The International Mind Sports Association (slogan: “Smart Games for Smart People”) began in 2005 with the goal of offering a central focus for various “mind sports” organizations. Specifically, IMSA attempts to bring together the international associations promoting Chess, Draughts, Bridge, and Go.

My brother-in-law always complains that at least poker should be included in the World Mind Sports Games. I on the other hand prefer slots where randomness may make you a winner, but more likely will cost you, but at least you’re having fun. If you like to gamble and enjoy the entertainment aspect of slot games, the advent of sites offering slots online for US player is a great boon. You can indulge your inner slot game needs where ever you have access to the internet. Many online gambling sites have gone mobile, so you don’t even have to have a computer. So while others are watching the World Mind Sports Games, you will find me enjoying a great slot game at my favorite online web site, Online Casino Party. Sorry for the diversion. Let’s get back to the World Mind Sports Games.

IMSA’s strategy is to organize the World Mind Sports Games (“Intellympiads”) and conflate the events in various ways with the Olympics in the hope of persuading the Olympic Committee to include one or more “mind sports” among the Olympic events. To this end, IMSA is dedicated to holding the World Mind Sports Games as soon as possible after the close of either the Summer or Winter Games in each Olympic year.

As an important side benefit, utilizing some or all of the Olympic infrastructure and volunteer teams will make the logistics of the World Mind Sports Games more convenient (as opposed to dealing with the details of building a completely separate event from scratch, so to speak). The not insubstantial savings in time and money can be a significant encouragement, especially during a time of widespread economic distress.

Additionally, the IMSA website states “The Association intends to work towards the recognition of the quality of teaching these disciplines lavished on young people and which helps them considerably in their curriculum (career path).” After several re-readings, I’m still unsure what this means. I’ll given the the benefit of the doubt and simply suspect it to be the result of an awkward translation, but I assume that they’re saying that they’d like more people to see that these games help kids become more successful in school and work.

One may certainly question how much the intrinsic characteristics of the games will actually contribute to future successes, but there is little doubt that the mental skills and more general self-discipline that such games encourage can be far more valuable to personal development than, say, dressage (if you’re not catching the sarcasm, you may not know that dressage is an Olympic event in which people show off horses. I could have said “luge”, but that would just be insensitive after recent events).

In the long term IMSA would like to, at the very least, establish “World Mind Sports Games” an analogy with the Olympics. Being held in the Olympic host city shortly after Winter or Summer Games. Possibly even using Olympic game facilities and volunteers. The World Bridge Federation has included several World Bridge Championships in the World Mind Sports Games because it believes this to be a stepping stone in the right direction. Down a path which could possibly even introduce a third kind of Olympics. Being held independent of the Summer or Winter Games. If this comes to pass we may see even more strategy games included and rightfully so.