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Mental Skills: Interview with Pentamind star Dario De Toffoli
A love of games - a Pentamind sketch
23 September

Dario De Toffoli: Pentamind Medal winner, MSO 1998, 1999

"Dario De Toffoli was the one medal winner I did not have a chance to chat with in the hectic hustle and bustle of MSO III. And in all the confusion, I probably would have missed him anyway... since the results for this event were muddled. The front page of the Mindzine has tried to correct this, and we hope Mr. De Toffoli's honour has been restored. The one bright spot of this error was a chance to have a virtual conversation, and get to meet this Pentamind specialist.

Dario is 46, and at the age of 30, he decided to "throw away his profession" and turn to games:

Playing games, writing about games, inventing new games, organizing games events: in other words, all about games. Now I lead "studiogiochi", a company that organizes games events, for example, the City of Venice International Backgammon Tournament (last July the 11th edition with players from 22 countries) The Italian Games Festival (this month the 7th edition); and many others.

Studiogiochi also collaborates with Italian newspapers and magazines and with the majority of the games companies in Italy. Recently I started "Venice Connection", a game publishing company together with Alex Randolph and Leo Colovini.

One is always curious to know what are the special attractions for the versatile Pentamind types, and if they have a special approach to the MSO.

My favourite games are backgammon, scrabble (what a pity I can't play it in English!), mastermind... but what I especially like is playing different games: not only the classics, but also the new ones, as the millions of German board games that they yearly publish. At MSO I discovered and enjoyed Poker: an irresistible occasion to try 7 different styles! It was very exciting, but I missed a couple of good tournaments for my Pentamind-points... At MSO I discovered and enjoyed Oware as well: easy to learn and deep to play.

That sounds quite a bit like what Dario's main rivals got up to. And how does Dario rate the opposition?

Demis is the best. So good in so many games. And also he is a nice and friendly person. It will be almost impossible to beat him in Pentamind. But his young brother George is coming: with more experience he will be a strong opponent... I don't know Paul Smith well, but he definitely is a very strong and versatile player. It is really an honour to be on this podium!"