every year in England.Underwater chess is one of the mind games at the Mind Sports Olympiad, The Toronto Star, Josh Tapper, 12 June 2012 weblink retrieved 12 July 2012


The first Mind Sports Olympiad was held in London's Royal Festival Hall in 1997. It brought together an unprecedented number of strategy games and events. William Hartston in The Independent said, "The biggest gamesfest ever to hit these (or perhaps any other) shores".William Hartston, The South Bank Brain Show, The Independent 21 June 1997. Retrieved 2 August 2009The inaugural MSO along with a very large number of games, introduced two new events of their own creation the Pentamind and the Decamentathlon. These were two events to parallel the multi-event games in athletics of the modern pentathlon and the decathlon. This was part of the ambition to create an Olympics of the mind.The Mind Sports Olympiad returned to London with sponsorship in both 1998Sheehan on Bridge, The Times, Robert Sheehan, 20 October 1998 and 1999.Games: Bridge, The Independent, Alan Hiron, 5 December 1999, weblink Retrieved 2 August 2009 Despite a falling out between the organisersBritain's Mind Games end in debt and tears, The Independent, Robert Mendick, 13 March 2001, weblink" title="https:/-/">weblink. Retrieved 10. September 2016 a successful event was held in Alexandra Palace the next year in 2000.Fierce rivalry in 'Olympics' for brainboxes, CNN, Paul Sussman, 24 August 2000 WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2009-08-02, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 June 2013, retrieved 16 July 2012During this time several satellite events were held around the world bearing the Mind Sports Olympiad name. These have occurred in Cambridge, England;Uganda: Kampala Wins Gold,, Norman Katende, 10 May 2002weblink retrieved 16 July 2012 Singapore;MSO (Singapore) 2000 opening speech archived by Ministry of Education (Singapore), weblink retrieved 16 July 2012 Seoul, South Korea;MSO Korean Contest Will be Held on July 22, Korea JoongAng Daily, 14 July 1999 WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2014-06-27, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 January 2013, dmy-all, retrieved 16 July 2012 Milan, Italy;Shogi results for MSO Italy 2000 from retrieved 16 July 2012 Oulu, Finland;Mind Sports Festival announcement from retrieved 16 July 2012 and Prague, The Czech Republic.Looking Forward To The Mind Sports Olympiad, Radio Praha, 17 September 2006, Jan Velinger, WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2016-02-05, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 July 2012, dmy-all, retrieved 2 August 2009The Mind Sports Olympiad main event continued to happen with smaller sponsorship and the tournaments were held at a number of different universities. The event was still going strong for the years 2001–2006.Cerebral Athletes Play Mind Games, The Guardian, David Ward, 22 August 2005, weblink retrieved 2 August 2009 The main 2004 event featured a separate event for schools, featuring competitions and activities in chess, Go, quizzes and intelligence puzzles. But in 2007 the Mind Sports Olympiad was reduced to a much smaller venue in Potters Bar due to no sponsorship and no advertising.This time it's Personal, The Guardian, Stephen Moss, 27 August 2007, weblink retrieved 12 July 2012 In 2008 the MSO saw a revival returning to a central London venue, the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster and again on 21–31 August 2009Cheam man's mind bending puzzles at mental olympiad, Sutton Guardian, Kevin Barnesm, 28 August 2009, weblink retrieved 30 April 2011The 2010 event was held at the Soho Theatre in London. In 2011, the Mind Sports Olympiad moved to a bigger venue, the University of London Union.Mind Sports Olympiad moves to bigger venue,, Alexander Baron, 3 May 2011, weblink retrieved 15 July 2012 The 16th MSO took place once again at the University of London Union in 18–27 August 2012, and similarly the 17th MSO was also at ULU.The main MSO event remains truly international,MSO XV Pentamind article from MSO website retrieved 12 July 2012 because it is still regarded as the foremost competition for all-rounders especially the "coveted Pentamind World Championship", won in 2010 by Paco Garcia De La Banda from Spain,Paco Garcia De La Banda wins the Mind Sports Olympiad XIV (translated from Spanish),, 11 September 2012, weblink retrieved 16 July 2012 while the 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 Pentamind World Champion Andres Kuusk is from Estonia.Estonian Mind Athlete Wins World Championship, ERR News, Ingrid Teesalu, 30 August 2011, weblinkretrieved 6 September 2011

