Mind Sports Organisation

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The Mind Sports Organisation (MSO) is a vehicle for promoting mental-skill games, including Contract Bridge, Chess, Go, Mastermind, and Scrabble. It was founded in conjunction with an event called the Mind Sports Olympiad. Since 1997 it has organised annually, in the UK, the Mind Sports Olympiad main event, and has been involved in supporting a number of similar events elsewhere, in particular in Milan, Italy.


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"[1].

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.[2].

The Mind Sports Olympiad returned to London with sponsorship in both 1998[3] and 1999.[4]. Despite a falling out between the organisers (see controversy below) a successful event was held in Alexandra Palace the next year in 2000[5].

During this time several satellite events were held around the world bearing the Mind Sports Olympiad name. These have occurred in Cambridge[6], South Korea, Milan and Prague[7].

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[8].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[9]. In 2008 the MSO saw a revival returning to a central London venue, The Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster and on 21 - 31 August 2009 again the Mind Sports Olympiad will be held there[10]. The 2010 venue has been set for Soho London.[11].

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