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Mind champions to do battle in Thames

16 December 2013

New Zealand's very first Pentamind Champion will be named in Thames on Sunday 2 March as part of the first New Zealand Festival of MindSports.

MindSports are played out on boards, in streets or online. "A mind sport is a sport or game of skill where the mental component is more significant than the physical," says Festival spokesman Rick Brown.

MindSport disciplines eyeing up the three-day championship festival include war gamers, chess, bridge, Scrabble, Sudoku, mahjong, Magic: The Gathering, backgammon and draughts, but Brown says all mind sports are welcome.

Premilinary Suduko rounds will be played online with the final to be staged in Thames on computers, and the rest of the festival will have three stages running from Friday 28 February to Sunday 2 March. 

Brown says the festival will provide three levels of competition.

"Level one will give people the chance to compete for fun. There’ll be demos and have-a-go tables.

"Level two gets more serious, with players competing for medals in their favourite MindSport.

"Level three will be the domain of the elite, with the medals going to players who pick up the most points by competing in any five of the traditional MindSports: chess, bridge, backgammon, draughts, mahjong, or Scrabble."

The winner of level three becomes the very first Pentamind Champion of New Zealand.

"The festival will be a wonderful opportunity to play, learn or watch the champions do battle," says Brown. "Tables with people playing games will appear in the main street and a street party featuring four bands will celebrate the annual occasion."

The event is being staged by Totally Thames in partnership with Thames-Coromandel District Council Major Events and the Grahamstown Business Association.

To register, or find out more, go to