The first major use of the term was as a result of the Mind Sports Olympiad in 1997 described as the Olympics of the mind. The phrase had been used prior to this event such as backgammon being described as a mind sport by Tony Buzan in 1996,. Bodies such as the memory council use the term retrospectively.
...I believe we should have the same obligation to mental agility as we do to physical agility. Mind sports have to form UK national bodies and get together with the government to devise an acceptable amendment to the 1937 Act that clearly differentiates mind sports from parlour board games.
Many of the games official bodies which had come together for the Mind Sports Olympiad, formed larger organisations such as the Mind Sports Council and International Mind Sports Association (IMSA). With IMSA organising the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing 2008  for contract bridge, chess, go, draughts and xiangqi many other bodies have lobbied for inclusion such as the International Federation of Poker, which won provisional membership at the annual congress of SportAccord in Dubai in 2009.
The term also includes mental calculation or memory disciplines as presented in International competitions such as the Mental Calculation World Cup (held bi-annually since 2004) and the World Memory Championships (held annually since 1991)
Games called mind sports
As well as many board games, chess and card games, other disciplines that have been described as mind sports are speed reading, eSports (video game-based competitions), computer programming and cybersecurity wargames. Other events that have been included where the physical element is comparable to the mental component such as when the official Mind Sports South Africa accepted speed-texting as a mind sport.
- Go at the 2010 Asian Games
- International Mathematical Olympiad
- International Olympiad in Informatics
- List of Go organizations
- List of world championships in mind sports
- Mensa Mind Games
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- Bartley, Stephen (29 April 2010). "Official - Poker now a Mind Sport". Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- Shirong Chen (3 October 2008). "Beijing hosts first 'Mind Games'". BBC. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "If you're going to gamble, make sure you're right in the right game". The Observer. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
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- William Hartson (21 June 1997). "The South Bank Brain Show". The Independent.
- "E-Sports and Other Games". World Mind Sports Federation. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
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- University, ITMO. "Lee Felsenstein, who has spearheaded of personal computers, conducted a lecture in the NRU ITMO".
- "Cybersecurity Students successfully learn hacking in collegiate pentesting competition". Market Wired.
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