The 4th World Mindsports Championships kicked off in Doha recently, marking the beginning of a nine-day tournament which will see more than 1,000 players from 23 different countries compete for the crown title of Mindsports World Champion.

The opening ceremony at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) was attended by ambassadors, event partners, Mindsports champions and contestants. Taking place in the Middle East for the first time, the championships are organised by Mindsports Academy and hosted by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).

Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA  said that hosting the championships is a significant step for the development of the sports tourism sub-sector in Qatar.

Qatar hosts over 80 sports events every year, and we are proud to add cognitive sports to our portfolio.  In hosting the fourth edition of the Mindsports World Championships, we are pleased to confirm Qatar’s position as a pioneer in bringing international sporting events to the Arab world. We are particularly delighted that Doha will witness the first time that E-sports and Arabic Scrabble are included in the championships; a tradition which we hope will continue in future editions of the international competition.’

Al Ibrahim also expressed gratitude to the president of the Qatar Olympic Committee, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, for supporting the expansion of sports events in Qatar. QTA had partnered with QOC to cross-promote the emerging E-sports scene in Qatar. QOC will also be organising a FIFA E-Sports Community Event on 27 August.

Our partnership with QOC for this championship marks the beginning of a strategic relationship which will see both entities working closely together to further develop sports tourism in Qatar.’

The Mindsports World Championships are also supported by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Aspire Zone Foundation, Ooreedoo, AlFardan Automobiles, Adabisc, Strike and Kiddy Zone.

The event was also made possible through collaborations with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Bridge Association, Qatar Chess Federation, Mall of Qatar, Marriot Marquis Hotel and Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Mindsports International Founder and CEO David Bannon said that mindsports are the fastest growing and most highly-watched sports internationally. There are over a billion Mindsports players around the world, including 600 million chess players and 400 million Go players.

We are honoured to have the championships here in Doha, and we are proud to be bringing players from all around the world to a country that is very inviting, highly professional and home to fantastic facilities. Bringing Mindsports to the Middle East is very important as it matches the fastest growing sports with the fastest growing region in terms of hosting sports competitions.’

Previous editions of the Mindsports World Championships were hosted in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and France.

For full tournament details and schedules of all sporting events, log on to this link.