Mind Sports Organisation

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(Redirected from Mind Sports Olympiad)
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The Mind Sports Organisation (MSO) is a vehicle for promoting mental-skill games, including Chess, Go, mastermind, and Scrabble. Since 1997 it has organised annual Mind Sports Olympiads in the UK, and has been involved in supporting a number of similar events elsewhere, in particular in Milan, Italy.

Structure

Initially the MSO was supported by some substantial corporate sponsorship, and was under the control of a company MSO Worldwide (MSOW), which had money advanced by venture capitalists (the money came mostly from Swedish sources). The second Mind Sports Olympiad saw the largest sponsor withdraw, and from that time onwards financial problems dogged the MSO. The board running it included David Levy and Raymond Keene, both chess players better known for other interests.

A worsening financial position caused difficulties for MSOW. An ambitious web site, the MindZine, attracted much interest for its broad games coverage and competitions, but its games-playing part, based on Zillions software, failed to attract players.

Eventually schemes to become a leading force in games promotion worldwide came to little, as the loaned money (said to be about 2,500,000) was spent. This was the era of failed dotcoms, and MSOW went into voluntary liquidation in May 2001. At that point David Levy was the most important figure left in MSOW, Tony Buzan having withdrawn, and Ray Keene having earlier split acrimoniously, with a dispute over money. Keene's was more interested in promoting high-profile events — he has been close to Garry Kasparov — and he left to launch the Brain Games group.

Mind Sports Olympiads

The first and largest Mind Sports Olympiad (1997) was held in London's Royal Festival Hall. Three more annual events were held in August in London locations, ending in Alexandra Palace. The event moved to Loughborough in 2002, and then to Manchester in 2003-4.

The main 2004 event featured a separate event for schools, featuring competitions and activities in chess, go, quizzes and intelligence puzzles. Smaller satellite events now include a popular meeting at Cambridge.

At MSO tournaments, the Decamentathlon is a composite event in which players compete is ten separate mind sports: memory skills, mental calculation, IQ, bridge, chess, othello, 8 by 8 draughts, Mastermind, and creative thinking.

The Olympiads are run by David Levy and Tony Corfe.

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