Andres Kuusk is the 2016 Pentamind World Champion


Congratulations to Andres Kuusk for winning the Pentamind World Championship. Andres was trailing behind Ankush Khandelwal with 24 hours left in the tournament, but was able to win the Texas Hold’em tournament to retake the lead and finish with a Pentamind score of 462.35pts followed closely by Ankush’s 456.38pts and last year’s champion James Heppell’s 452.22pts. This is the fourth time that Andres has won the Pentamind!

Emily Watson won the Women’s Pentamind World Championship, Dario de Toffoli won the Senior’s Pentamind World Championship and Daniel Guerra won the Junior’s Pentamind World Championship. Meanwhile, the Eurogames World Championship was won by Mike Dixon with a score of 436.46pts. The medals table is online and check out our Facebook page for photos and videos.

2016 Creative Thinking World Championship

The 2016 Creative Thinking World Championship was won by Dan Holloway. The Creative Thinking World Championship is run by Bill Hartston and has been taking place at the Mind Sports Olympiad for 20 years. Bill has kindly supplied a summary of some of this year’s best answers. Enjoy!

Round One

I have just been tidying my house and organising the various over-stuffed drawers and cupboards and piles of stuff on the floors.

After going through everything, I am left with an odd glove, 13 odd socks and one unpaired chopstick.

What should I do with them?

All suggestions gratefully received.


There were plenty of ideas for things to do with each of the three items mentioned individually, but the most creative responses were those that incorporated all of them together, ideally taking into account the precise number of the socks. I particularly liked Dan Holloway’s absurdist adaptation of the idea of a sundial to create a lunar calendar with the socks marking out the 13 lunar months of the year, the chopstick as a gnomon, and the glove standing at the edge “to imitate a cockerel so that the moon will know to go away come morning and get rest before moving on to the next stage”.

Another of Dan’s ideas was to use the chopstick as a handling device and the glove to avoid leaving fingerprints, then “deposit each sock at the scene of local felonioes to spice up the theorizing of bored police”.

Peter Steggle produced a design for a terrifying children’s toy with 14 legs and a single giant hand. The glove, of course, forms the hand, 13 of the legs are socks and the 14th is an artificial leg made from the chopstick.

More than one contestant came up with the succinct idea of unravelling the wool from the socks then braking the chopstick in two to form a pair of knitting needles. Then you can knit the missing glove.


Round Two

Britain won 67 medals at the Rio Olympics but this was achieved at a cost of £350million investment of public money which works out at over £5 million per medal. In this age of austerity, that seems very expensive. You are therefore invited by the UK government to come up with ideas to achieve similar success for less money.

Please submit your reports.


The most common theme in the answers was drugs, which split into two types: one half suggested that it would cost far less than £350million to develop undetectable drugs to boost the performance of British athletes; the other half used the money for a variety of surreptitious methods of drugging other countries’ contestants, or their blood and urine samples, leading to theri disqualification.

Again Dan Holloway produced the overall most imaginative suggestions which included cryogenically freezing our medallists from Rio then thawing them out for 2020, which could also bring success in a competitive defrosting event. Dan also set his sights even higher with a suggestion to replace the official US national anthem recording with a Jedward party remix “to ensure  the most historically successful does all in its power not to win more than its first gold”.

Other suggestions including not leaving the EU but taking the chance to build a European super-state to include the UK whose combined effors would win even more medals. Or, as some suggested, we could achieve the same result by military means, rebuilding the British Empire to include the nations with the best athletes.

Resli Costabell had perhaps the simplest and most effective idea of infiltrating Tokyo with British taxi drivers who would take our rivals to Osaka instead of Tokyo. I also very much liked her idea of saving money on pole-vault training facilities by glueing together all the chopsticks from the frist question to make a pole.

Round Three


These two diagrams come from patent documents. The upper is a Swedish invention, the lower is Japanese. Their titles have one significant word in common.

What are they? What do they do? How do they work? And what is the word they have in common?


Nobody, I am pleased to say, came remotely close to the intended uses of these inventions. The word they had in common was “nose”. The first is a device to make it easier for people wearing ski clothing to wipe their noses (basically it’s a pad worn on the wrist with an absorbent pad that may be flicked open). The second is a combined nose hair trimmer and cigarette lighter.

