Against the odds, the fifth Mind Sports Olympiad will take place this year at the South Bank University in London between Saturday 18th and Monday 27th August. There are events in over 20 mental disciplines with thousands of pounds in prize money. The company that ran last year's spectacular at Alexandra Palace collapsed with debts in six figures but a new slimline version has emerged from the ashes.
Chess tournaments will be held throughout the Olympiad, the highlight being the Ron Banwell Memorial, a Fide rated event that will incorporate the Commonwealth Chess Championships.
Ron Banwell was a disabled chess player who bequeathed money to fund a tournament that encouraged participation of disabled players. The Commonwealth title on offer has attracted several of the top Indian GMs including Dibyendu Barua and Pravin Thipsay. Two English GMs, Neil McDonald and Jovanka Houska have entered so far. The tournament will be directed by Stewart Reuben.
There are also several rapid chess and blitz events as well as Major and Minor divisions to cater for all levels of player. Entry forms can be obtained by calling 01707 659080 or log on to
Some of the other games at the 5th Olympiad: Abalone, Acquire, Backgammon, Boku, Borderline, Bridge, Chinese Chess, Continuo, Creativity, Cribbage, Crosswords, Diplomacy, Dominoes, Draughts, Entropy, Go, Memory, Mental Calculation, Othello, Poker Scrabble, Shogi and Zatre.
A game from an open tournament held in Tallinn, Estonia to commemorate the life of Paul Keres who was held in such high esteem by his countrymen that his face even adorns a bank note. White fittingly chose a plan popularised by Keres involving an early pawn g2-g4 even though Black's early moves, avoiding Nf6 were designed to mitigate its effects. As Shirov and others have shown, the way for Black to play is 6...Nge7 followed by ...Nxd4 and ...Nc6. The plan adopted here of grabbing the g5 pawn leaves Black way behind in development and White quickly gets an overwhelming position.
V.Yemelin - D.Reizniece
Keres Mem. Open, Tallinn (9)
Sicilian Defence
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 d6 6 g4 Be7 7 Be3 a6 8 g5 Nxd4 9 Qxd4 Bxg5 10 0-0-0 Bf6 11 Qb4 Ne7 12 Rxd6 Qc7 13 Bb6 Nc6 14 Qc5 Qb8 15 f4 0-0 16 Rg1 Be7 17 e5! f6 18 Bd3 g6 19 Ne4 fxe5 20 fxe5 Rf5 21 Nf6+! Rxf6 22 exf6 Bxd6 23 Qh5 Bf4+ 24 Kb1 Qe5 25 Rxg6+ Kh8 26 Rg8+ 1-0
Position after 26.Rg8+, 26...Kxg8 27.Qe8 is mate.