Chess Goes Atomic At The Mind Sports Olympiad

July 1, 2019 by dracs

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This August, gamers will be heading to London to take part in Mind Sports Olympiad 2019. The event plays host to hundreds of games, including some quirky variants of long-established classics.

To give us a taster of what will be happening, Etan from Mind Sports Olympiad has come on board to tell us about the strange varieties of Chess that will be getting played.

Chess Bonanza At The 2019 Mind Sports Olympiad

From August 18th to 26th, the annual Mind Sports Olympiad will take place in London and will feature over seventy tournaments and over a dozen world championships for many games ranging from scrabble and chess to backgammon and Catan.

In terms of chess, there is a great deal of variety and most events have cash prizes. The UK Chess 960 Rapid Championship will be a one-day tournament on August 25th, followed by a new variant called Colour Chess that evening. August 20th will feature a standard rapid tournament followed by an evening of Chess Variants, which is a new addition. The evening Chess Variants tournament will feature 5 double rounds of the following variants:

  • Round 1: Losing Chess. 3min + 5s increment per move
  • Round 2: Monster Chess. 3min + 5s increment per move
  • Round 3: Knight-Relay Chess. 5min + 10s increment per move
  • Round 4: Atomic Chess. 5min + 5s increment per move.
  • Round 5: Coin Chess. 5min + 5s increment per move.

For a complete set of rules please visit Meanwhile, here are the rules for Atomic Chess, which is a lot of fun.

Atomic Chess

Background: Unknown inventor
Rules: Normal rules apply, but there is no check or checkmate.

When a piece is captured, an explosion occurs on the capture square. The explosion removes:

  • the capturing piece
  • the captured piece.
  • all pieces, except pawns, on surrounding orthogonal squares (ie. a king’s move away)

A player wins by removing the opponents’ king (by direct capture or explosion).

Moves which cause a player’s own king to explode are not allowed.

Additional tournaments include Chess Problem Solving (Puzzles) event and an Exchange Chess tournament on Aug 26th. There will also be a Blitz event on August 18th.

Diving Chess

A quirky and truly unique chess variant called Diving Chess will have it's annual world championship run on the afternoon of Saturday August 24th.

Diving Chess is like regular chess except that the board is submerged in a pool and players can think for as long as they can hold their breath for each move. It was popularized by a BBC Breakfast video this year.

There are no qualifiers and everyone is welcome.

The event is also free for spectators and there is a learn to playroom that anyone can be guided by our staff to learn new games.

Etan, Mind Sports Olympiad

As you can imagine, this is an event Ryan is very excited about. And I'll admit, I would really like to give Diving Chess a go for myself. After recently rediscovering a love of Chess after a humiliating defeat to Ryan (I'll get you next time, Gadget!) maybe I can finally find a variant where I stand a chance.

You can find out more about the games being played at this year's Mind Sports Olympiad here, and you can register yourself up by following this link.

What game would you like to try at the Mind Sports Olympiad? 

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