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GAMES

Test your board game skills at the virtual Mind Sports Olympiad

Scrabble, chess, checkers, bridge, and others are part of the competition, which also includes challenges in speed reading, creative thinking, calculations, and intelligence

The 15th annual Mind Sports Olympiad will be held virtually and for free this August.
The 15th annual Mind Sports Olympiad will be held virtually and for free this August.Mind Sports Olympiad

Are you a master at Scrabble? A wizard at chess? Or a genius at Settlers of Catan?

This may the perfect time to sign up for the annual Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO), a tabletop gaming and skills tournament going virtual amid the pandemic. The event runs through the month of August, and registration is free to global audiences this year.

“Now is an amazing time to go global,” said event organizer Etan Ilfeld. “People everywhere are sharpening their skills and can put them to the test here.”

Gamers can sign up for classic events, like Bridge, Countdown, Draughts, and Checkers, or multi-player games including Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Quatro, 7 Wonders, and Kingdomino. The tournament also hosts exam-style activities — a speed reading and creative-thinking test, an intelligence challenge, a mental calculations quiz, and Sudoku.

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Started in 1997, the MSO usually accommodates around 1,800 gamers every year for a week in London. Ilfeld hopes the upcoming remote alternative will attract at least double, or even triple, the number of participants.

Gamers played Monopoly at the 2019 tournament.
Gamers played Monopoly at the 2019 tournament.Mind Sports Olympiad

“We designed it so it’s time zone-friendly for the States,” he said. “It’ll be quite an event for sure, so we wanted it to be accessible to as many people as possible.”

A handful of games, like Rummikub , could not be translated online but have been replaced by new additions. TBA prizes will be awarded to winners.

The event starts Aug. 1 and each tournament competition is pre-scheduled and described on www.msoworld.com. Registration is required.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_