Mindoku speaks Russian!

As of yesterday, Mindoku can speak Russian!

As always, the language selector can be found on the top-right of the layout in Mindoku (this blog is English only). Or here is a link to the Russian version of Mindoku for your convenience.

Since we have the multi-language infrastructure in place, adding new languages is very easy. Let us know if you want to help us translate Mindoku to your own language, we’d be happy to widen the array of available languages!

Cheers,

Mindoku Team

Mindoku speaks Turkish!

Like the title says, thanks to our user mert, Mindoku now speaks Turkish!

Navigate to Mindoku and you’ll see the language selector on the top-right of the page. Or here is a link to the Turkish version of Mindoku for your convenience.

Since we now have the multi-language infrastructure in place, adding new languages is very easy. Let us know if you want to help us translate Mindoku to your own language, we’d be happy to widen the array of available languages!

Cheers,

Mindoku Team

2013 Mind Sports Olympiad

The 17th Mind Sports Olympiad was held at The University Of London Union from August 16th to the 25th.

This years Pentamind title, which is awarded to the player who scores the best results in five distinct games, was shared by UK’s Ankush Khandelwahl and Estonia’s Andres Kuusk (fantunes in Mindoku) both of whom had a total of 492 points out of a maximum 500 points. James Heppell (UK) collected 480 points and 3rd place.

Martin Hõbemägi (left, 5th overall), Ankush Khandelwahl (middle), and Andres Kuusk (right).
Image linked from msoworld.com.

Here are relevant links about the event:

 

About MSO, from msoworld.com:

The Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) is an annual international multi-disciplined competition and festival for games of mental skill and mind sports. The inaugural event was held in 1997 in London with £100,000 prize fund and was described as possibly the biggest games festival ever held. It was the first event of its kind aiming to create an Olympics of the mind, awarding gold, silver and bronze medals for each event. The Mind Sports Olympiad continues to take place every year in England.

New game client is released!

Hey,

We just released the new game client! To read the introductory post for the new client, click here. To sum up the biggest improvements over the old Java Applet based game clients:

  • all games and tournaments can be played on one page, no need to keep open separate browser tabs;
  • support for tablets and smartphones;
  • lightweight, loads a lot faster and needs less resources.

new-gameroom

Current version of the new game client supports these games:

  • checkers and all its variants;
  • sudoku;
  • gomoku, pente, renju;
  • othello;
  • lines of action.

We’ll add the rest of the games (chess and its variants, connect four, entropy and card games) as soon as we can.

Feel free to discuss the new game client (opinions, bug reports, suggestions, etc) in our forum.

 

Cheers,

Mindoku Team

Mindoku and Vint databases connected!

Hey,

A month ago we talked about our plans to connect Mindoku and Vint databases. We did it last night and now they are connected! I’ll list here again the main points and changes that have now been made:

  • Mindoku and Vint gamerooms have been connected which means that users in Vint can play with users in Mindoku and vice versa. This essentially means that Mindoku and Vint are just different web interfaces to the same database (users, games, tournaments etc). If you created your account in one portal you can now also log in to the other. However, Mindoku is international and Vint remains an Estonian site.
  • Like also mentioned before one downside of connecting the portals is that because of technical and other reasons all the games played and sudokus solved in Mindoku prior to the big change are gone (about 5000 duel games and 35,000 sudokus). However we think that this was worth it in the long run because now there is a lot more action in Mindoku in terms of number of users online and tournaments.

Since it was quite a huge update, there might be some bugs around that we have not yet noticed. If you find one, let us know in the forum or write us an email.

Cheers,

Mindoku Team

Near-future plans for Mindoku – a huge update!

Hey,

You may or may not know that Mindoku is a spin-off of an Estonian mind sports site vint.ee. Vint was launched on 2007 and currently boasts with 16,000 users and 3.4 million games played.

Anyway, a few weeks ago we talked about the near-future plans for Mindoku. Our team has since made a few adjustments to the plan. Here’s what we came up with:

  • In order to breath more life into Mindoku, we need to connect Mindoku’s and Vint’s game rooms, so that people currently in Vint can also play with people who are logged in to Mindoku and vice versa. That way we have more people online on both sites at all times.
  • After connecting the two game rooms, we’ll finish implementing the new game room client for Mindoku. This means that the opening of the new game rooms will be postponed for a few months.

There are pros and cons for Mindoku when we do this.

Pros:

  • More players in Mindoku since all the online users in Vint (about 100 users online in the evenings) are also visible in Mindoku gamerooms. More players to play with and more tournaments. This in turn will attract more and more new users to Mindoku.
  • Access in Mindoku to all the 3.4 million games played in Vint which enables us to launch awesome statistical/analytical learning tools in the future. For example a move analyser when watching the replay of your chess game: was your move the best one in that situation (probability of win the greatest)?
  • Easier development and maintenance of the sites since there is one common database and game server instead of two separate ones.

Cons:

  • All the boardgames, sudokus and tournaments that Mindoku users have currently played will be gone. Unfortunately, due to technical and other reasons we can’t preserve games that are already played in Mindoku. That is about 5000 boardgames and 35,000 sudokus. That means that your ratings will be defaulted back to 1400.

Even with that one big con, we think that this move will be worth it in the long run. What do you think? If you have any thoughts on our plans, let us know, we’d love to hear them!

Cheers,

Mindoku Team

Near-future plans for Mindoku (new game room!)

