The coming Mind Sports Olympiad was reported on here earlier this year. As with most other gaming and sporting events, the worldwide coronavirus lockdown has disrupted the programme significantly. The organisers have now taken a bold step: MSO 24 will be held entirely on-line, and there will be no entry fees!
This is likely to result in a substantial increase in the number of entries. The Mind Sports Olympiad was launched in 1997 with much fanfare; it was held at London’s Royal Festival Hall. There were significant entries then and for the following three years. The fifth year, it was held at the South Bank University, and although substantial prize money was up for grabs, for reasons that need not concern the reader, this was the start of a decline that saw the event move out of the capital for the first time. Over the past few years, the MSO has recovered slowly, and since 2014 it has been held at JW3 in North London.
MSO has attracted competitors from all over the world including and especially South Korea. With no hotel bills and awkward travel arrangements among other things, there is no telling how many will enter this year, but it is likely to be the biggest event ever. In all there will be 75 different tournaments, and rather than the end of August, the event will be spread over the entire month.
Registration for the backgammon tournaments is open already. Nomally, cash prizes may not be awarded for backgammon in England unless the tournament is played on licenced premises. There are modest prizes for these tournaments, which require registering with a dedicated backgammon website.
Registration is also open for the Settlers Of Catan tournament; now called simply Catan, this will be held August 1-2, and the winner will receive a $150 gift voucher.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.