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DO I NEED TO REGISTER TO PLAY ANY GAMES OR PUZZLES?

Yes, you will need to register as a free member to play our games, access the top 50 ranking, add a calendar event and add your club.

Certain games can be accessed via fully paid membership

WHAT IS THE LEADERBOARD

The Leaderboard is a FREE service to all registered members showing all current and recent game and puzzle standings. However, if you are logged in as an anonymous user, your temporary achievements will not be stored. To store your achievement and share with your friends, simply register to become a member, it is absolutely FREE

The Leaderboard currently stores your game and puzzle levels and achievements. For chess there is a special ELO rating and for Scrabble there is a special Best Bingo. You can also click the Leaderboard to see the current standing for 'All Time', 'Last Month' and 'Last Week', with sub-categories such as game highest score, highest puzzle level etc.

Go and explore and see what achievements you can obtain and be sure to share it with your friends and family.

WHAT ARE THE TUTORIAL VIDEOS

Our tutorial videos can be found in our member area and they provide professional and structured lessons for different mindsports - chess, Magic: The Gathering, Scrabble and GO. Each tutorial offers different levels of difficulty from beginner and intermediate through to advanced. The videos are a great tool to improve and sharpen your strategies and skills.

WHERE DO YOU GET ALL YOUR INFORMATION FOR THE CALENDAR AND RANKINGS?

The Mindsports Ranking System will be like no other Ranking System currently available to players.

By working closely with Associations from around the world we have currently amassed a dataset of 500,000 game records, from 25,000 players. Using our system these players are ranked head-to-head regardless of title, division, or external rating.

So far for Scrabble we have the co-operation of WESPA, NASPA, ABSP, and FISE who are regularly supplying us with their head to head data. By the end of Q1 2016 we air aiming to include online results from the soon to be launched MSA Sports Lobby.

At present we are ranking games from the start of 2013 to the present day. Once a player has played 30 games, their ranking will become active. This is by no means how the rankings have to be performed in future though. We expect our system to go through a period of refinement over the next few months, as we involve and receive game data from more and more associations.

Each month we will aim to have the rankings updated by the 8th working day of every month.

HOW DO YOU WORK OUT THE RANKING FOR THE WMSF RATING?

The ranking is made up of 3 elements.

Skill – This is the maximum skill rating that has been applied to a player. This is an assumed level of skill attributed to a player based on the results of games played. The skill increases and decreases as players win or lose games. The amount a player’s skill increases depends on the skill of the player they have just beaten. If the skill of the beaten players is higher or similar to the winning player then the growth of the winning player’s skill will be greater than if they have beaten a player with a much lower skill.

When a player beats a player with a significantly lower skill, it is feasible that neither player’s skill will be greatly affected as the result indicates that the existing skill allocated is accurate. The reverse is true when a player loses to another player with a significantly greater skill.

Confidence – This is a rating of how confident we are of a skill level. It is important to remember that a lower confidence value indicates greater confidence in the skill. The confidence will typically settle into steady value as a player plays more and more games. For example, if a player has played 3 games against players with a similar skill and won all three then the skill will increase, but 3 games is not enough to suggest a great confidence in the players ability (skill). A player who has performed consistently over 50 or 100 games will have a far more significant confidence score.

Rating – Essentially this is the rating of the player. It is a calculated field based on the skill & confidence. Rating = Skill – (3xconfidence). If I have a skill of 25 and a confidence of 4.

25 – (3 x 4)

My Rating will be 13.

WHAT IS CHESS?

If you’re new to chess or are planning to make the leap offline into a live tournament, then you have come to the right place!

Chess is a board game of strategic skill for two players, played on a chequered board on which each playing piece is moved according to precise rules. The object is to put the opponent's king under a direct attack from which escape is impossible (checkmate).

If you want to take your first steps to tournament glory you will need to practice against both computer and players to sharpen your skills and even register yourself to get a rating

First steps to playing Chess competitively in an live environment is to find out how you can get your first ECF grade, visit the website.

Thereafter just be sure to play as much as you can, practice and review your play, look at strategies and technics through the MSA tutorial videos and blogs.

WHAT IS SCRABBLE?

