Pentamind World Championship

The Pentamind World Championship was one of the Mind Sports Olympiad’s original events. It is a unique meta-event, which celebrates the best all round games player in the world. Any event at Mind Sports Olympiad can count towards that year’s Pentamind, and the player with the highest top five scores is crowned the Pentamind World Champion.

The Pentamind scores must use games from different categories (e.g. one chess variant, scrabble, go, poker and backgammon; however, a player cannot use two backgammon scores or two chess scores toward the Pentamind). The Pentamind champion is the player with the highest numerical score in “Pentamind points” from 5 valid events. This is calculated using the formula (n/(n+1)) x 100 x (n – p) / (n – 1), where n is the number of players and p is the player’s position in an event. The position is the position before tie-breaks and any split positions are shared amongst all of the tied players.
In the event of a tie for the Pentamind World Championship, the next Pentamind score (i.e. the 6th best result) will be used as a tiebreak; the secondary tiebreak will be the 7th best Pentamind score; the third tiebreak will be use the 8th best scores.
The following restrictions apply to the events used in a player’s Pentamind score:
All events used in a player’s score must be in different disciplines (using different ‘game codes’).
At least two events lasting more that 1 session on the published schedule must be used towards a contestant’s final Pentamind score (i.e. if Ticket to Ride is 1.5 sessions then it counts as a long session).
Meta event scores such as the Amateur Poker World Championship or Eurogames World Championship will not count towards a Pentamind World Championship score.
Two events that occur simultaneously in the schedule cannot both be used in a player’s score.
If a player withdraws from an event without completing at least 50% of the rounds then their Pentamind score in that tournament is automatically included as one of the 5 in their final score. (This may be overturned at the discretion of the Tournament Arbiter of Head Arbiter)

List of Pentamind World Champions

  • 1997: Wales Kenneth J. Wilshire
  • 1998: England Demis Hassabis
  • 1999: England Demis Hassabis
  • 2000: England Demis Hassabis
  • 2001: England Demis Hassabis
  • 2002: Italy Dario De Toffoli
  • 2003: England Demis Hassabis
  • 2004: South Africa Alain S. Dekker
  • 2005: England Tim Hebbes
  • 2006: Czech Republic Jan Stastna
  • 2007: England David M. Pearce
  • 2008: England David M. Pearce
  • 2009: England Martyn Hamer
  • 2010: Spain Paco Garcia de la Banda
  • 2011: Estonia Andres Kuusk
  • 2012: Italy Dario De Toffoli
  • 2013: England Ankush Khandelwal & EstoniaAndres Kuusk
  • 2014: EstoniaAndres Kuusk
  • 2015: England James Heppell
  • 2016: EstoniaAndres Kuusk

The Pentamind has been won five times by Demis Hassabis.
Demis Hassabis (born 27 July 1976) is a computer game designer, AI programmer, neuroscientist and world-class games player. A child prodigy in chess, he reached master standard at the age of 13 with an Elo rating of 2300 (at the time the second highest rated player in the world Under-14 after Judit Polgar who had a rating of 2335).Following his graduation Hassabis worked briefly as a Lead AI programmer on the Lionhead Studios title Black & White before founding Elixir Studios in 1998, a London-based independent games developer. He grew the company to 60 people, signing publishing deals with Vivendi Universal and Microsoft, and was the executive designer of the BAFTA-nominated Republic: The Revolution and Evil Genius games. Hassabis then left the games industry, switching to cognitive neuroscience, in order to get back to his lifelong passion of developing artificial intelligence technology. Working in the field of autobiographical memory and amnesia he has authored several highly-cited and influential papers, including his most prominent work to date, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in early 2007. Hassabis received his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCL in 2009 and is continuing his computational neuroscience and artificial intelligence research as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the Gatsby Unit, UCL and in collaboration with groups at MIT and Harvard. Demis co-founded DeepMind, which was acquired in 2014 by Google where he is now Vice President of Engineering leading their general AI projects. DeepMind’s AI Go playing program, AlphaGo, defeated the Lee Sedol, one of the strongest Go players in the world, in March 2016 with a score of 4 out of 5.


Dario De Toffoli won the Pentamind World Championship in both 2002 and 2012.
Dario De Toffoli is an Italian board game designer, gamebook author and elite games player who founded the games company Studiogiochi and established many games events. Born in 1953 Venice, after an early career as a Chemist he entered the world of games. Winner of over 60 medals at the Mind Sports Olympiad. He won the 2002 and 2012 Pentamind Competition. In 2006, he won a special award for his contribution to games which includes contribution to all aspects of games.Dario was one of the top players in scrabble in Italian. The world championship in Italian scrabble was not founded until 2008 before that there were Majors. Dario had multiple top 3 finishes in these competitions and won the Masters in 1997.Dario De Toffoli is the foremost expert in backgammon in Italy. He wrote two of the key books on backgammon in Italian: “the rules of the game” and “the big book of backgammon” In the latter, he is credited with bringing to light that the origins of backgammon went back 500 years further than had previously been reported. As well as owning the company Studiogiochi, Dario has personally designed and co-designed several board games. The most notable of which are Lex Arcana and Vampiri in salsa rossa role-playing based games. More recent games have had a more mainstream focus such as Sudoku and Kakuro board games and themed board games such as for the Totally Spies! cartoon series.