The MSO Grand Prix is a brand-new online Mind Sports competition, which will bring the thrill of the MSO to wherever you are – beginning on the Easter weekend of 2022. The coronavirus pandemic forced the Mind Sports Olympiad to hold tournaments online for the first time in 2020 after 23 years of in-person competition, and this has helped to bring the MSO to more players than ever before.

The goal of the MSO Grand Prix is to continue to bring together the world’s best players in online competition.  This will run as a separate event to the Mind Sports Olympiad which, circumstances permitting, will return to it’s traditional in-person format in 2022. The Pentamind World Championship, which has been contested online in the past two years, shall return exclusively to the in-person event.  However, MSO medals can be won at either event and each will have it’s own meta-events.

As part of the Grand Prix competition we will have the Grand Prix Championship to find the best player over the course of the event (you can think of this as the online equivalent of the Pentamind).  Senior, Junior and Women’s champions shall be awarded along with champions crowned in each of the seven categories of games:

  • Chess
  • Poker
  • Backgammon
  • Draughts
  • Multiplayer (3+ players) e.g. 7 Wonders, Catan, Perudo.
  • Abstract (2 players, perfect information, no randomness after initial setup) e.g. Draughts, Othello, Patchwork.
  • Imperfect Information (2 players, some element of hidden information or randomness during the game) e.g. 7 Wonders Duel, Entropy, Lost Cities.

Grand Prix Scoring

Unlike the Pentamind, there is no limit to the number of events which you can use to build your Grand Prix score.  At the end of each tournament, points are awarded as follows:

  • 1st Place – 40 points
  • 2nd Place – 28 points
  • 3rd Place – 20 points
  • 4th Place – 12 points
  • Top 5% of the field – 8 points
  • Top 10% of the field – 6 points
  • Top 25% of the field – 4 points
  • Top 50% of the field – 2 point


  • Double points will be awarded for a players best score in each category.
  • If a player plays in multiple variants of the same game, then each variant after a player’s best score will receive half points.
  • If a player plays in multiple tournaments of the same game then only the best of these scores can be used.

The modifiers are designed to encourage players to play across a wide range of games and will reward success across a variety of categories.  Each of these are automatically calculated to give the highest score possible to the player.

Clarifications and Finer Details

  • In order to score points, a player must complete all rounds that they are eligible to play in.  Withdrawing from the tournament will always generate a score of 0.
  • In the event that a player finishes in a tie for a position within the top 4 then they will share the points for those positions (eg tied 1st & 2nd = 34 points).  Like the Pentamind scoring, tiebreaks used to determine medals will not affect Grand Prix scoring.
  • Ties for the Top % scoring are friendly.  For example finishing tied for 8th out of 80 players would be sufficient to score within the Top 10%.
  • Points are always awarded in whole numbers.  Should a tie result in a fractional amount of points due this will be rounded to the nearest whole number to determine the number of points awarded.
  • Points are awarded for one of the above only.  For example, 1st place scores 40 points, it does not also score points for the Top % of field scoring.
  • Smaller tournaments may not have any players finishing within the top 5% or top 10% that aren’t already scoring for a top 4 position.  For example, if there are only 30 players then the player finishing 5th would be Top 25% and score points accordingly.
  • In the event that a tournament has fewer than 10 players then the points that are awarded will be multiplied by a factor of N / 10, where N is the number of players in the tournament. Additionally, only players finishing in the top half may score.
  • A minimum of 5 players are required for a tournament to run.  No tournaments are expected to attract fewer than 10 players but this rule is included to handle unexpected scenarios.
  • Where there are multiple tournaments for the same game, only one of these can be used in a Grand Prix score.  However, variants on the same game can both be used but keep in mind that after the first each score will be halved, as outlined above. For example, a base game and expansions tournament could both be played with one scoring at half points, however two chess tournaments where the only difference between them is the time control or Swiss/Arena format cannot both be used. For the Chess, Poker, Backgammon, and Draughts categories all events will be considered at least related variants.
  • Players are welcome to participate in multiple tournaments simultaneously providing that they are able to play at the appropriate pace in each event, are ready to play each game as they are required and providing that they intend to complete all of their matches in each tournament that they begin. Entering several tournaments simultaneously with the intention of dropping out of some to focus on the best chance at a high finish is forbidden.  Players who make a habit of starting multiple tournaments that they do not finish will be ineligible to score Grand Prix points for any events during that session – at the arbiters discretion.
  • For the category specific meta-events no modifiers are applied and players will score regular points for every event.
  • The tiebreak for the Grand Prix Championship if two players finish tied on points is: (1) Most 1st place scores, (2) Most 2nd place scores, (3) Most 3rd place scores, (4) Most 4th place scores, (5) Most Top 5% scores, etc.  If there are tied positions these will be worth the appropriate fraction of each result they are tied across.
  • For a list of tournaments which are considered “same game” or “a variant of” another tournament, we’ve put together a list here –

Some examples are provided below to help demonstrate how this scoring system would have been applied if it were in effect for these tournaments.  It is not necessary for players to read through these and the MSO will always calculate and award points as appropriate.  We know some players like to fully understand how to calculate their own scores as they go along so examples are provided for their benefit.

