Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Friday

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dickoon
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Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Friday

Post by dickoon » Fri 19 Aug, 2011 6:21 pm

The 15th Mind Sports Olympiad is holding an Olympiad Championship in puzzle solving - the first one they have held since 1998! I understand that the championship will feature sudoku and kenken, but know nothing more about the puzzles than that.

This year's Olympiad will take place at the University of London Union; according to the timetable, the puzzle event will take place at 10:30am on Friday.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 20 Aug, 2011 10:31 am

Cool. Great to see puzzles, however specific appearing - wish I was able to go!
Is anyone here attending? I wonder how many MSO participants are aware of the puzzling community...

rodders
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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by rodders » Wed 24 Aug, 2011 8:16 am

Do you know if you can just turn up on the day or do you need to enrol in advance? There is a small chance I may be able to attend.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by dickoon » Wed 24 Aug, 2011 11:08 am

rodders wrote:Do you know if you can just turn up on the day or do you need to enrol in advance? There is a small chance I may be able to attend.
Check the web site (which is blocked from work, otherwise I would add the specific answer). From memory, in previous years, entry on the day has been possible but a late entry surcharge may be applied.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by dickoon » Sun 19 Aug, 2012 8:49 am

Conveniently, I can post in this thread again. The 16th Mind Sports Olympiad is having another puzzles (sudoku and kenken) contest and once again it is happening on a Friday; Friday 24th August, from 10 a.m. at the University of London Union on Malet Street in London. Entry is ten pounds or nine pounds for concessions. Rodders of this parish won the counterpart contest last year and surely would be well-placed to describe the form this year.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by rodders » Sun 19 Aug, 2012 7:03 pm

Well spotted Chris. I may need to alter a couple of work commitments but I hope to go and defend my title this Friday.

If memory serves, you can turn up on the Friday morning and pay your £10 entry fee on the day, so no need to enrol in advance - however may be worth checking the website or giving them a call to make sure. Last year there were 6 Classic Sudokus and 6 Kenkens with 3 hours to complete them. The difficulty equated to somewhere between 'Difficult' and 'Fiendish' in The Times ratings, so nothing too tough (it was run by David Levy who also runs The Times Sudoku Championships so that newspaper is clearly the place to practice for it). I finished just after the hour mark and I think all bar one of the contestants finished within the time. There were only 10 or so entrants, so every chance of a prize (awarded to top 3 finishers) if you're able to attend and you make no mistakes.

I'm fortunate in that my office is only 10 minutes from the University so relatively easy for me to attend. You are allowed to leave the room when you finish and prizegiving wasn't until about 2pm. If you want to stay around though, there were various other competitions taking place and new board games being demonstrated.

Hopefully see some of you there - a chance of winning an Olympiad gold medal in London 2012 :D

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by dickoon » Sun 19 Aug, 2012 7:34 pm

Worth a go plugging the UKPC to entrants who take part, too!

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by DavidC » Fri 24 Aug, 2012 10:35 pm

Familiar names did very well today, taking all three medals and winning both parts of the combined sudoku and kenken event at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London. Congratulations to Magoo (Mark Goodliffe) on taking bronze and winning the sudoku element, and to Rodders (Roderick Grafton) on taking silver and winning the kenken element. My own pair of second place positions combined to give me the gold medal overall.

To cut a long story short, all three of us had to juggle our participation with the severe demands of our weekday jobs and had to handle the diverse consequences of evacuation from the building during the contest because of a small fire ! Mark's achievement of bronze is especially pleasing because of the significant personal disruption he faced after his initial excellent sudoku round.

There were sixteen competitors in total, mainly but not exclusively from the UK. Only one other competitor completed both elements cleanly. We touched on UKPA/UKPC briefly in conversation with others, but the aforementioned factors meant we didn't have a chance to do anything significant today.

I'll leave it at that, other than to say it was great to see the others (plus some other familiar faces) and to say a big thank you for the recent reminder.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by PuzzleScot » Fri 24 Aug, 2012 11:17 pm

Well done to the 3 of you! A gold each - great stuff!

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by detuned » Sat 25 Aug, 2012 9:13 am

Great job guys, look forward to seeing you all at the Times event in September!

