All events will have their own specific rules, which are laid out on each tournament page. The following general rules will apply to all tournaments taking place at the MSO:
1. Tournament rules and timings listed on an event page are not binding. Any amendments (for practical reasons, due to numbers of entrants or unforeseen circumstances, or to correct any errors) will be formally announced by the Tournament Arbiter at the earliest sensible time. Any rules presented in the room on the day, either verbally or visually, will supersede the online rules.
2. Any disputes during the tournament (including during a game) should be resolved by the Tournament Arbiter. If an incident during a game is not bought to the Arbiter’s attention then the players should consider it to be appropriate behaviour for the remainder of the game when further clarification may be provided. In a game that it tight on time the arbiter may intervene if they spot an illegal move or other infringement that a player may miss due to time pressure – other players or observers should never interfere directly with a game, even if they see what appears to be an illegal play or an incident of cheating, as they may be unaware of a specific situation, however they are encouraged to find the arbiter in severe situations.
3. Should a player not agree with a tournament arbiter’s ruling then they can appeal to the Head Arbiter (or appropriate senior figure if the Head Arbiter is the Tournament Arbiter). The Head Arbiter’s decision is final. Frivolous challenges may incur penalty such as disqualification from the event.
4. Players are expected to maintain a reasonable level of fairness and ethics and to behave appropriately towards other competitors and observers. This includes completing all games in a reasonable manner and not conceding a game to another player (kingmaking) unless resigning a genuinely lost position (including in a situation where a player would benefit from finishing 2nd in a multi-player game). Failure to adhere to this may result in a disqualification from the tournament and/or any of the meta-events such as the Pentamind.
5. Intentional cheating on any level will not be tolerated and will result in a disqualification from the tournament and potentially a ban of any length up to permanent.
6. Players cannot receive outside assistance during a game (unless required due to a disability). Mobile phone use is also not permitted for this reason. Penalties for doing so can range from a formal warning to loss of game or disqualification from the event.
7. Unless all players at the table agree otherwise, table talk is limited to English only.
8. In exam based events, players will not be allowed to review their paper after marking (the announced result will be final), however the solutions will be made public upon completion of the paper, and players will have 24 hours to raise any issues.
The Mind Sports Olympiad Tie-Break System to be used:
A tie-break is a situation where two or more players (pairs or teams) have the same score and are in a position to win a medal or title. The MSO tie-break rules apply.
All tie-breaks will be agreed in the office with the Chief Arbiter or a director, neither of whom will be involved as a participant in the particular event.
These tie-breaks will be applied to all events unless otherwise specified on the event page.
The rules below will be applied for two player games:
1. Head to Head results between the players involved. This will only apply if: one player has beaten all others in the tie-break; one player has lost to all others in the tie break, or one subset of the players in the tie-break can would be clearly ranked above all others given any possible result in unplayed games.
2. Point spread from all rounds, ignoring the players best result. (Where applicable)
In a multi-way tie-break, should 1 or more players be eliminated during a stage then return to step 1 to resolve any remaining ties.
The rules below will be applied for multi-player games:
1. The board played on in the final round (i.e. A player from the top board is placed ahead of anyone on a lower board, if they have the same tournament points)
2. Result in the final round
3. Victory Points scored in all rounds OR points percentage (of best opponent) summed across all rounds (ignoring best result)
4. Most Wins (followed by most seconds etc.)
5. Head to head
6. Buchholz (removing bottom 2 opponents)
For the Pentamind, the tie-break will be 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 etc.