The dream of the Mind Sports Olympiad came true in 1997, on Monday, August 18 at the London Royal Festival Hall, by the riverside of the Thames, in front of a large number of international TVs. 2.000 participants played for 7 days in 39 different competitions.
Since then the Mind Sports Olympiad took place every year, even if unfortunately, the ambitions of the event were drastically scaled compared to the first years.
The 2011 edition sees sprouts for a new spring. Let’s hope for a beautiful blossoming.
Here below part of the “Vision” of the founders, in the beginning of their adventure.
THE MIND SPORTS OLYMPIAD – VISION AND OPPORTUNITIES
The Mind Sports Olympiad, supported by the new growth area of the Internet, and with its emphasis on participation, no just pectating, has the potential to become the greatest and most lucrative sporting show on earth!
11 October 1996
For millennia the growth of Mind Sports has awaited the development of information technology to enable it to make its destined leap to global prominence as a human activity and focus. Three billion people are already active in the Mind Sports to be played at the Mind Sports Olympiad.
Over 35 major Mind Sports will be played, these to include board games, card games, computer games, mental skills, and social games. Chess, go, bridge, creativity and I.Q. will feature, especially in the new Decamentathlon – the “Decathlon of the Mind”.
The Executive Council and the Panel of Experts and Advisers for the Mind Sports Olympiad include writers, world champions and major organizers from all major mind sports.
The Mind Sports Olympiad will feature the introduction of new global rating systems for Mind Sports, the awarding of major prizes and titles, the publication of new magazines and books associated with the Olympiad, major use of the Internet for publicity, information, and competitions, and the opportunity for sponsorship and involvement with new on-going global media and educational enterprises.
Since the days of ancient Greece the Olympic ideal has embodied the supreme aspirations of the human race in terms of fellowship, competition and achievement. After a gap of nearly 2000 years Baron de Coubertin reinvented the Olympic games for physical sports in 1896. They have grown into the planet’s premier media event and one of the world’s biggest businesses, supported by a multitude of eager sponsors and watched via television and satellite by billions.
The Mind Sports Olympiad is the logical extension of the Olympic movement. It is an Olympic competition in which all the contests will be thinking games. The major difference between the Mind Sports Olympiad and the Olympic Games for physical sports is that anyone and everyone can participate in the Mind Sports Olympiad. The opportunities are, therefore, immense.
The concept of an overall Olympiad for thinking activities is completely new. There have, however, been Olympiads devoted to certain specific activities. Since 1927 there have been Chess Olympiads, which are held every two years. Bridge Olympiads are held every 4 years. There are Mathematics Olympiads every year. And in 1989 the first Computer Olympiad took place in London – an event in which all competitors were computer programs! What is unique about the Mind Sports Olympiad is that it will combine more than thirty-five thinking activities in one spectacular event. The first Olympiad for the Mind.
The idea of a Mind Sports Olympiad is at the same time simple, complex, dramatic, creative and timely. Most media coverage of sporting events centres around physical activities, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of participants in leisure “games” are primarily interested in “Mind Sports”: Because they require vastly less space, equipment and expense, Mind Sports are considerably more accessible to most people. Mind Sports events cost, in terms of organization, location and infrastructure, significantly less to stage than physical sports. Because physical strength is of little importance in Mind Sports, these games discriminate very little on the grounds of sex, age or physical disability.
The founders are Tony Buzan and Grandmaster Raymond Keene, O.B.E. They and the extended staff of Mind Sports Olympiad Limited will be responsible for the general management of the tournaments and the Olympiad.
Participants are coming from all over the world to compete in this event. The countries with the biggest contingents are: African countries, Australia, China, France, Germany, Greece, the Gulf countries, Iceland, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, the former Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, U.K.and U.S.A.