MSO 2018 Begins Next Month

VennerRoad By VennerRoad, 6th Jul 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Entertainment

As usual, the annual Mind Sports Olympiad will begin in London late August.

MSO 2018 Begins Next Month

The Mind Sports Olympiad has not always been held in London, but the last time it was held out of the capital was 2007. This year will be the fifth in a row it has been held at JW3 in North London, which looks like becoming its permanent home. The first event was held at the Royal Festival Hall in 1997, and apart from a few newbies picked up along the way, the same team who ran that event are running the current one. There are also some players who have competed in most or even every event. A profile of one of those regular gamesters can be found here.

The above photo is from last year’s event; the man in the middle is the charismatic Dario De Toffoli, who as well as a board game designer is an MSO fanatic and gold medalist galore.

So what is on offer this year?

The event runs from August 19-27, and its sponsors include DeepMind, a company founded by MSO regular and five times Pentamind winner Demis Hassabis. There are modest prizes for most events, but medals are treasured most. The big money is for the Pentamind, a meta-event, and entry fees are very reasonable including an all-you-can-play ticket for £125. There are eight full days of play with Saturday, August 25 reserved for the Diving Chess World Championship. Yes, you did hear right; this is the brainchild of one of the organisers, Etan Ilfeld, and will be held at the Third Space gymnasium in Central London. Crazy though this event sounds, it has built up a following. First held in 2011, the inaugural event was won by Etan, who won it again last year, although he had to share the gold medal with three other players. It remains to be seen how that one works. Aside from this, there is the usual combination of games from the very ancient like Go, to Settlers Of Catan which dates from only 1995.

Although the Mind Sports movement has not been the force David Levy hoped it would have been when he founded it in 1997, it has spread to the entire globe. It is especially popular in South Korea which earlier this year hosted a mini-event, not for the first time. Also, no one could have predicted the way the Internet would evolve over the next two decades nor how it would shape all our lives, largely for good.

MSO has two websites, the main one MSO World, and the results site Boardability. It also has a presence on Facebook.


Dario De Toffoli, Demis Hassabis, Diving Chess, Mind Sports Olympiad, The Settlers Of Catan

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