Mind Sports Organisation
Mind Sports Organisation (MSO)
|Founders||David Levy, Tony Buzan, Raymond Keene et al.|
|Key people||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.
Mind Sports Olympiad
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:
- 1997 Royal Festival Hall, London
- 1998 Novotel Hotel, Hammersmith
- 1999 Kennsington Olympia, London
- 2000 Alexandra Palace, London
- 2001 South Bank University, London
- 2002 Loughborough University, Loughborough
- 2003 Manchester University, Manchester
- 2004 Manchester University, Manchester
- 2005 Manchester University, Manchester
- 2006 Westminster University,London
- 2007 Potters Bar
- 2008 Royal Horticultural Halls, London
- 2009 Royal Horticultural Halls, London
- 2010 Soho Theatre, London
- 2011 University of London Union, London.
- 2012 University of London Union, London.
- 2013 University of London Union, London
- 2014 JW3, London
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.
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)].
Structure of the Organisation
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.
Pentamind World Champions
- 1997: Kenneth J. Wilshire (Wales)
- 1998: Demis Hassabis (England)
- 1999: Demis Hassabis (England)
- 2000: Demis Hassabis (England)
- 2001: Demis Hassabis (England)
- 2002: Dario De Toffoli (Italy)
- 2003: Demis Hassabis (England)
- 2004: Alain S. Dekker (South Africa)
- 2005: Tim Hebbes (England)
- 2006: Jan Stastna (Czech Republic)
- 2007: David M. Pearce (England)
- 2008: David M. Pearce (England)
- 2009: Martyn Hamer (England)
- 2010: Paco Garcia De La Banda (Spain)
- 2011: Andres Kuusk (Estonia) 
- 2012: Dario De Toffoli (Italy)
- 2013: Andres Kuusk and Ankush Khandelwahl
Satellite Mind Sports Olympiads
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.
Other Mind Sports Events
Several other mind sports events and festivals have been held that have their roots in the original organisation.
World Mind Sports Games
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.
Sport Accord World Mind Games
- World Mind Sports Games
- List of all-rounders in games of skill
- List of world championships in mind sports
- Category:Mind sports competitions
- MSO Korean Contest Will Be Held on 22 July, Korea JoongAng Daily, 14 July 1999,  Retrieved 30 April 2011
- Looking forward to the Mind Sports Olympiad, Radio Prague, Jan Velinger, 17 September 2006  Retrieved 30 April 2011
- William Hartston, The South Bank Brain Show, The Independent 21 June 1997, Retrieved 2 August 1997
- The Mind Sports Olympiad Supplement s, The Times, July - August 1997
- Robert Sheehan, Sheehan on Bridge, The Times, 20 October 1998
- Alan Hiron, Games: Bridge, The Independent, 5 December 1999, Retrieved 2 August 2009
- Paul Sussman, Fierce rivalry in 'Olympics' for brainboxes 24 August 2000
- David Ward, Cerebral Athletes Play Mind Games, [The Guardian], 22 August 2005, Retrieved 2 August 2009
- Stephen Moss, This time it's Personal, The Guardian, 27 August 2007
- Information about venue for MSO XIII, http://www.boardability.com/mso/venue.html, 2 August 2009
- Account of MSO XIV, http://www.boardability.com/result.php?id=mso14, 15 February 2011
- Jon Spielman, Independent Pursuits: Chess, The Independent, 3 September 1998, Retrieved 31 July 2009
- Robert Nurden. Mental athletes tune up for Mind Games, 22 August 1999, Retrieved 2 August 2009
- Manchester Hosts 9th Mind Sports Olympiad, Manchester City Council News, 2 August 2005, Retrieved 31 July 2009
- Don's diary:games and gold medals in Mind, The Times Higher Education, David Levy, 17 October 2003,  Retrieved 20 April 2011
- Mind games tournament under way, BBC Manchester, 19 August 2005  Retrieved 30 April 2011
- Cheam man's mind bending puzzles at mental olympiad, Sutton Guardian, Kevin Barnesm 28 August 2009  Retrieved 30 April 2011
- Scrabble, Monopoly and more at xhul games fest, The Jewish Chronicle, Robyn Rosen, 26 August 2010,  Retrieved 30 April 2011
- Venue announcement for MSO XV, http://www.boardability.com/venue.php, 15 February 2011
- List of games, http://www.boardability.com/games_az.html, Retrieved 2 August 2009
- Op-Ed: Mind Sports Olympiad 2011 - with chess diving, Digital Journal, 23 August 2011, Alexander Baron, http://digitaljournal.com/article/310713, Retrieved 6 September 2011
- Mike's test for the old grey matter, Manchester Evening News, Patricia Roberts, 8 December 2005 
- Article on abstract games world championships, http://www.boardability.com/game.php?abstract_games, 15 February 2011
- MSO pentamind results, http://www.boardability.com/result.php?id=pentamind Retrieved 6 September 2010
- Cerebral athletes play mind games, The Guardian, David Ward, 22 August 2005,  retrieved 30 April 2011
- Martyn Minds if he holds onto his crown..., Accrington Observer, Stuart Pike, 20 August 2010, , Retrieved 30 April 2010
- Un proyecto de emprendeduría infantil de La Palma recibe respaldo internacional, Que Newspaper, 13 September 2010  Retrieved 30 April 2011
- Estonian Mind Athlete Wins World Championship, ERR News ,30 August 2011, Ingrid Teesalu http://news.err.ee/sports/cced719d-60db-4aa9-a795-a8cc02fe202f retrieved 6 September 2011
- Uganda: Kampala Wins Gold, AllAfrica.com, Norman Katende, 10 May 2002  retrieved 16 July 2012
- MSO (Singapore) 2000 opening speech archived by Ministry of Education (Singapore), retrieved 16 July 2012
- MSO Korean Contest Will be Held on July 22, Korea JoongAng Daily, 14 July 1999  retrieved 16 July 2012
- Shogi results for MSO Italy 2000 from shogi.net retrieved 16 July 2012
- Mind Sports Festival announcement from chessbanter.com retrieved 16 July 2012
- Looking Forward To The Mind Sports Olympiad, Radio Praha, 17 September 2006, Jan Velinger,  retrieved 2 August 2009
- World Bridge Games. World Bridge Federation. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- MSO official website (new)
- MSO official website (old)
- Forum thread which provides a link to 2009 info
- World Mind Sports Games — early document by the International Mind Sports Association (no date?)