Monday, August 18, 2014

Mind matters

You know, I vaguely remember that the last couple of times I went to the MSO, I felt like I didn't enjoy it as much as I used to, and maybe it wasn't really my thing any more. I don't know why that was - I've had huge fun there this last couple of days! Games to play, people to meet who I haven't seen for years, ways to stretch my brain into unusual shapes working out strategies on the spur of the moment, it's just brilliant! It's official, I'm an MSO man again.

In continuo this morning, I started off against Matt Cordell, one of the few people who really knows strategy for the game and thinks ahead, instead of just putting the tiles down wherever it looks like they'd score a lot of points, and got completely thrashed, but then I narrowly won one and narrowly lost another (against the game's creator), so all in all that wasn't too bad a showing.

During the day there was an ongoing saga of whether the Memory World Cup was going to happen. Nobody else from the memory world had signed up (shame on you all!), and indeed nobody else from any other world either. But the organisers were very keen for it to happen anyway (rather keener than I was to be in a competition with just myself and maybe someone else making up the numbers), so it did, and I'm very glad it did! We had organiser Etan competing, and newcomer-whose-name-I-should-have-written-down-because-I'm-probably-spelling-it-wrong-now Suravanan, and yes, it was an excellent competition that needs to happen again next year! I'll write about it at length when I get a bit more time.

I also spoke with organiser Tony about maybe holding an XMT tournament in a hotel alongside a bunch of other mind sports next January or March. I'll keep you informed.

Continuo overran, so without more than a few minutes for lunch I went straight into Blokus, which turns out to be an excellent game (it involves placing tetris-ish-shaped tiles on a board so that they touch at the corners, and blocking off your (three) opponents. I won my first ever game, against two experts and one beginner - with a bit of luck, but this kind of thing was exactly what I always loved about the MSO - learning a new game, working out on the fly what would be a good way to play it and maybe occasionally confounding people who know the 'right' way to play and win and weren't expecting me to play the way I did. That only works with brand new games, obviously, and only if I'm lucky - I lost my next two games horribly, but then ended up with the same two experts on the final round and won it, jointly with one of them. So I ended up somewhere in the top half of the final rankings, which goes to show something, but I'm not sure what.

Then it was the memory in the evening, but I seem to have already talked about it, and chronology be damned. I did win, though. So that means in the first two days I've had a bronze, a silver and a gold!

No comments: