The twenty-second annual Mind Sports Olympiad is in progress! This year’s mental-games-themed multi-sports festival started on Sunday 19th August and will be running until Monday 27th August. It’s once again being held at JW3, the London Jewish cultural centre, so Sabbath considerations stop play on the evening of Friday 25th and throughout Saturday 26th.
Some people prefer to focus their efforts on a single mind sport at the highest level they can attain, others take a much broader view that it’s more fun to compete at many different games, and the Mind Sports Olympiad is a great place for those who take the second viewpoint. In a similar way, some people like only escape rooms, others like only logic puzzle contests, others like only cryptic crosswords or mechanical puzzles or geocaching or one of maybe a dozen other things; if you like one but haven’t been exposed to the others then it may well be that you turn out to enjoy the others as well.
This year, Thursday 23rd August is puzzle day. For the first time ever, there are two different puzzle contests that day! In the morning there’s a competition testing people’s skills at Sudoku and Killer Sudoku; an unconnected competition in the afternoon is entitled Advanced Puzzles and will feature Futoshiki, Star Battle, Numberlink, Straights and old favourite kenken (also known as calcudoku – think killer sudoku, but with other mathematical operations as well as addition). £140 will be distributed among the three medalists in the morning Sudoku; the afternoon Puzzles have a £90 prize pot.
There are contests in scores of other mind sports as well; for instance, you might be attracted by the Countdown contest through the day on Sunday 26th or the Chess Puzzles contest that evening. Additionally, there’s an open play room with a well-stocked games library open each day. If you’re not close at all to London, this year you can watch live streaming coverage of the top board in some of the tournaments, sponsored by Bondora. That’s two “o”s and one “a”; don’t fumble the middle vowel or you’ll find something quite different!