Structure of the Organisation

When the MSO was initially formed in 1997, the main organisers included David Levy, Tony Buzan, and Raymond Keene with David Levy being the original founder of the MSO concept.Don's diary: games and gold medals in Mind, Times Higher Education, 17 October 2003, David Levy weblink retrieved 14 July 2012As of 2012 the board running the MSO along with David LevyScrabble, Monopoly and more at shul games fest, The Jewish Chronicle, Robyn Rosen, 26 August 2010,weblink retrieved 14 July 2012 are Tony CorfeMind games tournament under way, BBC Manchester, 19 August 2005, weblink and Etan Ilfeld

Logo, medals and awards

The Olympiad's logo depicted Ajax playing Achilles, used for their medals and awardsMSO article on ranks and medals including image of medals with logo retrieved 12 July 2012is based upon the famous depiction found on over 150 items of ancient pottery from around 500 BC.Exekias, American Journal of Archaeology, John Boardman, 1980, weblinkProbably based either on an item from The British MuseumEtruscan Amphora from The British Museum Collections, weblinkor Vatican Museum collections.Image of amphora from Vatican Museum from Encyclopædia Britannica weblinkAlongside bestowing titles of Olympiad and World Champions, the MSO organisers originally envisaged having their own ratings and ranks system, however, not all of these ideas came to pass.The MSO continues to give its own ranks of up to International Grandmaster.


(File:Mind Sports Olympiad, 17-08-2014.jpg|thumb|Players at the 2014 Mind Sports Olympiad)The Mind Sports Olympiad main event was at large venues for the first four years before being reduced in size due to funding difficulties. It has been held annually since 1997 at the following locations in England:

Games at the MSO

The MSO consists mainly of single event competitions most of which are for the nominal title of Olympiad champion, though some trademarked games are authorised by the game designer and publishers as the official world championships. All games, whether an Olympiad or the official World championship, can count towards the Pentamind. Medals, and more recently trophies, are awarded for gold, silver and bronze positions in each competition as well as ranks, with similar awards for the top juniors in each event. In early Olympiads sponsorship allowed for generous financial prizes to go with many of the events. In recent years such prizes have been limited to a small number of events, usually as a result of specific outside sponsorship for that discipline.Notable games include (most other references mention some of these):List of games,weblink Retrieved 2 August 2009 the well-known: chess, bridge, draughts, shogi, backgammon, Chinese chess (xiangqi), Othello, poker, cribbage, Mastermind; and many newer games like: Abalone, Bōku, Continuo, Entropy, Kamisado,Op-Ed: Mind Sports Olympiad 2011 - with chess diving, Digital Journal, 23 August 2011, Alexander Baronweblink Retrieved 6 September 2011 Lines of Action (LOA), Pacru,Mike's test for the old grey matter, Manchester Evening News, Patricia Roberts, 8 December 2005 weblink TwixT