Applying this scoring system to the 2021 MSO 7 Wonders tournament (results can be seen here

The top 4 finishers are straightforward to score as there are no ties.  Maciej scores 40 Grand Prix points, Ondrej scores 28, Batal 20 and Quy-Dang 12.

Top 5% points are eligible to be scored by any players who finish in 7th position or better.  This is calculated using the total number of participants (140) and multiplying that by 0.05 which gives 7.  Therefore 8 Grand Prix points would be awarded to Laura, Lumin and Nico.

Top 10% points will go to players within the top 140 x 0.10 = 14 positions.  This would cover all of the players who finished tied for 8th, 10th and 13th positions, scoring 6 Grand Prix points each.

Top 25% points go to players within the top 140 x 0.25 = 35 positions.  There was a large group of players who finished in joint 35th place which is just good enough for them to be classified in the Top 25%.  Had these players tied for 36th position they would have narrowly missed the Top 25%.  4 Grand Prix points each go to everyone from tied 16th to tied 35th.

Top 50% points go to players within the top 140 x 0.50 = 70 positions.  2 Grand Prix points apply to all players from tied 49th up to and including the group who finished tied for 68th position.  The players above 49th have already been scored into other groups for more points so take those scores rather than the 2 points for Top 50%.

As this example shows, when there are ties in the results it is commonplace for more than 50% of players to be awarded with points as we will not apply tiebreaks to separate such players.

The points outlined here are still subject to the scoring modifiers that may change the actual number of points that a player will be seen to be awarded on the standings table.  For instance if this is a player’s best result from a Multiplayer game then they may double their score (for example Maciej could double his 40 to 80), but remember this can only be done for one event in each category.

For our second example we will look at the Anti-Chess from MSO 2021, which involves a tie for 1st position (

Arman and Andrew finished in a tie for first position.  They therefore share the points for the positions they tied across equally between them.  The calculation is:
= ( 40 + 28 ) / 2
= 34

They would therefore receive 34 Grand Prix points each.  Note that even if a tiebreak is applied to award a Gold and a Silver medal, Grand Prix points are always shared and not affected by the outcome of tiebreaks.

Aron would score the 20 points for finishing 3rd and Rafayel 12 points for 4th.  As this is a smaller tournament there are no players within the Top 5% or Top 10% who have not already been scored already and therefore these bands are skipped.  Marian and Balázs are within the Top 25% and therefore score 4 points each.  Finally all players from 7th up to and including the two tied in 11th position will score 2 points for being in the Top 50%.

Here we shall look at the Giveaway Checkers tournament from MSO 2021 which involves a tiebreak for a top 4 position which may not be immediately obvious how it’s scored (

The top 3 positions involve no ties so these points are straightforward to award: 40 to Yehor, 28 to Kanstantsin and 20 to Rafayel.

4th position is a bit more tricky as 6 players have tied.  At a minimum these players must score their Top % points.  The players have finished 4th out of 19 players which comes to 4 / 19 = 21%, so they would fall into the Top 25% category which scores 4 Grand Prix points each.  We must also award the 4th position points (12) which would ordinarily be scored instead of Top %.  All in all we have the 12 points for 4th place plus 5 lots of 4 points for Top 25% to share amongst the tied players.

The calculation is therefore:
= ( 12 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 ) / 6
= 32 / 6
= 5.33333

Remember that points are always awarded in whole numbers so the answer is rounded and each of the players who tied for 4th position will score 5 Grand Prix points.

There are no further points to be awarded for this tournament as the next group of players finished tied for 10th which is outside of the Top 50% (10/19 = 52%).

This example demonstrates how the points for a top 4 position are awarded when there is a tie which brings in more than just 4 players.  The example chosen is intentionally complex to show how a tournament with a peculiar result will be scored.  The vast majority of tournaments will not involve such a big tie for a top 4 position and will therefore be far simpler to calculate.

Taking a hypothetical player who scores in the following events:

  • 1st Place: Chess960 Arena
  • 2nd Place: Chess Swiss
  • 3rd Place: Chess Bullet
  • 4th Place: Crazyhouse Chess
  • 4th Place: Chess Medley

Under the normal scoring rules this player could expect scores of 40, 28, 20, 12, and 12, for the five listed events. Indeed, this is the case for the scoring in the Chess category, giving a total of 112 points. However for the Grand Prix Championship, there are a number of modifiers to be applied. Firstly this players’ best Chess category score is the 1st Place in the ‘Chess960 Arena’, and so this is doubled from 40 points to 80. All of the events are chess variants (or chess itself), and so the other four would all score half points, except for the ‘Chess Bullet’ event which is considered to be the exact same game as the ‘Chess Swiss’ tournament, and so this event score is excluded from the Grand Prix standings.

This gives the player 106 Grand Prix points, broken down in the following way:

  • 80 Points: 1st Place: Chess960 Arena
  • 14 Points: 2nd Place: Chess Swiss
  • 0 Points: 3rd Place: Chess Bullet
  • 6 Points: 4th Place: Crazyhouse Chess
  • 6 Points: 4th Place: Chess Medley

It should be noted that all events in the Chess category are at least variants of one another. The same goes for the Poker, Backgammon and Draughts categories. The other three categories will cover many unrelated games with only a few variants of the same game, for example several Catan tournaments, listed in our schedule.

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