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The Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) is an international event with over 80
different board game competitions ranging from classics like Chess, Scrabble,
Backgammon and Go to newer games, including Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders,
Dominion, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne.
Card games figure too, with an amateur poker world championship and bridge. MSO features over a dozen world championships such as Memory, Mental Calculations, and Creative Thinking. The most prestigious accolade is the Pentamind World Championship, which is awarded to the competitor who has the best results from five different competitions and was designed to find the best all-around game player in the world. There are also opportunities to learn games via our streaming channels and learn-to-play initiatives.
The inaugural event was held in 1997 in London with £100,000 prize fund and was described as possibly the biggest games festival ever held. It was the first event of its kind aiming to with medals awarded in each tournament for adults and juniors. The Mind Sports Olympiad continues to take place every year around August. Due to the pandemic, MSO temporarily moved online and in 2020 it featured the largest player base ever–almost 6,000 unique competitors from over 100 countries.
We are registered as M S O Limited in England and Wales with company number 04712990, and our address is:
19 Cecil Court, London, UK, WC2N 4EZ
The Mind Sports Olympiad also founded two competitions that were designed to find the best games
all-rounders in the world and possibly the top games player alive. These are the Pentamind and the
Decamentathlon both inspired by the athletic pentathlon and decathlon.
The Mind Sports Olympiad advocates games playing across the globe and to that end there have been many
minor satellite competitions with the MSO brand. In 2020, due to COVID-19, we’ve had to move the tournament online,
but this has allowed the event to become even more international and attract players from all over the world.
MSO 2020 was an online success and starting in 2022 an online series of tournaments was run in Winter/Spring – MSO Grand Prix, whilst the in-person tournament returned to London in it’s traditional slot in late August.
1997 Royal Festival Hall, London
1998 Novotel Hotel, Hammersmith
1999 Kennsington Olympia, London
2000 Alexandra Palace, London
2001 South Bank University, London
2002 Loughborough University, Loughborough
2003 UMIST, Manchester
2004 UMIST, Manchester
2005 Manchester University, Manchester
2006 Westminster University,London
2007 United Reformed Church, Potters Bar
2008 Royal Horticultural Halls, London
2009 Royal Horticultural Halls, London
2010 Soho Theatre, London
2011 University of London Union, London
2012 University of London Union, London
2013 University of London Union, London
2014 JW3, London
2015 JW3, London
2016 JW3, London
2017 JW3, London
2018 JW3, London
2019 JW3, London
2020 Online on various platforms
2021 Online on various platforms
2022 JW3, London
2023 JW3, London