Give your brain a work-out at the Mind Sports Olympiad starting this weekend in Hampstead. The Jewish cultural centre JW3 hosts the week-long event, which is now in its 18th year. Experienced enthusiasts and clueless amateurs are equally welcome to test their wits — with cash prizes available for victorious übermenschen.
There are several chess variants on offer including a multi-board challenge against Etan Ilfeld (the chief organiser of the event and inventor of Diving Chess). There are also a dozen world championships, including Mental Calculations and Creative Thinking, as well as 60 board game competitions. These include classics such as Scrabble and Monopoly and more esoteric games with intriguing names like Abalone, Entropy and The Settlers Of Catan (no, us neither).
The prestige event will surely be the Decamentathlon World Championship, which comprises 10 events over a gruelling 3.5 hours. You'll need to be able to memorize a deck of cards, show analytical intelligence and rip through a Sudoku at lightning speed. Good luck with that.
The Mind Sports Olympiad runs from 17– 25 August 2014 at JW3 in Hampstead. Single events costs £10 to play, a double session costs £15 and an all-you-can-play ticket is available for £120.