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by emma » Sat 25 Aug, 2012 11:00 am

Well done all!

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by driv4r » Sat 25 Aug, 2012 3:28 pm

detuned wrote:Great job guys, look forward to seeing you all at the Times event in September!
Any information about it somewhere?
"Stupid is as stupid does." -- Forrest Gump

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by rodders » Sat 25 Aug, 2012 6:34 pm

Any information about it somewhere?
Qualifiers for The Times were in the paper in May/June so I'm afraid you'll need to wait until next year to try to qualify. There are 5 qualifying puzzles over the course of a week (top 20 in each puzzle qualify) but they don't tend to give too much notice so you have to watch out for when they are published.

Good to see some familiar faces at yesterday's event and many congratulations to David on a strong performance in taking the gold medal. 16 was a (small) increase on last year's numbers and the format had changed slightly so that it was split into two 1.5 hour papers of 8 puzzles each - all of differing levels of difficulty with relevant points assigned so the total across two papers was 100. Personally I thought this format was an improvement, although it did make for a longer day as you had to be available for both - and I know this didn't work out well for Mark as he had to head to work after completing the Sudokus and was back rather late for the KenKens, so a bronze medal very impressive in the circumstances.

Busy weekend of puzzling this - 2 down 2 to go (although LMI participation looking in the balance - will see if brain still functioning come Monday)!

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by dickoon » Sat 25 Aug, 2012 11:22 pm

Sixteen is probably a pretty good attendance for the MSO these days. It's been at least five years (I lose count...) since I've had anything to do with them behind the scenes, but I'd be prepared to bet small money that they'd be prepared to consider expanding their puzzle contest range in future years. It draws attendees who wouldn't otherwise be there, plus it seems to be popular enough with people who are there for other tournaments. If they had the puzzles supplied to them (or, at worst, generation software for the same) then I wouldn't be at all surprised if they'd be prepared to expand from, e.g., two quarter-day tournaments to four, or maybe even more.

In the early years, it was habitually a bit touch-and-go whether the MSO would happen or not, but I think the event has been pretty assured over the last few years, and I reckon that there can't have been more than one or two years out of the sixteen where it has happened at any other point in the year apart from "running up to the August Bank Holiday". There's definite scope for expansion if people want it to happen.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by dickoon » Wed 27 Feb, 2013 11:33 am

The 2013 Mind Sports Olympiad schedule has just been published, and the Sudoku and KenKen event will take place on the morning of Friday 23rd August. Same time, same place, a near-rerun of 52 weeks previously, and apparently there will be more sudoku this year.

Will the UK Open's puzzles be published online after the tournament in Solihull this year? If not, it seems to me that there could be an opportunity to use the same puzzles again with a different audience at the Mind Sports Olympiad, principally for fun and to spread the UKPA name and message about. (Obviously anyone to solved in Solihull couldn't solve again in London, and I'm not proposing a UK team place to be decided there or anything.)

(Edited to add: I do not claim to have thought this suggestion through properly - the manpower requirements would not be inconsiderable - but I bet it could be made to happen if there were the will to do so.)

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by puzzlemad » Wed 27 Feb, 2013 5:02 pm

dickoon wrote: Will the UK Open's puzzles be published online after the tournament in Solihull this year? If not, it seems to me that there could be an opportunity to use the same puzzles again with a different audience at the Mind Sports Olympiad, principally for fun and to spread the UKPA name and message about. (Obviously anyone to solved in Solihull couldn't solve again in London, and I'm not proposing a UK team place to be decided there or anything.)

(Edited to add: I do not claim to have thought this suggestion through properly - the manpower requirements would not be inconsiderable - but I bet it could be made to happen if there were the will to do so.)
Need to check with puzzle authors that they can be made available afterwards - it's on my list of things to do. Potentially we could hold them back till after this event.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by DavidC » Wed 27 Feb, 2013 11:55 pm

Thanks for the details of this year's event - last year, Mark, Rodders and I were juggling business and pleasure throughout the event. For info, last year the event was run by David L and Tony C (who also run the Times event) and involved classic sudokus rather than variants.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by DavidC » Fri 23 Aug, 2013 8:33 pm

Congratulations to Mark Goodliffe (magoo) on winning the gold medal at today's sudoku/kenken event at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London.

