2020 Medals and T-Shirts

T-Shirts are available for everyone. This year’s limited edition T-Shirts can only be ordered until Sept 20th. They cost £15 each, which includes shipping to anywhere in the world. Get them while you can!

MSO 2020 T-Shirt

 

Congrats on winning your medal and being a part of history! As there were no entry fees for this year’s MSO, we’re offering medalists to either receive their medal in person next year for free or pay for shipping and handling now. If you’d like us to ship over 10 medals and want to save costs, please email us at mindsportsolympiad@gmail.com

2020 Medal

 

 

Thank You Letters

Despite having to cancel our physical event due to COVID and moving this year’s Mind Sports Olympiad online, we’ve received lots of great feedback and thank you letters. One of our favourites is by an NHS worker who mentioned that our “events have been a welcome getaway from work and a chance to relax.” A big thank you to all the healthcare workers out there. Here’s to the power of games bringing people together from all over the world.

 

Hello,

I just wanted to send an email to thank you for organizing MSO 2020. I believe you have done a very good job given the circumstances of this year.

This was my first time taking part in the MSO, so I did not expect to see any stellar results for myself, but I had fun taking part.

[…]

My last point was this: please will you continue to offer online events for the MSO, even when the main events in London go ahead, especially for those of us unable to get to London because of work/family. Perhaps you could run an “MSO Online Series” event, lasting a whole month as you have done here, with similar event start times. This could be run alongside the main MSO in the same month, or held on a different month, maybe in the Spring (as a warm-up to August). I think the online events have been a real success and it would be a shame to just abandon it after this year.

Once again, thank you for this year’s event. For someone like me who is working in the NHS, your events have been a welcome getaway from work and a chance to relax.

Thank you,

Alec Reuben

Please Support MSO

We have a small favour to ask. We believe everyone deserves access to the Mind Sports Olympiad. That’s why, unlike many others, we made a choice this year: not to charge entry fees for participants, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.

As an independent organization, we’re passionate about promoting mind sports. We believe that games connect people, exercise the mind, and have the potential to help us better understand the world. We are also streaming videos with excellent commentary on a variety of this year’s tournaments on our Twitch, Facebook and YouTube channels.

Your support can keep us independent, open to all, and will mean we can maintain our high-quality tournaments and live-streams.

Every contribution is valuable. Please support the Mind Sports Olympiad for any amount you are comfortable with – it only takes a minute. Thank you.




Fair Play at MSO and Othello Disqualification

On Saturday the 8th of August, at the conclusion of the Othello tournament, the Mind Sports Olympiad fielded allegations of outside assistance levelled at Vasyl “vasraz” Razinkov.

It has always been important to us to maintain the highest standards of honest competition, and so we began an investigation. The initial allegations were raised primarily due to two considerations: the first, that Mr. Razinkov had managed an extraordinarily high level of accuracy across all of his played games against a world-caliber field, and second that he had done this without any significant over the board history, or in-person interaction with top players.

As our investigation continued, we sought the analysis of a number of internationally ranked Othello experts, who were uninvolved with the gameplay or organisation of this tournament. We asked these experts to examine the games played by Mr Razinkov. Here are the conclusions that they provided:

  • Many of Mr. Razinkov’s move choices were the top moves suggested by a particular Othello engine named ‘Reversatile’.
  • The timings of moves played was odd. Many simpler moves taking up considerable time, with more complex and subtle moves being played with almost no deliberation.
  • The small number of inaccuracies played were more akin to ‘misclicks’, than mistakes that a player of this demonstrated aptitude should make.
  • These factors, taken together with Mr Razinkov’s lack of previous game history, lead to the recommendation that there is a high possibility outside assistance was used.

In order to provide Mr Razinkov the opportunity to demonstrate his capacity and refute these allegations, we invited him to provide us with game histories, as well as to meet with an independently appointed Othello expert to talk and play through a small number of games. Mr Razinkov declined this offer multiple times. Initially he cited time constraints (despite having registered for a number of other tournaments within the MSO schedule, and despite our having offered many variable timing options) but eventually he declined to engage in any further discussions concerning the allegations at any time.

The confluence of facts derived from our investigation leads us to conclude that Mr Razinkov derived an unfair advantage in the MSO Othello tournament through outside assistance, most likely through the use of a computer engine.

This is in direct contravention of our terms and conditions, which Mr Razinkov agreed to upon registration.

The Mind Sports Olympiad has a hard earned reputation for fairness and integrity at the highest level. Outside assistance will not be tolerated and we feel that the evidence before us indicates that this is a particularly egregious instance justifying both sanction and the publication of those sanctions. In order to maintain its reputation in the games community the Mind Sports Olympiad has therefore decided to enact the following sanctions:

  1. Disqualification without prize from the MSO Othello Tournament played on Saturday the 8th of August.
  2. Disqualification without prize for all events Mr Razinkov participated in for 2020, and a redistribution of placement in all such events such that Mr Razinkov’s position will be listed as last.
  3. Prohibition from registering for and competing in all Mind Sports Olympiad events from now until December 31, 2030.

In addition to these sanctions, we will be referring this matter and our findings to the following Othello associations, who may choose to enact their own sanctions independently:

BRITISH OTHELLO FEDERATION

http://britishothello.org/

FRENCH OTHELLO FEDERATION

https://www.ffothello.org/

ITALIAN OTHELLO FEDERATION

http://www.fngo.it/

WORLD OTHELLO FEDERATION

https://www.worldothello.org/

Etan Ilfeld

CEO of the Mind Sports Olympiad