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Subject: How strong are MSO "World Champions" ? rss

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Maurizio De Leo
United States
Minden
Nevada
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As some friends of mine partecipated, I was going through the results of the Mind Sport Olympiad (MSO) 2016 in London.
In particular the results on the combinatorial games.

I noticed that many events are billed as "world championship".
I understand that advertisement is key for this kind of event, and I don't fault the organizers for using the title in absence of a world body.

However I am curious to understand what is the real level of these tournaments. For example I know that Florian Jamain (who won the Twixt) is also one of 2/3 the strongest players on Little Golem, where most top player gather: in a way this makes the tournament a "legitimate" world championship.

Do you have any information on the other games ? Is there some games in which the MSO champion would be no match for the strongest player in the world ?

I compiled the table below, with my best guess at strength difference.
In the table +++ means that the strongest player would win every game against the MSO champion; ++ that he/she would win most games; + means that the MSO champion is competitive but weaker than the world best; = means that the MSO champ could probably win also a "real" world championship with all the best players.

Let me know any information to fill the table. Please note that "Strongest Player" is just to give a reference point, and that the data I entered could be incorrect.


Game MSO 2016 Champ Strongest Player Difference
Chess Tamas Fodor Magnus Carlsen ++
XianQi Shu Long Guo Zheng Weitong
Shogi Steven Cain Habu +++
Go Sun Sai Kie Jie +++
Othello Paul Smith Takanashi +++
Oware Paul Smith
Abalone Vincent Frochot
Twixt Florian Jamain Maciej Celuch =
LOA James Heppel
Blokus James Heppel
Quoridor Daniel Guerra
Kamisado Andres Kuusk
Shacru David Pearce
Trench Andres Kuusk
Boku Alain Dekker
Gomoku Madli Mi

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David Bush
United States
Radiant
Virginia
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If the MSO were to offer real money prizes, that might persuade some pros to adjust their schedules. But of course that will never happen.

I sent them a mess of 14x14 Hex sets and they didn't include it. They are so horrible.

Maciej Celuch is the top Twixt player I would say.
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Maurizio De Leo
United States
Minden
Nevada
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Hi David. It was not my intent to criticize the MSO organizers. They make do with the available funding.Of course I wish there would be cash prizes, but already checkers and othello have funding troubles and I understand the plight of organizers.

I will also not go in the discussion of who is the world strongest Twixt player. My point is that Florian is in the conversation (as are you) and he could win against anyone in the world (like Nakamura in chess).
Do we have data for the other games ? Are the other MSO champs arguably among the best in the world ? Clearly it's not the case for Othello, chess and go, but what about the others ?
 
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