|Founder||David Levy, Tony Buzan, Raymond Keene et al.|
|Etan Ilfeld (Event Coordinator), |
David Levy (Chief Architect),
Tony Corfe (Event Manager),
David Pearce (webmaster)
|Products||Mind Sports Olympiad|
The Mind Sports Organisation (MSO) is an association for promoting mental-skill games (Mind Sport) including Contract Bridge, Chess, Go, Mastermind, and Scrabble. Since 1997 it has annually organised in England a multi-sport competition, the Mind Sports Olympiad.
The MSO was founded in conjunction with the first Mind Sports Olympiad. Beside the main event, always in England and usually in London, it has supported similar events elsewhere, including Milan; South Korea, and Prague.
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".
The 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 1998 and 1999. Despite a falling out between the organisers (see controversy below) a successful event was held in Alexandra Palace the next year in 2000.
The Mind Sports Olympiad main event continued to happen but without sponsorship the tournaments were held at a number of different universities. The event was still going strong for the years 2001 - 2006. 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. In 2008 the MSO saw a revival returning to a central London venue, the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster and again on 21-31 August 2009. The 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. The 16th MSO will take place once again at the University of London Union in 18-27 August 2012.
Over the last few years, MSO has been flourishing both at its satellite events and at the main event in London, which attracted almost 800 entries in 2011. MSO London is a truly global event, and the 2010 Pentamind World Champion Paco Garcia De La Banda hails from Spain, while the 2011 Pentamind World Champion Andres Kuusk is from Estonia. The most widely read chess magazine in the world, Chess Life, featured an article in February 2012 about in the inauguration of Diving Chess into the 2011 Mind Sports Olympiad.
The Mind Sports Olympiad main event has been annual since 1997 at the following locations in England:
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.
At MSO tournaments, the Decamentathlon is a composite event in which players compete in ten separate mind sports. The following 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 remaining two mental skills have changed over the years and come from this list: contract bridge, Backgammon, Mastermind, and most recently Sudoku.
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 decamentathlon 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 five events 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)].
When the MSO was initially formed in 1997, the board running it included David Levy, Tony Buzan, and Raymond Keene, David Levy being the original founder of the MSO concept. The current (2012) board consists of David Levy, Tony Corfe and Etan Ilfeld. The Mind Sports Olympiad is run by MSO Limited, which is registered in the UK with company number 04712990, and was incorporated in 2003.
Several satellite events were held around the world bearing the Mind Sports Olympiad name. These have occurred in Cambridge, England;Singapore;Seoul, South Korea;Milan, Italy;Oulu, Finland; and Prague, The Czech Republic.
Several other mind sports events and festivals have been held that have their roots in the original organisation.
The World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) was created by the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) as a "stepping stone on the path of introducing a third kind of Olympic Games (after the Summer and the Winter Olympics)". with the aim to be held alongside the Summer Olympic Games every 4 years. The first WMSG was held in Beijing 2008 to coincide with Olympic host city; the 2012 WMSG was held in Lille, France.