1st World Mind Sports Games

1st World Mind Sports Games

| 30 | Chess Event Coverage

'Mind Sports' games to follow Olympics.

Millions of people around the world will tune into the Olympic Games in Beijing later this year, but the Olympics has always been a celebration of physical sports, leaving games that exercise the mind with no comparable event to call their own.

Until now.  All this is set to change in October this year as Beijing also plays host to the first World Mind Sports Games .  Whatever your favourite exercise for your grey matter, there are a number of different games (sorry, mind sports) being represented in the Chinese capital city.

Besides Chess, there will be competitions held for Bridge, Draughts (Checkers), Go and Xiangqi (Chinese Chess).  

According to the official website, the Mind Sports Games will "promote the development of mind sports in the world and will draw people's attention to get to know, to love, and participate in the mind sports, creating a harmonious atmosphere of edifying wisdom, refining sentiment and pursuing a mental and physical harmony".

Yeah, that sounds just like the atmosphere at my chess club! Laughing

FIDE is already recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but chess isn't yet included as an event in the Olympic Games.  Georgious Makropoulos, FIDE Vice-President said, "We hope that this event in Beijing will be so important and so big that the IOC will understand that they need us".

There will be 10 chess events at the games:

  • Chess Individual Blitz (Men)
  • Chess Individual Blitz (Women)
  • Chess Individual Rapid (Men)
  • Chess Individual Rapid (Women)
  • Chess Pairs Blitz (Mixed)
  • Chess Pairs Rapid (Mixed)
  • Chess Teams Blitz (Men)
  • Chess Teams Rapid (Women)
  • Chess Teams Rapid (Men)
  • Chess Teams Rapid (Women)

No classical games?  That's a great shame if the idea is to show intelligent and beautiful games, and not just speedfests with "clock-punching monkeys" as Irina Krush memorably put it at the end of the US Championships playoffs.

The Games will also feature doping controls in the manner of the Olympics, in order to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code which FIDE is a signatory.  Makropoulos said, "We are following the (anti-doping) instructions, but we don't see where there could be drugs to make you play better."

To date, there have been no positive drug tests against any chess players. 

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