To some people the game of Scrabble is something that makes an appearance once a year, around Christmas time somewhere between the Queen’s speech and The Wizard of Oz!

To others it’s a much more serious affair than that, with tournaments being played all over the world culminating in the Scrabble Championship Tournament.

Scrabble owners Mattel and Hasbro have worked with the Mindsports Academy from day one and our games are recognised and graded by the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA), North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) and the Association of British Scrabble Players.

You don’t have to be a genius to take part in one of our events, we have a number of tournaments to cover all levels but if you are a more serious player you will be pleased to know that we are offering both live and online rated events.

If you are new to Scrabble, well it simply is a word game in which two to four players score points by placing tiles, each bearing a single letter, onto a game board which is divided into a 15×15 grid of squares.

The tiles must form words in crossword fashion, flowing left to right in rows or downwards in columns. The words must be defined in a standard Dictionary, in this case, Collins Dictionary. Specified reference works (e.g. the Official Tournament and Club Word List, the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary) provide a list of officially permissible words.

WHAT IS MAGIC: THE GATHERING?

If you have never played before or just know the basics then be sure to come along to one of our live events to find out more or use our online training tools and videos. At events we’ll have players on hand to show you how to get the best from the game and how to navigate your way through the cards.

If you are ready to take the next step after Friday Night Magic there are a few things you may need to know before jumping straight into a tournament.

Tournaments are played using either a modified Swiss structure or a single-elimination structure. In both cases, rounds are 50-70 minutes long and are played best two games out of three. The Swiss structure awards 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. In the first round, players are paired randomly.

For every subsequent round players are paired against those with the same or similar match records (everyone with three wins and no losses plays someone else with three wins and no losses, etc). Single elimination is simpler. Everyone is paired randomly (sometimes into brackets), and anyone who loses a round is eliminated while everyone else advances.

Every player has a number (their DCI number) designated to them that they provide along with their name at any tournament they enter. If it’s your first tournament, you will be assigned a new number.

For more information please visit: Here

WHAT IS GO?

Go has very simple rules, but a complex strategy. It is some 3,000-4,000 years old and is very much a part of oriental culture. It has a history in the UK of nearly 100 years and continues to expand in popularity. Go is an imperial game where each player seeks to enclose more territory on the board than his opponent does.

Here at the Mindsports Academy you will find players of all levels to play and compete against in this fascinating game.

The essence of Go is competition therefore tournament play takes that rivalry to its highest level.

First learn the basics and then lose as many games as you can in practice to learn from them. If you want to become a strong player, you will have to study, fortunately there are literally hundreds of books and online resources to help you.

WHAT ARE LEARNING TOOLS?

Learning Tools are available through the MSA website to offer you brain training for your chosen mindsport.

Videos and activities are divided into three levels of difficulty – beginner, intermediate and advanced so you can set the pace and move up to the next level when you feel ready.

There are also specific pieces of software for particular Mindsports, most especially Scrabble, with the Cardbox programmes and the Collins Word Checker.

WHAT IS CARDBOX LEARN?

Developed to enhance learning through repetition, the basic idea is that you are presented with a list of alphagrams where you will be tested and as you improve the level of diffeculty increases.

An alphagram consists of a words letters arranged in alphabetical order. For example, the alphagram of "alphagram" is aaaghlmpr. The MSA Cardbox keeps track of the words you're successful with as well as the ones that you're not, when you miss a word frequently, MSA Cardbox will show it to you more often until your success ration increases.

WHAT IS THE COLLINS SCRABBLE WORD CHECKER?

An instant check for words allowed in Scrabble. Includes Scrabble word definitions and scores. The only online Scrabble checker to use the official tournament word list.

The official word list includes over a quarter of a million permissible words, and is endorsed by Mattel and the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association.

DO MINDSPORTS ACADEMY WORK WITH ANY PARTNERS?

We are sponsored by Harper Collins, Mattel and Wizards of the Coast, offering worldwide tournaments in Scrabble and Magic the Gathering. We use the official CSW15 in our word check and word solve as well as the Family and Friends Dictionary on our education pages in word solve, word check and educational games. If any business would like to sponsor Mindsports Academy, Mindsports Education or certain aspects of tournaments including prizes, merchandise or players please contact the team at info@Mindsportsacademy.com

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