Mark zoomed to gold, speedily finishing first in each half with all-correct entries (eight of each). I was very pleased to take silver with a (somewhat-slower) all-correct second-place finish in each half. Bronze went to someone called Andrew Robertshaw (sp). Tony Corfe ran the event. There was no fire alarm this year and logistical challenges felt more manageable than twelve months ago ! I was sorry not to see Rodders there today - I hope you're OK. By my reckoning, Mark's victory gives UKPA members a hat-trick of golds, following on from Rodders and myself.

David

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by rodders » Thu 29 Aug, 2013 3:30 pm

Well played Mark and David! I'm afraid it clashed with my one day of Ashes cricket for the summer so I had to take the tough decision to head to the Oval. Will be back there next year to aim for a UKPA 1-2-3.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by detuned » Thu 29 Aug, 2013 6:00 pm

I'll have to give this a go next year in an effort to keep up the trend of different winners!

Slightly off topic, but who's going to the Times event this year (When is the date - I'm assuming mid September as usual)? I won't be there because I forgot I needed to qualify this year and when I got around to asking David Levy in June I was apparently too late (last time I needed to qualify I recall doing so in mid june but apparently things have shifted back earlier). Why he couldn't be more flexible seems like a load of stuffy old nonsense to me, especially since the only check on being honest with your times is if you are willing to pay the entry fee, but there we go.

It's about time Mark got himself a win!
Last edited by detuned on Fri 30 Aug, 2013 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by DavidC » Thu 29 Aug, 2013 9:02 pm

I'm very sorry to hear that you won't be there, Tom. It's on Saturday 21st at the usual recent venue - the Times offices near St Katherine Docks. I'll be there, and Mark said at MSO that he would be too. Agreed : I wish him such well-deserved success as well [but will someone please point me towards the emoticon for "being magnanimous through gritted teeth" ???!!!].

I look forward to your attendance at next year's MSO and wish you well at succeeding in continuing the pattern [insert copy of previous emoticon request !!!].

David

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by rodders » Mon 02 Sep, 2013 11:47 am

I'm afraid I also won't be there this year due to a prior engagement. Hoping the dates fall better for me next year but good luck to all who do attend.

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by dickoon » Thu 19 Jun, 2014 11:24 pm

Time to nudge this thread along again: it's not happening next Friday, but there will be the fourth annual kenken and sudoku championship at the 18th annual Mind Sports Olympiad this summer. The contest takes place in the traditional Friday morning slot, which this year falls on Friday 22nd August. Entries £10 or £5 for concessions. This year, the contest has prize money of £100, £75 and £50 for the three medal winners; the overall Olympiad is sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric UK and Winton Capital Management. Go get it!

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by dickoon » Sat 23 Aug, 2014 10:55 pm

So that happened, er, yesterday. Did anyone from around these parts play this year?

(Note to self: after you've watched the new Doctor Who, go back and make a slightly more useful post than this two days ago.)

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Re: Puzzles at the Mind Sports Olympiad in London next Frida

Post by DavidC » Sun 24 Aug, 2014 8:01 pm

At least two of us were there (apologies to anyone else I missed), plus a few other familiar faces from previous years and from the Times event (which will be this Saturday) - both are David Levy / Tony Corfe events. It was a new venue - the JW3 centre on Finchley Road rather than ULU. I know the area well (despite living in Kent these days) but still managed to rush in three minutes before the start ... and Mark arrived a few minutes after the start, but still finished first by a large margin :-) I think I was third to hand in my paper (much later), at which point I headed off to my office on the other side of London, so I'm sorry for not exchanging pleasantries with others. The format was a single paper containing 8 (?) Kenken and 8 (?) Sudoku, with three and a half hours maximum to complete in one go, no gaps (although one or two people were allowed comfort breaks). I still don't know the outcome - when I rang Tony mid-afternoon, David was still marking. Something may be published over the next day or two, otherwise Mark and I should find out on Saturday.

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