This was one of the Mind Sports Olympiad's original events. It was an attempt along with the decamentathlon to produce an event for all-rounders to parallel the Olympic Games with its events the decathlon and pentathlon. Unlike the decamentathlon's fixed format (see separate article) the pentamind has very little fixed format. It disallows using games that are considered too similar and normally requires a long event, but otherwise any fiveevents from the schedule could be used.The Pentamind champion is the player with the highest numerical score in "pentamind points" from 5 valid events.This is calculated using the formula 100 x (n - p) / (n - 1), where n is the number of players and p is the player's position in an event. The position is the position before tie-breaks and any split positions are shared amongst all of the tied players. When there are fewer than 10 players in a tournament, the score is multiplied by a secondary factor [p / (p + 1)].The World Championship Pentamind event has been won five times by Demis Hassabis.MSO pentamind results,weblink Retrieved 6 September 2010
  • 1997: {{flagicon|Wales}} Kenneth J. Wilshire
  • 1998: {{flagicon|England}} Demis Hassabis
  • 1999: {{flagicon|England}} Demis Hassabis
  • 2000: {{flagicon|England}} Demis Hassabis
  • 2001: {{flagicon|England}} Demis Hassabis
  • 2002: {{flagicon|Italy}} Dario De Toffoli
  • 2003: {{flagicon|England}} Demis Hassabis
  • 2004: {{flagicon|South Africa}} Alain Dekker
  • 2005: {{flagicon|England}} Tim Hebbes
  • 2006: {{flagicon|Czech Republic}} Jan Šťastna
  • 2007: {{flagicon|England}} David M. Pearce
  • 2008: {{flagicon|England}} David M. Pearce
  • 2009: {{flagicon|England}} Martyn HamerMartyn Minds if he holds onto his crown..., Accrington Observer, Stuart Pike, 20 August 2010, weblink. Retrieved 30 April 2010
  • 2010: {{flagicon|Spain}} Paco Garcia de la BandaUn proyecto de emprendeduría infantil de La Palma recibe respaldo internacional, Que Newspaper, 13 September 2010 weblink Retrieved 30 April 2011
  • 2011: {{flagicon|Estonia}} Andres KuuskEstonian Mind Athlete Wins World Championship, ERR News ,30 August 2011, Ingrid Teesalu
weblink 6 September 2011
  • 2012: {{flagicon|Italy}} Dario De Toffoli
  • 2013: {{flagicon|Estonia}} Andres Kuusk and {{flagicon|England}} Ankush Khandelwal
  • 2014: {{flagicon|Estonia}} Andres Kuusk
  • 2015: {{flagicon|England}} James Heppell
  • 2016: {{flagicon|Estonia}} Andres Kuusk
  • 2017: {{flagicon|England}} James Heppell
  • 2018: {{flagicon|England}} Ankush Khandelwal
  • 2019: {{flagicon|England}} Ankush Khandelwal

Decamentathlon World Championships

The Decamentathlon World Championship was originally established as the main event to determine the best all-round games player in the world before being superseded by the Pentamind. The Decamentathlon comprises 10 events scored out of 100, lasting 4 hours largely consisting of examined papers.The following eight mental skills have always been part of the Decamentathlon: memory skills, mental calculation, IQ, chess, Go, Othello, 8 by 8 draughts, and creative thinking. MSO also organizes Mental Calculation World Championship separately. The original two mental skills were bridge and Mastermind, although these have varied in recent years using Backgammon and most recently Sudoku as substitutes.

Abstract Games World Championships

The MSO introduced the Abstract Games world championship in 2008.Article on abstract games world championships,weblink 15 February 2011

World Amateur Poker Championships

The first world amateur poker championships was held in 1998 as part of the second Mind Sports Olympiad.Competitions: I think I can, The New York Times, 23 August 1998. Retrieved 12 July 2012 The inaugural event was criticised for the standard of the playIndependent Pursuits: Poker, The Independent, David Spanier, 10 September 1998weblink. Retrieved 12 July 2012 and for the events unique feature as only being played for medals and not for money. However, since the poker internet revolution the event continued to flourish with increased numbers. The event also is open to under 18s which the MSO also gives a title since money doesn't change handsAmateur World Poker Championship details MSO website weblink retrieved 12 July 2012The 2012 tournament consists of the best results from 5 of 7 pot limit poker tournaments in the following variantsMSO 2012 timetableweblink Retrieved 13 July 2012 And formerly also featured other variants such as:MSO Pokerweblink Retrieved 13 July 2012

See also



External links

{{Multi-sport events}}{{World Mind Sports Games}}

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