Mind Sports Olympiad General forum

10 replies. Last post: 2009-07-31

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Mind Sports Olympiad
  • alain at 2009-07-24

    The schedule for the annual Mind Sports Olympiad in London, UK has been posted here:


    Aug 21-31, 2009.

    Twixt, Chess, Go and lots of other games. Hopefully might be of interest to some Little Golemmers.

  • David J Bush ★ at 2009-07-24

    It’s nice to hear they’re still around, but apparently the information is available only on third party sites such as the link above. The domain msoworld.com has expired! Does MSO have a working official web site anywhere?

  • alain at 2009-07-26

    Hi David,

    That I don’t know. The MSO people are still bevearing away in the background, and some of those people are based in the Czech Republic. I know that two of them who run the mentioend site offered to host MSO-related material.

    The MSO as a limited company has not done well financially, so I think the msoworld.com domain expiration is related to cost-saving.

    Its not always been very well run, but its a unique event in the games world and a marvelous experience (certainly worth the time if you’re local to London). If I find out any more, I’ll post to here.


  • David J Bush ★ at 2009-07-26

    Well, thanks for the info Alain. I sent a couple emails to the address indicated in the Word document a few days ago. No answer yet. It just seems that letting the official website die is very short sighted. Lots of other sites added links to the msoworld site, such as Wikipedia for example. Even the Word document on the cz website says to go to msoworld.com for rules and other information. Now people will click on a dead link and conclude that MSO is no more.

    Speaking of rules, can anyone tell me what version of Mastermind do they play? How many holes, how many colors? And how is the tournament usually run? Thanks.

  • alain at 2009-07-28

    I believe they play 8-colour, 4-hole. I will try and find out for you. I’ve never actually played in the MM but from what I gather its been very good. The standard has been very high in the last few years.

    You make a good point about the msoworld.com domain...if and when I get in touch with the organisers, I will put your point to them directly. I’ll certainly be there this year again, but on a more limited scale (related to the arrival of my daughter).

    While it’s true the organisers appear to be overwhelmed (they are only amateur and the MSO loses money most years), I at least am trying to be very positive about the MSO and events like it. The opportunity to play against good calibre opponents, face-to-face, in a variety of high quality games in a lively atmosphere is so rare that the MSO is virtually unique. The number of people who come year after year, despite organisational shortcomings, is testiment to what a wonderful event the MSO is. For those who fancy a holiday in England or live local to London, it is well worth a visit.

  • alain at 2009-07-28

    I’ve had confirmation from the organisers that the msoworld.com domain should be up and running by the weekend (they hope).

    I’ve also had confirmation that Mastermind will be the 4 hole, 8 colour variety, which is also apparently the main version available on the market these days.

    Hope some people reading this, and you David, will be tempted. From what I can gather so far, the numbers are looking quite reasonable.

  • jds at 2009-07-28

    Is it my imagination, or do you two have this conversation every year? :-)

    Best of luck to the MSO, I’d love to be able to pop over to England for that. It would also be great if there were sufficient interest in the Eastern US to support such a thing. David gets credit for trying, of course.

  • alain at 2009-07-29

    :o) Yes, I think we probably do. While I am not involved with the organisation of the MSO, as a player my experience is enriched by the attendance of people like David Bush and others like him. Therefore, I do my bit to try and advertise the event. It is really a lot of fun, a highlight of mine, and may others', calendars every year.

    It has been proposed a few times that the most likely place for the MSO to thrive is actually in the US, probably somewhere in the New Jersey/New York area or maybe California. As the organisers are British, though, it seems more likely that a spin-off event along the same lines might work. One already exists, successfully as far as I know, in the Czech Republic. As you will know if you’ve ever been involved in something like this, it requires a lot of effort to set up and maintain (and grow?). As the effort/reward ratio isn’t great, these events rely largely on volunteers (I’m one of them).

    The MSO in London has the core of a really great event, which is reason enough for me to support it. Being local to London helps a lot as well, of course!

    You could always tag a few days at the MSO onto a holiday in the London/UK/Europe area...we’re only just over the pond! :o)

  • David J Bush ★ at 2009-07-30

    Well, I like to complain. It’s a hobby. I got my tickets and hotel reservation. It will take me a couple days to adjust to the time lag. I plan to play just on Thursday the 27th, Master Mind and Twixt.

  • alain at 2009-07-31

    The website now up and running with loads of information, player profiles (including David Bush!) and rules:


    Hope some LittleGolem-ers can come. See you there, David, though I’ll be doing a chess event on the Thu afternoon.

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