Summary of the 2013 Mind Sports Olympiad

The 17th Mind Sports Olympiad took place at the University of London Union from August 16th to the 25th, 2013, and featured competitors from over 40 countries. The oldest competitor, Bernard Morgan age 89, won a Bronze medal in Dominoes while the youngest competitor, Alexander Hassabis age 7, took home a junior gold medal in the Settlers of Catan tournament.

The Pentamind World Championship was shared by UK’s Ankush Khandelwahl and Estonia’s Andres Kuusk both of whom had a total of 492 points out of a maximum 500 points. The Pentamind is awarded to the player who scores the best results in five distinct games. Khandelwahl won gold medals at Chess, Poker, Carcassonne, Lines of Action and Acquire, while Andres’ won the Hare and Tortoise World Championship, the Entropy World Championship, the Kamisado World Championship and the Boku World Championship. The Women’s Pentamind World Championship was won by Emily Watson who excelled at Tetris, Acquire, and Diplomacy. Fifteen year old Martin Hobemagi from Estonia won the Junior Pentamind World Championship, and also won gold medals in poker, monopoly, bridge and renju.

Martin Hobemagi (left), Ankush Khandelwahl (middle), and Andres Kuusk (right)

Martin Hobemagi (left), Ankush Khandelwahl (middle), and Andres Kuusk (right)

The Diving Chess World Championship was won by David Jameson of the UK. Diving Chess features an underwater chessboard, and competitors are able to think for as long as they can hold their breath as they must complete a move before resurfacing–at which point, their opponents must submerge themselves, only to resurface once they have made their underwater move.

The Computer Programming Competition was won by Julia Hayward and the Starcraft competition was won by Anatol Gasiorowski. The Mind Sports Tetris competition was won by the UK Tetris Champion Paul Erdunast, while George Lane defeated nine-time World Champion Gert Mittring in the Mental Calculations World Championship.

The Mind Sports Olympiad features over 60 tournaments and over a dozen world championships. The Amateur Poker World Championship was won by Michael Dixon. The Creative Thinking World Championship was won by Dan Hoch and Gaby Kappus. Martyn Hamer won the gruelling Decamentathlon, which tests competitors on 10 different skills which include chess, intelligence, go, memory, mastermind, sudoku, and mental calculations.


Emily Watson won the Women’s Pentamind World Championship

DivingChess 20130822_195903

The Diving Chess World Championship: players can think for as long as they can hold their breath


UK Tetris champ Paul Erdunast (player on right) takes on Henry Lam (player on left)


The Mental Calculation World Championship was won by George Lane (middle) followed by Gert Mittring (left), and Andrew Robertshaw (right)

Click here for a full list of results.

Click here for more photos at the Mind Sports Olympiad’s Facebook page.



Computer Programming Competition

The Mind Sports Olympiad Computer Programming Competition strives to nurture new generations of global talent in the science and art of information technology. The Computer Programming Competition is be run by MSO founder David Levy. In 1997, Levy led the team that won the prestigious artificial intelligence Loebner Prize for the program called “CONVERSE”. The prize competition rewards the program that is best able to simulate human communication. Levy entered the contest again in 2009, and won. Since 1999, he has been the president of the International Computer Games Association. He was Chairman of the Rules and Arbitration Committee for the Kasparov vs Deep Junior chess match in New York in 2003. Levy has written more than 40 books on chess and computers.

This event is open to all, and in addition to the regular gold, silver and bronze medals, a junior gold medal will be given to the top contestant under 18.

The rules for the Computer Programming Competition are as follows:

Each contestant will be responsible for bringing their own computer, and is free to use whatever programming language and environment that they wish (e.g. C++, Python, Pascal, etc…) Participants will not be allowed to access the Internet during the competition.

There will be four tasks and a maximum total time allowable of 4 hours. When a contestant completes all of the tasks (or decides to stop) they raise their number (on an A4 sheet). The order of finishing determines the winner if two or more contestants have successfully completed the same number of tasks.

The fastest and most-correct contestant is the winner. Contestants score 100 points for every task successfully completed, by lose 1 point for every place in the finishing order they come below the winner.

The tasks will be described in Simple English and no specialist knowledge will be required of the contestants.

For tasks which involve test data, each participant will be given a set of test data via a USB stick. The data will be in a regular text file.

The tasks are aimed at developing algorithms to solve data-drive questions (rather than creating a graphical interface). Also, while there will be no access to the internet during the competition, contestants can use any code and help files that they have stored locally on their computer.