Peter Steggle provided the most comprehensive explanation of what the devices were and how they worked together as part of a ghost-busting kit he called the GGPS (Ghouls and Ghosts Positioning System). With detailed explanations of the functions of all the numbered parts on both diagrams, he included a psychic wave detector and ectoplasm sampler in his ghost-trapping and neutralising mechanisms as well as a MortuoLinguo translator (lower diagram) to reveal the meanings of their ghoulish utterances.

Resli Costabell also outlined the functions of all the numbered parts, but thought that both items were disability aids. “The photo on top clearly shows a one-thumbed man strapping the device to the stump of another man’s leg,” she says. She did, however, make the interesting obsetvation that the Swedish invention (upper diagram) is in the blue and yellow colours of the Swedish flag while the lower diagram features the black-and-white of Japan. Even compared with Peter Steggle’s ghost detecrtor, however, her explanations were a little far-fetched.

Other ideas included devices to be used against alien invasion (Nandini Shiralkar), a means of changing the colour of clothes (Emily Watson) and a signalling device for drones (Pauline Lewis).

Round Four

While walking round Cambridge market yesterday, I overheard the following snippets of conversation (not necessarily in this order), only one of which was addressed to me:

1: “From this hand to this shoulder round the back of the ball cage.”

2: “So I ended up naked and holding the lobster things over my boobs.”

3: “It’s nice to step in and step back out again sometimes.”

4. “Excuse me, are you the man from Gogglebox?”

I have a feeling there may be a link between them all, so your task is to blend them into a coherent narrative or plausible story.


I really did overhear all those lines in Cambridge the day before the Creativity competition. Number 2 was the first, and the temptation to use it in a question was irresistible.

Dan Holloway wove a gloriously incomprehensible postmodern narrative involving the incomprehensibly postmodern writer David Foster Wallace who wrote, among other things, a collection of essays entitled “Consider The Lobster”. His tale ended with the “lobster things over m,y boobs”, which I think is the right place for it. But he also managed to weave the other quotes into his tale, including the Gogglebox reference despite the fact that David Foster Wallace died before the programme was created.

Resli Costabell produced an equally convincing and ingenious (though somewhat deviant story) involving a woman who liked the feeling of a lobster’s tentacles or antennae on her breasts.

Peter Steggle’s tale involved a Japanese game-show in which contestants chose soft toys shaped like seafood, and then had to dodge ice lollies thrown by a man in a gorilla suit.

Strangely, it was the Gogglebox line that people found hardest to build into their stories convincingly, but a lot of lobsters were cooked in the tales.

Record Number of Entries So Far


Dominion Championship (Won by Ziggy Harris)

This year’s Mind Sports Olympiad is shaping up to be the largest Olympiad over the last decade with 1100 entries so far. There are still a lot of events ahead and anyone can still register and participate.


Paco teaches kids how to play Catan in the free learn-to-play gaming room

Recent highlights include Vincent Frochot defending his Abalone World Championship title, Tze Tung Chong winning Terra Mystica, David Jameson winning the King’s Cribbage World Championship, Daniele Ferri winning Rummikub, and Grand Master Alexander Cherniaev winning the British Chess 960 Championship. The medals table is online and our Facebook page shows the latest photos and videos.


Rummikub Championship (won by Daniele Ferri)



Great first Sunday at this year’s Mind Sports Olympiad

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 9.04.11 PM
We are having a great start to this year’s Mind Sports Olympiad. Our Settlers of Catan event was at the maximum of 60 players (as we only had 15 Catan sets), and was won by Ricardo Gomez. Scrabble had 40 competitors and was won by Austin Shin. Other events today included Backgammon, Chess 960, Oware, Memory and Dominion. The medals table is online and there are photos on our Facebook page.
There’s still a lot more gaming to go and anyone can register to join the remaining events.

Registration is Open


Catan at MSO

Catan at MSO

The 20th Mind Sports Olympiad will take place between August 21st and 29th at JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET. We recommend registering early to guarantee your spot. Anyone can sign up to compete. In addition, all events are open to spectators, free of charge, and newcomers are always welcome. There will also be a free learn to play room throughout the event, and all ages are welcome. While all events will award adult and junior medals, some events have cash prizes. Come and join the fun!

