Over a dozen world champions were crowned when the world’s biggest and most competitive mind sports tournament, the Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) took place virtually this summer from Aug 13 to Sep 5. With a total of 4,082 competitors from 114 countries it was a truly global event which saw Great Britain topping the medals table followed by Estonia and Poland. MSO 2021 featured over a dozen world championships and over a hundred tournaments for its 25th anniversary. Competitions included Memory, Chess, Scrabble, Backgammon, Catan, Sudoku, Creative thinking and many new board games.

What an amazing tournament it was this year and a wonderful way to celebrate our quarter century with competitors from across the globe. Benin, Jordan, Singapore, Afghanistan and Slovakia all won their first medals since the Mind Sports Olympiad’s inception in 1997. 

The top ten nationalities by entry numbers were: 

UK 1,076

USA 832

Italy 667

Russia 653

Spain 368

Portugal 292

Estonia 237

India 225

South Korea 207

France 198

The complete list of medals can be viewed at: 2021 Event Medals – Mind Sports Olympiad

One of the most prestigious accolades in mind sports is the Pentamind World Championship, which is awarded to the competitor with the best results from 5 different disciplines and celebrates the best all-round games player in the world. After just missing out on a podium place in 2020 with a 4th place finish, Polish chessmaster Maciej Brzeski was determined to do better in 2021. Putting in over a 1000 hours of training during the 12 month hiatus he was ready to take on the world, he started strongly with a gold medal in 7 Wonders on the first day. More medals followed and he was able to secure his first Pentamind World Championship with an incredible score of 489.61 Pentamind points which included 7

The Mental Calculations World Championship had over a hundred competitors and was won by 11 year old Aaryan Shukla from India. Aaryan dominated the field with his lightning quick calculations. Mouth watering examples include Aaryan calculating  the square root of 232,608,467,025 in under twenty seconds (the answer is 482,295), the decimal square root of 248,115 to a depth of ten digits answering 498.1114333 in under a minute, and multiplying 9,326,856 x 1,252,847 in under 10 seconds (the answer is 11,685,123,559,032).