2008 WMSG

Update: veterans of the 2008 World Mind Sports Games will have familiar territory to cover (in more ways than one!). Beijing, China will be the site of the first SportAccord World Mind Games (http://www.sportaccord.com), scheduled for September 2011. The event will feature the top players of six mind-sport games: chess, Chinese chess, bridge, go and draughts, joined by a new game, duplicate poker.

So all you World Mind Games aficionados, if you are into original vintage movie posters, photos, and movie memorabilia you might want to start collecting the posters of such well known chess films as “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “Brooklyn Castle,” or ” Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.” In another 30-40 years they might be worth some big money. It would be interesting to see what the movie poster of the 1925 classic silent film from the Soviet Union called ” Chess Fever” would fetch on the market today. There are also loads of poker films to check out. The posters of some of them may be even worth money today. For instance, the original posters from the 1965 Steve McQueen film, “The Cincinnati Kid” or from the 1967 film with Paul Newman, “Cool Hand Luke,” or the original “Ocean’s Eleven” that was released in 1960 could be well worth investing in. Take your passion for the games of the World Mind Games and explore new avenues. Let me know if there are any movies in which “Chinese chess” or “go and draughts” are featured.

Thomas Hsiang, Secretary General of the International Mind Sport Association (http://www.imsaworld.com/), promises that “the new event will include top Western players, women players, and youth representation.” We’ll have more info as soon as it becomes available.

29 July 2010 Update – as you may already know, poker has been accepted as a “mind sport” (no doubt causing much controversy in some circles), but that’s old news now. More or less controversially (depending on your point of view), the IOC has officially stated that mind sports have “no realistic chance of entering either the Summer or the Winter Olympics”. That’s it then. Sigh.

According to the International Go Federation website (RANKA), the 2012 WMSG will actually be held in Manchester, and have no connection to the Olympics at all (obviously, as it would be in the wrong place). The good news is that they’re looking far enough ahead to speculate on a third WMSG in Rio in 2016.

The rumors are that Manchester’s WMSG won’t even be held in 2012, but 2013 — possibly to completely avoid any shred of Olympic connection, or possibly because it will take that long to work out all of the details. After all, without the fresh Olympic infrastructure that the 2008 WMSG enjoyed in Beijing, the WMSG organizers have much more to worry about!

IMSA doesn’t seem to have anything more recent on the website than an announcement about SportAccord 2009 (held in March of 2009), which is rather troubling…perhaps they could use some home refinancing money? If they do go that route, if all their US supporters were to get payday loans of a $1000 each maybe, just maybe, the IMSA could get their act together and gather some steam. Of course their entire US supporter would then have to scramble and pay back those short-term payday loans when their next paycheck arrives. Hey, but it’s all worth it as far as I’m concerned.

The World Mind Sports Games were a rare treat that brought together world-class competitors in Bridge, Chess, Go, Draughts, and Xiangqi.

Assembling in Beijing in the wake of the 2008 Summer Olympics (the event was held from 3 to 18 October), over 140 countries participated in this first World Mind sports Games. Please see our “Results” page for a quick wrap-up of the events, as well as some impressive statistics concerning media coverage, among other things!

Additionally, we’re compiling information (and commenting on it, in our own factual but otherwise irreverent fashion) on the upcoming 2012 World Mind Sports Games to be held shortly after the 2012 Summer Olympics in sun-drenched London. This will be the 30th official Olympics (sorry, the “Games of the XXX Olympiad — hey, XXX Olympics? Sounds great! I’m mostly looking forward the women’s events, of course).

Where was I? Oh yes…we endeavor to conscientiously provide updates whenever humanly possible (i.e., we try to keep the site current, but don’t breathe down our necks). So a quick glance at the “2012” page should tell you as much as we know, and perhaps a bit more. Of course the biggest recent news is the inclusion of poker as a mind sport, which is certain to make some people happy, and others not so much…

We’re also offering a brief overview of the Games. You probably know what Chess is…I hope…but fewer may immediately recognize Go and Bridge, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of you are less familiar with Xiangqui. And some of you may not know that Draughts is more or less a fancy-pants name for Checkers.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout-out (and by that I mean ‘dedicate a page’) to the International Mind Sports Association who made all of this possible (or at least a good chunk of it, anyway).