Memory champion celebrates win at JW3 Mind Sports Olympiad

JW3 Mind Sports Olympiad organiser Etan Ilfeld (right) in a chess match with Shanepes Meredov (15) -

JW3 Mind Sports Olympiad organiser Etan Ilfeld (right) in a chess match with Shanepes Meredov (15) - a national chess master and part of the Turkmenistan National Chess Team. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Chess champions, poker stars and some of the world’s leading brains have been meeting for a week-long “mind games” festival this week at the JW3 in Finchley Road.

The annual Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO), which was created by renowned chess master and artificial intelligence expert David Levy in 1997, started last weekend and involves some 60 different competitions with cash prizes.

This includes different variations of chess, poker and Scrabble as well as other lesser-known challenges including strategy game quoridor, “Japanese chess” shogi and stratego.

Attending this year is Paul Erdunast, the current world champion of 1980s computer game Tetris, Demis Hassadis, a British neuroscientist who in January sold his DeepMind artificial intelligence company to Google for a reported £400million, and Ben Pridmore, who won the memory competition by memorising four decks of cards in 15 minutes.

Etan Ilfeld, the MSO cheif organiser who lives in Soho, said: “We’ve had record numbers turn up this year and the JW3 has been a great venue.


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“It’s all about spreading the love of board games and creating an event that can champion the best minds out there.”

The competition concludes on Monday. For more information, visit msoworld.com.with the grand final of Chinese strategy game Go this Sunday (August 24).

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