Tune up your mind: Jack Jaffe talks us through the Mind Sports Olympiad

The Mind Sports Olympiad is an annual funtest of (mainly) board and card games skill. This year's event has stirred some fond memories in board game inventor, Jack Jaffe.
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Last Thursday, was Acquire day at the Mind Sports Olympiad. Did I hear you say ‘What?’ twice? I’ll explain.

The Mind Sports Olympiad is an annual funtest of (mainly) board and card games skill, now in its 19th year. Open to all, anyone can participate in the competitions for only £10.

Acquire is just one of some 70 games in the Olympiad – you may be surprised to learn that some originated in the UK. One is listed as Creative Thinking (Bill Hartston the inventor) - the world championship took place last Sunday - I know nowt about it but it sure piques my curiosity.

Other UK games included King’s Cribbage (Gary Crowley), Spinning Mandala (Ian Barton) & Kamisado (Peter Burley).

Of course, Monopoly featured, as did Chess, Go, Backgammon, Poker (fancy Pineapple Poker?), Bridge, Hare & Tortoise, Diplomacy, Settlers of Catan, Stratego, Scrabble, Carcassone and many more.

Acquire was invented by the late legendary US inventor, Sid Sackson – his list of published games was considerable – and Acquire is still marketed by Hasbro. Sid was a good friend of mine and one of the highlights of my NY visits was a visit to his house in the Bronx, where after scoffing a delicious dinner prepared by Mrs S, we’d then play a few games from his large basement collection. Sadly, Sid eventually suffered and died from Alzheimers. His book, A Gamut Of Games (Nelson) can still be found in second-hand bookshops.

I hope to participate in next year’s Olympiad, both as an inventor (Velodrome & Save The President!, if the latter’s crowd-funding succeeds) and as a player. For more Olympiad info: mindsportolympiad@gmail.com

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