Get on board

Mindsports World Championships 2017 is happening in Qatar this month, and
we are already planning our checkmate-in-four-moves strategy

Get on board

It is no secret that Dohaites despise physical activities in the summer (most of us, anyway). And we are on board with the idea that sport doesn’t necessarily have to be outdoors. Popular indoor games like chess and backgammon might take you back to your school days but not for the Mindsports Academy, whose business it is to rub these brain-stimulating sports in our faces. We’re not complaining, obviously.

The Mindsports Academy and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) are bringing the fourth edition of the Mindsports World Championships to Qatar. We are not only thrilled about getting our brains running on all four cylinders for a change, but also for the prize pool for the winner, which is a whopping USD200,000 (QR728,350).

Qatar hosts close to 80 sporting events and competitions across a multitude of disciplines annually, and this time the event is expected to attract over 1,500 mindsports enthusiasts from over 40 countries, according to QTA.

The headline events are chess, bridge, Go, backgammon and eSports. Chess players can participate in the championships via tournaments in the bug house, blitz and rapid versions of the game. Go will be a congress event, involving several smaller tournaments through the week. There will be workshops hosted by professional players as well. The venue also plays host to FIFA, Call of Duty and League of Legends tournaments as part of Mindsports World Championships 2017. Each game will have a prize pool of USD10,000 (QR36,410) with USD3,500 (QR12,740) going to the winner. Bridge events are segregated into pair, team and team-friendly, running across seven days.

Saif AlKuwari, director of PR and communication at QTA, says, “We are very excited to have the world’s most accomplished and committed mindsports players battle it out for the title of the best in their respective sports, while enjoying uniquely Qatari experiences and
a taste of true hospitality.”
Entry fees and tournament timings vary according to the sport. August 9-27. Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC), West Bay (4033 1111). For schedules and to register, visit

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