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

Register and Play

There’s still time to join the action at this year’s Mind Sports Olympiad. All of our tournaments are FREE and open to anyone. CLICK HERE to see the schedule and register. The Mind Sports Olympiad, the World’s largest and most competitive board gaming tournament has moved entirely online for the first time in its 24 year history. Boasting an impressive array of over 90 tournaments and over a dozen world championships over the month of August, gamers from all corners of the world have united in the search for the Pentamind World Champion, the world’s strongest board gamer. One thing’s for sure, whatever your appetite for gameplay, chances are that there will be something for you this year at the MSO. 

Until August 30, viewers can join an expert team of commentators to see how the best players in the world navigate the games you know and love. Games on offer run the gamut from classics like Chess and Poker to household favorites like Catan and Carcassonne. The MSO also offers the opportunity to compete in new games where there are still unplumbed strategic depths to explore.

If you want to test yourself against the best. Registration and full tournament details can be found at https://msoworld.com/mso-is-open-for-registrations/

If you have any questions, feel free to ping us at mindsportsolympiad@gmail.com or via our discord: https://discord.gg/mRhtB4M

For all of the livestream commentary join us at:

https://www.facebook.com/mindsportsolympiad

https://www.twitch.tv/mindsportsolympiad

http://www.youtube.com/mindsportsolympiad

 

Various Highlights of MSO 2020

For a full list of winners, visit our medals table.

It has never been harder to win a medal. The caliber of play has been incredible with a range of world champions taking part including the current Hive world champion Christian Galeas who won the first Hive tournament and took silver in the Hive Standard Opening tournament.

Hive Olympiad Livestream Commentary

Commentary by Chris Fung and Randy Ingersoll

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Saturday, August 1, 2020

CATAN has featured some of the strongest players in the world such as DyLighted and YoungNaijah (Sam Liu). Meanwhile, Terray Mystica was won by Marc Lambercht. For commentary on the final table visit: 

2020 Terra Mystica Final Table

Check out the replay of last weekend's epic Terra Mystica final, with expert commentary from Chris Bizzell and Lumin Sperling. The analysis is sure to improve anyone's understanding of the game and the game reaches an exciting climax at the end.Chris & Lumin are hosting the Fire Two Open tournament later this month involving 16 of the greatest players in the world which you can learn more about here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2482398/announcing-fire-two-open-live-tournament-series-ho . You can also follow Lumin (US Agricola Champion) at https://twitch.tv/lumin_s for gameplay & analysis of Terra Mystica, Agricola and 7 Wonders

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Entropy World Championship was won by David Jameson (Wales) for the sixth time (and 5th in a row)! 

MSO newcomer Maciej Brzeski (Poland) already won four golds this year and medalled in Chess, Go, and Battle Sheep. He’s mentioned that he’s eyeing his first Pentamind World Championship.

Carcassonne was won by newcomer Ilja Mett (Germany) who also won Stone Age. Here are videos of both:

Stone Age Final

Stone Age Final with commentary by Steve Raine at the 2020 Mind Sports Olympiad

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Monday, August 10, 2020

Carcassone at MSO 2020

Carcassone at the Mind Sports Olympiad 2020!

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Mental Calculations World Championship was won by Neelakantha Bhanu Prakash Jonnalagadda from India

Joseph Mela won the Battle Sheep Swiss with a dramatic victory in the final round:

Battle Sheep MSO Swiss Final Round

Top two tables of the Battle Sheep Swiss Final RoundAndres Kuusk versus Denis Tenchurin, and Ricardo Gomes versus Joe Mela

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

 

Castles of Burgundy was won by Josh Ballard (USA)

Tauri Purk (Estonia) took gold in Sudoku

16 year old Daniel Essen (Canada) dominated the Atomic Chess Arena with a 100% win rate in over 40 games. 

There’s lots more action to come. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Pentamind Race – Two Weeks to the Finish Line

It’s exciting to follow this year’s Pentamind World Championship. Defending Pentamind World Champion Ankush Khandelwal is currently leading the Pentamind standingsTrue to his online moniker, GameKing51 (aka Ankush) won the Bridge Pairs event, took silver in Backgammon, and scored highly in Poker and Chess. The king is set on defending his crown. Ankush is closely followed by 4-time Pentamind World Champion Andres Kuusk and newcomers Maciej Brzeski and Jordi Alexander. 

Jordi Alexander (aka Legendario) is representing Cyprus and currently lives in Singapore. He won the CATAN: Cities and Knights tournament, which started at 10pm his time. He played through the night–winning at 9am the next morning. You can watch his exciting CATAN final table win with commentary by CATAN Studio CEO Pete Fenlon here: 

CATAN: Cities and Knights – Epic Final Table!

We had an epic final table in CATAN: Cities and KnightsCongrats to our finalists, and especially to Jordi Alexander for winning!With commentary by Chris Fung and CATAN Studio CEO Pete Fenlon. This is the final table for the Cities and Knights tournament at the 2020 Mind Sports Olympiad. Final standings:1 Jordi Alexander2 Bob Ekers3 Tomasz Bazant 4 Benjamin Ramos All MSO events are online, open to the public and FREE this year. For more info, visit msoworld.comThe Mind Sports OlympiadThe World's Largest and Most Competitive board games tournament. Playing from Aug 1-30, 2020, join the hunt for the World's Strongest Boardgamer as players compete for the Pentamind Championship.

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Sunday, August 9, 2020

Jordi also medaled in Battle Sheep and scored highly in Poker, Carcassonne, and Chess. Check out Jordi’s interview with Chris Fung on gameplay and strategy:

[Insights from the MSO] Jordi Alexander w Chris Fung

Jordi Alexander interviewed by Chris Fung[Insights from the MSO] Jordi Alexander w Chris Fung2020 Pentamind World Championship contender Jordi Alexander shares his thoughts on gameplay, life and strategy.

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

 

4-time Pentamind World Champion Andres Kuusk (Estonia) took gold in Quoridor and silver in Battle Sheep. Andres (aka Vashod) also scored highly in Bridge, Poker, and Entropy. Here’s a key game that he won in Quoridor against on of the best players in the world:

MSO newcomer Maciej Brzeski (Poland) already won four golds this year and medalled in Chess, Go, and Battle Sheep. He’s mentioned that he’s eyeing his first Pentamind World Championship. Check out this great commentary by WIM Sabrina Chevannes from the Chess Blitz Arena that Maciej narrowly won in the last few minutes:

lichess.org Chess Bullet Arena – Mind Sports Olympiad

lichess.org Chess Bullet Arena – Mind Sports OlympiadChess commentary on the lichess.org chess bullet 2min arena with Women's International Master Sabrina Chevannes

Posted by Mind Sports Olympiad on Sunday, August 16, 2020