Diving Chess

Come and try playing Diving Chess at this year’s Mind Sports Olympiad–its just chess in a pool but instead of chess clocks, you can think for as long as you hold your breath:

Alternatively, for those who want more traditional chess, there’s also blitz, rapid, exchange and the British Championship for Chess 960 (aka Fischer Random).


a8 black bishop
b8 black knight
c8 black rook
d8 black bishop
e8 black knight
f8 black king
g8 black rook
h8 black queen
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white bishop
b1 white knight
c1 white rook
d1 white bishop
e1 white knight
f1 white king
g1 white rook
h1 white queen

Chess 960 is just like regular chess with the exception that the pieces are randomized behind the pawns on the home ranks. Note that bishops must still be on opposite colors and each player still has the right to castle on both sides.

Computer Programming Competition

The Mind Sports Olympiad Computer Programming Competition strives to nurture new generations of global talent in the science and art of information technology. The Computer Programming Competition is be run by MSO founder David Levy. In 1997, Levy led the team that won the prestigious artificial intelligence Loebner Prize for the program called “CONVERSE”. The prize competition rewards the program that is best able to simulate human communication. Levy entered the contest again in 2009, and won. Since 1999, he has been the president of the International Computer Games Association. He was Chairman of the Rules and Arbitration Committee for the Kasparov vs Deep Junior chess match in New York in 2003. Levy has written more than 40 books on chess and computers.

This event is open to all, and in addition to the regular gold, silver and bronze medals, a junior gold medal will be given to the top contestant under 18.

The rules for the Computer Programming Competition are as follows:

Each contestant will be responsible for bringing their own computer, and is free to use whatever programming language and environment that they wish (e.g. C++, Python, Pascal, etc…) Participants will not be allowed to access the Internet during the competition.

There will be four tasks and a maximum total time allowable of 4 hours. When a contestant completes all of the tasks (or decides to stop) they raise their number (on an A4 sheet). The order of finishing determines the winner if two or more contestants have successfully completed the same number of tasks.

The fastest and most-correct contestant is the winner. Contestants score 100 points for every task successfully completed, by lose 1 point for every place in the finishing order they come below the winner.

The tasks will be described in Simple English and no specialist knowledge will be required of the contestants.

For tasks which involve test data, each participant will be given a set of test data via a USB stick. The data will be in a regular text file.

The tasks are aimed at developing algorithms to solve data-drive questions (rather than creating a graphical interface). Also, while there will be no access to the internet during the competition, contestants can use any code and help files that they have stored locally on their computer.

Auditions For Countdown at MSO on August 17 and 18, 2013

Channel 4’s Countdown is always on the look out for the best and brightest people to take part in the show. This year, their casting director will be attending the Mind Sports Olympiad on August 17 and 18 and will hold open to auditions to any MSO competitor who resides within the United Kingdom.

For more info on Countdown, checkout the following link:

Channel 4's Countdown

Channel 4’s Countdown

Countdown is the daytime words and numbers quiz show. It was the first show to appear on Channel 4 in 1982 and has been a popular, cult show ever since. Each day two contestants compete in 15 rounds of words and numbers to become the Countdown Champion.

Channel 4 has signed Nick Hewer to present the new series of Countdown. Nick, who is best known as Lord Alan Sugar’s advisor on the BBC’s Apprentice, will take over from Jeff Stelling at the end of the year to join numbers whizz Rachel Riley and words expert Susie Dent when the Countdown team starts recording the new series at the end of the year. Viewers can see him in the presenting chair from Monday 9th January 2012 onwards.

Countdown is Channel 4’s longest running series airs weekdays at 3.10pm.