Medals Table

Mind Sports Olympiad medals won over the last 20 years can now be viewed HERE. Former Pentamind Champion David Pearce leads the medals table with 45 Gold medals.

Medals from 1997 to 2015

Excluding junior medals, so far 1517 competitors, have won a medal at the Mind Sports Olympiad.

Korean Mind Sports Championship

2016 제3회 브레이닝 올림피아드 포스터 영문

The Braining Games and MSO World-Korea Championships will take place on May 28 and 29 at Korea Job World in Suwon, (4-6, Jeongja-dong) 501, Bundangsuseo-ro, Bundang-gu. For more information and to register, please contact or call +82-(0) 31 8977114.

Scrabble at MSO 2016

The Mind Sports Olympiad Scrabble Olympiad took place on Sunday 21st August and was attended by 40 players across the whole range of abilities.  At the top end were Grand Masters one of whom, David Eldar is currently ranked number two in the world.  At the other end of the scale there were a number of players who had never played face-to-face tournament Scrabble before.

The first round of events like this is drawn randomly and saw one of the tournament newcomers, Will Morgan, up against Grand Master David Eldar.  Not knowing Of David’s standing, Will was undaunted by the challenge and, much to everyone’s surprise, came out on top.  

Will continued his good form in round 2 with a win against Victoria Kingham, an established tournament player in the UK.  Amongst other surprise results in round 2 was a win by just 2 points for a relative newcomer to uk-Scrabble, Temu Oluku against top player Rafal Dominiczak who was fifth highest rated in the field.  

So after two rounds Will found himself at the top of the table and now faced a relative newcomer to uk Scrabble in Ian Nicol.  Once again Will triumphed and went to lunch on three wins out of three in the company of most of the top players in the tournament.  

Things didn’t go quite as well for Will in the afternoon whilst David Eldar recovered strongly form his early defeat winning all his other games.  The tournament had seven rounds and by the time we reached round 6 the battle for the gold medal was between 6 players.  Grand Master Austin Shin and Expert Ed Rossiter were undefeated whilst David Eldar, Rafal, Rik Kennedy and Mohamed Kamara had lost only one game.  

Austin Shin came out on top against Ed in the final game to head the field whilst David Eldar maintained his strong recovery to finish second on spread.  Ed Rossiter took the bronze medal.

This tournament is well-liked by many tournament Scrabble players.  They like the venue and the format.  At the same time the event gives new players the opportunity to compete against Scrabble’s elite.  Chatting to a number of players afterward, they had all enjoyed the day.  Despite some heavy reversals the players new to tournament Scrabble had enjoyed the experience and we hope to see a number of them at other Scrabble tournaments in the coming months.  Will Morgan, especially thoroughly enjoyed his day.  He did manage one more win during the afternoon and finished a very creditable 11th = the same position as Tim Hebbes, a regular MSO only Scrabble player

Steve Perry

Scrabble Tournament Arbiter

MSO December 2015 Tournament in La Palma, Canary Islands


La Palma hosted its first Children’s Mind Sports Olympiad on December 29th and 30th, and had over 300 participants competing in various games ranging from Blokus, Chess and Abalone to Tangram and Mastermind. The tournament took place at the Brena Alta Sports Center and is part of a collaboration between MSO and the Canary Island’s Aprender Jugando educational outreach program.


The next La Palma MSO event will take place from June 7th to the 9th, and the children with the highest Pentamind scores will have the opportunity to travel to the Mind Sports Olympiad in London from August 21 to 29, 2016. For more information contact Verónica Candelaria Sánchez, Aprender Jugando La Palma project manager, at +34 646262186 and

2015 Mind Sports Olympiad Champions

From left to right: James, Charlotte, Bijan and Martin

Congratulations to James Heppell for winning the 2015 Pentamind World Championship! Also, congrats to Charlotte Levy for winning the Ladies Pentamind, to Bijan Mehdinejad for winning the Eurogames World Championship, and to Martin Hobemagi for winning the Amateur Poker World Championship. The 2015 Mind Sports Olympiad featured 378 tournament competitors, and an additional 310 players who played in the learn-to-play-open-gaming-room, for a total of almost 700 participants. Thanks again to Mitsubishi UK and DeepMind for sponsoring the 2015 Mind Sports Olympiad.