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MSO XV Day 1
We arrived to see the new venue for the first time. A few more stairs than expected to reach the playing area. but the lighting conditions seemed good.
Upon arrival their were many familiar faces from last year but there were also several new faces.The first day perhaps had the most contrast in games on the timetable with both chess and monopoly being played.
The chess was a more open field than was perhaps originally expected with the Turkmenistan chess team not arriving for the first chess event of the 15th Mind Sports Olympiad. The event saw England's first gold medal thanks to Ankush Khandelwal strong performance.
By the chess exchange the Turkmenistan Junior chess players had arrived and Turkmenistan successfully defended the title won by Saparmurat and Gurbangeldi Atabyev. Although, perhaps the surprise of the tournament was that Etan Ilfeld (USA) and Alain Dekker (South Africa) managed to take the silver ahead of the second Turkmenistan pair of Berdi Bashimov and Shohratkuli Muratkuliev.
The Turkmenistan chess juniors with their coach.
Hare and Tortoise World Championship
The evening saw the first World Championship title of the Mind Sports Olympiad come from the award winning Hare and Tortoise. The game designer, David Parlett (also known for his books on cards and board games), turned up to run the competition.
Played using the latest black, yellow and orange board with the more favourable jugging the hare option, lead to some close games and defending champion Tige Nnando won winning all three of his games to regain his title. David Jameson took the bronze.
One comment heard in the monopoly tournament was "if you don't trade monopoly is just a kid's game. We might as well just be rolling dice."
Others viewed this as a fairly accurate description of all tournament monopoly!
The Gold medal was taken by Paul Grabsky. Silver was won by Paul Blackwell and James Couch took the bronze.
The third event of the day was a new event for the Mind Sports Olympiad: scrabble variants. While scrabble is a regular to the MSO it had always been the traditional tournament format of scrabble. It saw Romania win its first ever medal thanks to Andrei Russell-Gebbett. Nuala O'Rourke took Silver for Northern Ireland and Sandie Simonis took the bronze.
The duplicate scrabble involved players finding the highest possible move from their rack not necessarily the best play.
Backgammon was Gold - Geoff oliver (England), Silver - Martyn Hamer (England) and Bronze John Broomfield (England).
Tomorrow sees the start of the world amateur poker championships with yet more important two session events including the Xiangqi (chinese chess) and settlers of Catan.