Hey,

It might seem like it has been rather quiet in terms of updates to Mindoku. It is not because our team is not working on Mindoku – quite the opposite. We are currently working on a completely new version of Mindoku game client, which is very different from our present games. Here are the main differences:

  • all the games and tournaments can be played on one single page (currently you have to open a separate tab for chess, gomoku, every tournament, etc)
  • support for tablets and smartphones by using modern web standards (HTML5) instead of archaic technologies (Java applets)

Here is a screen shot of the new client (specifically the new tournament tab) currently in development (click on the image to view in original size):

tournament-room-image

And this one below is a screen shot of a gomoku game. You’ll notice that you’ll be able to open a gameroom from the right side “Available gamerooms” menu and you’ll notice that there are already gomoku and othello gamerooms open:

gomoku-gameroom-image

As you can see all the action is now available on one page, no need to keep separate browser tabs open for different games. You can see the new client partially even now when you open the Othello game room, however the new version takes one step further and puts all the games and tournaments to one place.

We are currently planning to bring out the first version with support for Othello, Gomoku, Pente, Renju and Sudoku after which we’ll gradually add other games. Unfortunately, since the new version is a complete rewrite on both the client and the server side, then other games (beside the five mentioned before) will be unavailable until we implement them using the new technology. It should not take long however, since we already have the game logics code from the present games.

With the current development pace, we should be able to release the first version in about 1-2 months. We’ll keep you posted!

Cheers,

Mindoku Team

Swap gomoku and Entropy added to daily online mind sports tournaments list

Hi,

As you probably already know, Mindoku is hosting daily mind sports tournaments. We have added swap gomoku and entropy to the daily list and here’s a reminder about which game types we have daily tournaments in (all times are in UTC):

  • 15:00 – Taraguchi renju
  • 16:00 – Stack 4D
  • 17:00 – Pente
  • 17:00 – Sudoku (medium difficulty)
  • 18:00 – Othello
  • 18:00 – Swap gomoku
  • 19:00 – Entropy

NB! Every user can create a tournament themselves, so you can have a challenging competition with your mates whenever you want! There is a link for creating a new tournament on the tournaments page.

Cheers,

Mindoku Team

WPF Sudoku Grand Prix

A big online sudoku event is coming and the winners will be invited to the next World Sudoku Championships in Beijng. We’ll copy-paste the information about this event from the official page (http://www.worldpuzzle.org/events; registration form is on the same page):

 

WPF is happy to announce the 1st WPF online sudoku tournament – WPF Sudoku Grand Prix

The tournament consists of eight rounds organised by WPF members from eight countries. The hosts will be Czech Republic, Germany, India, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, UK, USA. The dates will be announced soon.

All the sudoku players can take part and compare their results with the top players without leaving their home.

In the next days the registration will be launched at our web page. Only registered players will be included in the final WPF ranking.

Schedule

  • January – Czech Republic – Jan 25-27
  • February – India – Feb 9-10
  • March – Germany (or late Feb.) – Feb 23-24
  • April – Serbia – Apr 20-22
  • May – UK, US
  • June – Italy
  • June – Turkey – Jun 22-23

Basic facts

  • There will be 8 online tournaments starting in January 2013 and ending in July 2013
  • The WPF will maintain official rankings of the registered players
  • Registration and player rankings will be done on the WPF web page
  • Only 6 out of 8 tournaments will be included into the final rankings, each player will get to choose which of his or her 6 scores will count
  • At the end of the series, the 10 players with the highest cumulative scores will be invited to the next WSC to play off in person
  • For the first year there will be no registration fee, players may participate for free
  • Each of the top 10 players will receive a 100 EUR discount off the cost of attending the next WSC
  • Each tournament will be available for an entire weekend

 

UPDATE

A few event dates have been set. The schedule has been updated with relevant data.

Dario De Toffoli reclaimed mind sports Pentathlon World Champion title after 10 years

XVI world championships in mind sports pentathlon, better known as the Pentamind world championships was won by italian Dario De Toffoli with 489.14 points out of maximum 500. De Toffoli destroyed the field of more than 200 players from 32 different nations beating silver medallist Francisco Paco Garcia De La Banda from Spain by 22 points. The bronze medal went to James Heppell from UK who lost silver by mere two points.

dario-de-toffoli-and-paco-de-la-banda       Dario De Toffoli (left) and Paco De La Banda
(photo from www.boardability.com)

The most prestigeous multievent tournament in mind sports lasted no less than nine days and 104 hours with more than 50 different mind sports played from which five best results were summarised for each participant for the overall standings. The event was led for most of the time by englishmen James Heppell and David Jameson, before De Toffoli took over in the seventh day when winning an aquire tournament in a style and increasing his points tally to a whopping 485 points.  There was no real danger for the italian legend since then and he even got some extras in the final day with third place in lost cities. The other events in the De Toffoli´s top 5 were oware, backgammon and mastermind. With this great victory the italian became only third person in history who has won the prestigeous title more than once, the englishmen Demis Hassabis and David Pearce being the others. As the title was first time won by De Toffoli already in 2002, the ten years gap between world champion titles is an unique record in the event. De Toffoli now has 8 medals in the Pentamind – two golds, two silvers and four bronzes – an achievement which is also a record.

11 participants did collect more than 400 points:

1) Dario De Toffoli, Italy

2) Francisco Paco Garcia De La Banda, Spain

3) James Heppell, UK

4) Andres Kuusk, Estonia

5) Ankush Khandelwal, India

6) David Jameson, UK

7) Tony Niccoly, Italy

8) Michael Dixon, UK

9) Tim Hebbes, UK

10) Matthew Hathrell, UK

11) Alain Dekker, Republic of South Africa.