Mind Sports Olympiad

We are organizing the 1st Mind Sports Olympiad, in London, from August 18th-24th 1997. This Olympiad will include tournaments for more than 30 different games and other mental skills. The venue is the Royal Festival Hall, which is London's most famous concert hall, situated at the edge of the River Thames and overlooking the Houses of Parliament.

You will find below a summary of information about the Mind Sports Olympiad. You can also find more information on our web page.

We would be happy to exchange links with your web site if you wish.

If you have any ideas or suggestions as to how we could increase our publicity for the MSO, we would be very pleased to hear from you.

We will also be holding virtual tournaments for some of the games. The virtual tournaments will be played via existing games servers.

David Levy

What is the Mind Sports Olympiad?

It is an Olympiad for "thinking" games. The competitors will play each other at a variety of well known strategy games, such as Chess, Backgammon, Bridge, Draughts (Checkers), Go, Shogi and Scrabble, and will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, and for other prizes.

Why organize a Mind Sports Olympiad?

There has been an explosive growth of physical sports in the 1980's and 1990's. Now, with increased leisure time and more people working from home, MIND SPORTS will be the great growth area into the 21st century. And above all, the MIND SPORTS OLYMPIAD will be great fun for the players and spectators.

Who will be eligible to take part?

Anyone in the world!

How many games and tests of skill may each competitor enter?

Most participants will enter only one competition though it is possible take advantage of the scheduling and compete in several tournaments. Also, there will be a "Pentamind" competition for those who are adept at 5 different games, and a "Decamentathlon" where players can test their wits on situations from 10 different games and skills.

Which games and skills will there be?

In addition to the best known, classic, thinking games there will be tournaments for a number of more recently invented games which have achieved worldwide popularity, including: Abalone, Continuo, Hare and Tortoise, Lines of Action, Magic - the Gathering, Mastermind, Monopoly, Rummikub, Stratego and Twixt.

There will also be tournaments for some of the best strategy games from Africa and Asia: Chinese Chess, Japanese Chess, Fanorona (which originated in Madagascar but is now popular in Europe and the USA), and Dama "like Draughts (checkers) on a trampoline" and very popular in some Arab countries.

Computer Programming will test programmers' skills in three areas: speed of writing the programs, speed of execution of the programs and compactness of program code.

Creative Thinking will monitor the contestants' speed, flexibility and originality in verbal, conceptual, imaginative, artistic and engineering thought. I.Q. (set by Mensa members) will test the standard Intelligence Quotient skills, including verbal skills (vocabulary, word relationships, etc.), numerical skills (calculation, number relationships, etc.) and spatial relationship skills.

Speed Reading competitors will be tested on an unpublished text to determine their average number of words read per minute and their percentage comprehension (determined by a questionnaire on details from the text).

Mental Calculations will find the world's best at mental arithmetic.

Memory Skills (August 2nd/3rd) will include the ability to remember whole packs of playing cards, as many digits as possible of a long number, passages of text, etc.

What additional attractions will there be?

Simultaneous displays by the world's strongest players at some of the games

Exhibitions of electronic thinking machines and game playing computers, antique chess sets, stamp collections and art exhibitions connected with mind sports, stands selling books on games, a convention for games journalists, games workshops, tuition by experts and the ability to sample new games.

Entry to these attractions will be free for participants, and £5 per day or £15 for a full week's pass for participants' family members and spectators.

Who is organizing the event?

Three experts in the field of mind sports, whose combined track record is second to none, as well as an experienced events promoter:

Tony Buzan is the creator of Mind Maps and the concept of mental literacy, an international lecturer and broadcaster and author of 20 bestsellers on the brain and learning. He also established The Brain Foundation, is head of an international network of Brain Clubs and former editor of the Mensa International Journal.

Raymond Keene OBE is an International Grandmaster, chess correspondent of "The Times", "The Sunday Times" and "The Spectator" and author of more than 100 books. Raymond has organized numerous major chess events including a USSR v Rest of the World match as well as two World Championship matches.

David Levy, International Master at Chess, past President of the International Computer Chess Association, and founder of the Computer Olympiad. In 1978 David won a famous 10-year bet with 4 professors specializing in Artificial Intelligence that no computer program would win a match against him. The Mind Sports Olympiad was David Levy's idea. Don Morris has organized many high profile international events, including the celebrity premieres for Batman, three James Bond files and many more. Don has also organized VIP, music industry, backstage, royal and other high security receptions and functions. He co-founded the International Sponsorship Convention in Geneva and is a past President of the Champagne Academy.

How will the Olympiad be organized?

There will be different competitions to cater for each game and skill. The format for most tournaments will be the Swiss system, in which all of the contestants play in every round. None of the contests will be knock-out tournaments.

What are the prizes?

Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded for the top adults and the top juniors in each competition and prizes for the best family result and for the best schools. In addition there will be cash and other prizes.

Board Games


Card Games

Mental Skills

Further Information

For further information please look at our web page http://www.mindsports.co.uk/ which will be updated every two weeks between now and the Olympiad. Or write to:

David Levy
Mind Sports Olympiad, London
P.O. Box 13388,
London NW3 2ZF,


Tel: +44 171 485 9146
Fax: +44 171 482 0672

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell