Mind sport

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A mind sport is a game of skill where the competition is based on a particular type of the intellectual ability as opposed to physical exercise.

Game of skill type of game

A game of skill is a game where the outcome is determined mainly by mental or physical skill, rather than chance.



The first major use of the term was as a result of the Mind Sports Olympiad in 1997. [1] The phrase had been used prior to this event such as backgammon being described as a mind sport by Tony Buzan in 1996; Tony Buzan was also a co-founder of the Mind Sports Olympiad. [2] Bodies such as the World Memory Sports Council [3] use the term retrospectively.

Mind Sports Olympiad

The Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) is an annual international multi-disciplined competition and festival for games of mental skill and mind sports. The inaugural event was held in 1997 in London with £100,000 prize fund and was described as possibly the biggest games festival ever held.

Backgammon one of the oldest board games for two players

Backgammon is one of the oldest known board games. Its history can be traced back nearly 5,000 years to archeological discoveries in Mesopotamia. It is a two player game where each player has fifteen pieces (checkers) which move between twenty-four triangles (points) according to the roll of two dice. The objective of the game is to be first to bear off, i.e. move all fifteen checkers off the board. Backgammon is a member of the tables family, one of the oldest classes of board games.

Tony Buzan British psychologist

Anthony Peter "Tony" Buzan was an English author and educational consultant.

It is a term that became fixed from games trying to obtain equal status to sports. For example, from 2002 British Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn said:

Richard George Caborn is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Central from 1983 to 2010. Caborn was a member of the government for ten years, serving as the Minister of Sport from 2001 to 2007. He was later appointed by Gordon Brown as the Prime Minister's Ambassador for England's 2018 World Cup Bid.

...I believe we should have the same obligation to mental agility as we do to physical agility. Mind sports have to form UK national bodies and get together with the government to devise an acceptable amendment to the 1937 Act that clearly differentiates mind sports from parlour board games. [4] [5]

Many of the games official bodies which had come together for the Mind Sports Olympiad, formed larger organisations such as the Mind Sports Council and International Mind Sports Association (IMSA). With IMSA organising the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing 2008 [6] for contract bridge, chess, go, draughts and xiangqi many other bodies have lobbied for inclusion such as the International Federation of Poker, [7] which won provisional membership at the annual congress of SportAccord in Dubai in 2009. [8]

International Mind Sports Association

The International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) is an association of the world governing bodies for contract bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), go, Mahjong and xianqi, namely the World Bridge Federation (WBF), World Chess Federation (FIDE), World Draughts Federation (FMJD), International Go Federation (IGF), Mahjong International League and World Xiangqi Federation (WXF). IMSA is a member of Sportaccord and was founded 19 April 2005 during the GAISF General Assembly. It is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) is a quadrennial multi-sport event created by the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) as a "stepping stone on the path of introducing a third kind of Olympic Games ".

Contract bridge card game

Contract bridge, or simply bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. In its basic format, it is played by four players in two competing partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other around a table. Millions of people play bridge worldwide in clubs, tournaments, online and with friends at home, making it one of the world's most popular card games, particularly among seniors. The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is the governing body for international competitive bridge, with numerous other bodies governing bridge at the regional level.

The term also includes mental calculation or memory disciplines as presented in International competitions such as the Mental Calculation World Cup (held bi-annually since 2004) and the World Memory Championships (held annually since 1991)

Mental calculation comprises arithmetical calculations using only the human brain, with no help from any supplies or devices such as a calculator. People use mental calculation when computing tools are not available, when it is faster than other means of calculation, or even in a competitive context. Mental calculation often involves the use of specific techniques devised for specific types of problems. People with unusually high ability to perform mental calculations are called mental calculators or lightning calculators.

The Mental Calculation World Cup is an international competition for mental calculators, held every two years in Germany.

World Memory Championships

The World Memory Championships is an organized competition of memory sports in which competitors memorize as much information as possible within a given period of time. The championship has taken place annually since 1991, with the exception of 1992. It was originated by Tony Buzan and co founded by Tony Buzan and Ray Keene. It continues to be organized by the World Memory Sports Council (WMSC), which was jointly founded by Tony Buzan and Ray Keene. In 2016, due to the dispute between some players and WMSC, the International Association of Memory (IAM) was launched. From 2017 onward, both organizations have hosted their own world championships.

Games called mind sports

As well as many board games, chess and card games, [9] other disciplines that have been described as mind sports are speed reading, esports (video game-based competitions), computer programming [10] [11] and cybersecurity wargames. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] Other events that have been included where the physical element is comparable to the mental component such as when the official Mind Sports South Africa accepted speed-texting as a mind sport. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

The Mind Sports Organisation (MSO) is an association for promoting mental-skill games including Contract Bridge, Chess, Go, Mastermind, and Scrabble. Since 1997 it has annually organised in England a multi-sport competition, the Mind Sports Olympiad.

Abstract strategy game strategy game that minimizes luck and does not rely on a theme

An abstract strategy game is a strategy game in which the theme is not important to the experience of playing. Many of the world's classic board games, including chess, Go, checkers and draughts, xiangqi, shogi, Reversi, nine men's morris, and most mancala variants, fit into this category. As J. Mark Thompson wrote in his article "Defining the Abstract", play is sometimes said to resemble a series of puzzles the players pose to each other:

There is an intimate relationship between such games and puzzles: every board position presents the player with the puzzle, What is the best move?, which in theory could be solved by logic alone. A good abstract game can therefore be thought of as a "family" of potentially interesting logic puzzles, and the play consists of each player posing such a puzzle to the other. Good players are the ones who find the most difficult puzzles to present to their opponents.

Kateryna Lagno Russian chess player

Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lagno is a Russian chess grandmaster. A chess prodigy, she earned the title Woman Grandmaster (WGM) at the age of 12 years, four months and two days. In 2007, she was awarded the grandmaster title.

Antoaneta Stefanova chess player

Antoaneta Stefanova is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster and Women's World Champion from 2004 to 2006. She has represented Bulgaria in the Chess Olympiad in 2000 and the Women's Chess Olympiad since 1992.

Zhu Chen Chinese chess grandmaster

Zhu Chen is a Qatari chess Grandmaster. In 2001, she became China's second women's world chess champion after Xie Jun, and China's 13th Grandmaster. In 2006, she obtained Qatari citizenship and since then plays for Qatar.

Zhao Xue Chinese chess grandmaster

Zhao Xue is a Chinese chess player. She is the 24th Chinese person to achieve the title of Grandmaster. Zhao was a member of the gold medal-winning Chinese team at the Women's Chess Olympiad in 2002, 2004 and 2016, and at the Women's World Team Chess Championship in 2007, 2009 and 2011. She has competed in the Women's World Chess Championship in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018, reaching the semifinals in 2010.

Bu Xiangzhi Chinese chess player

Bu Xiangzhi is a Chinese chess player. In 1999, he became the 10th grandmaster from China at the age of 13 years, 10 months and 13 days, at the time the youngest in history. In April 2008, Bu and Ni Hua became the second and third Chinese players to pass the 2700 Elo rating line, after Wang Yue.

David Brine Pritchard was a British chess player, chess writer and indoor games consultant. He:

gained pre-eminence as an indoor games and mind sports consultant, a role that he in effect created. A natural games player, it was to him that inventors or publishers would turn to organise a championship of a new game, write about it or generally promote it.

Chess in China

China is a major chess power, with the women's team winning silver medals at the Olympiad in 2010, 2012, and 2014; the men's team winning gold at the 2014 Olympiad, and the average rating for the country's top ten players second in the FIDE rankings at the end of 2014.

Ben Pridmore British mnemonist

Ben Pridmore is a former world memory champion, memory sport competitor and accountant.

International Go Federation international organization that connects the various national Go federations

The International Go Federation (IGF) is an international organization that connects the various national Go federations around the world.

Chinese Chess Association

The Chinese Chess Association (CCA) (中国国际象棋协会) is the governing body of chess in China and is one of the federations of FIDE. It is also a member of the Asian Chess Federation (ACF). It is the principal authority over all chess events in China, including the China Chess League (CCL). Founded in 1986, the CCA is headquartered in Beijing.

2008 World Mind Sports Games

The first World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) were held in Beijing, China from October 3 to 18, 2008, about two months after the Olympic Games. They were sponsored and organised by the International Mind Sports Association with the General Administration of Sport of China and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sport.

The 2012 World Mind Sports Games were held in Lille, France, from 9 to 23 August 2012. The meet started during the 2012 Summer Olympics and ending shortly before the 2012 Summer Paralympics, both in London. This was the second rendition of the World Mind Sports Games, inaugurated 2008 in Beijing.

The United States Bridge Federation (USBF) is the national federation for contract bridge in the United States and a non-profit organization formed by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and the American Bridge Association (ABA) in 2001 to hold the United States Bridge Championships and to select, train, and support Open, Women, Senior and Junior teams to represent the United States in international competition.


  1. "The Mind Sports Olympiad Supplements". The Times. July–August 1997.
  2. Lantin, Barbara (19 October 1996). "All power to elderly brain cells". The Telegraph . Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  3. "The Mind Sport of Memory 1991-2011".
  4. Buckley, Will (3 February 2002). "Sit back - and win gold for Britain". The Observer . Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  5. Bartley, Stephen (29 April 2010). "Official - Poker now a Mind Sport". Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  6. Shirong Chen (3 October 2008). "Beijing hosts first 'Mind Games'". BBC . Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  7. "If you're going to gamble, make sure you're right in the right game". The Observer. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  8. "IFP Becomes Member of IMSA". Sportcal: Sports Market Intelligence. 30 April 2010.
  9. "I think I can". New York Times Magazine. 23 August 1998.
  10. William Hartson (21 June 1997). "The South Bank Brain Show". The Independent .
  11. "E-Sports and Other Games". World Mind Sports Federation. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  12. "Теория и практика перевода: Учебное пособие. Читать бесплатно онлайн в электронном виде - Страница 9 - Единое окно".
  13. "Press Release from Senator Bob Duff".
  14. University, ITMO. "Lee Felsenstein, who has spearheaded of personal computers, conducted a lecture in the NRU ITMO".
  15. "Cybersecurity Students successfully learn hacking in collegiate pentesting competition". Market Wired.
  16. Greenberg, Andy. "Hurricane-Bound Hacker? Here's A Rainy Day Web-Hacking War Game".
  17. "Texting Champs jet off to New York". 24 January 2011. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011.