Othello news

Events which made Othello more well-known! Part 1

15 July 2018
Written by Benkt Steentoft & Daniel Turunen

This is the first of five articles about Othello events. Othello is one of the most well-known mind sports games in the world. To make the game more well-known and popular, it is a good idea to create events where people can try the game out. Events are a good way to get new members and make the game Othello well-known. Many federations arrange events. In the two first articles we will write about some events that federations arrange.

Many players have arranged small Othello events where they are living. Libraries, schools, malls, pubs and plazas. It is often possible to find venues where costs are low or events can be arranged for free. The Swedish Othello Federation have asked bookstores if they can showcase Othello. In the picture; Marcus Frönmark and Niklas Wettergren showcase Othello at the Akademi bookstore in Stockholm. They contacted one of the staff in the store and asked if it was possible. They said it was a great idea. The Swedish Federation printed information about the game and related events to give to people who were interested. Around 100 people tried the game during this promotional event. 

The Swedish Othello Federation also visited the Japan Cherry blossom festival in central Stockholm,  May of 2017. It was a cold, rainy and windy day. Surprisingly, many interested players were there and tried Othello. Five people wished to be members. One of them started to play tournaments. Othello was being promoted together with Stockholm Go club and Stockholm Shogi Club. More people were trying Othello than Go and Shogi.

This year the Swedish Othello federation will attend events in book stores, game stores and the Japan Cherry Flowers festival to further promote the game. 

Belgium Othello Federation has arranged Othello events in Japan fairs in Belgium. Othello is seen primarily as a japanese game. Therefore it is often easy to get the thumbs up from the arrangeurs of Japan related festivals. Keep an eye out in case there are any Japanese festivals near you!

Niklas Wettergren and Jeroen Everts showing Othello, a cold day in May. 

The British Othello Federation cooperates with the company John Adams, who sell Othello in Great Britain. They have supported John Adams at toy fairs and game events. Some players teach people who are interested  how to play Othello  Thats needs help from players. They need to use a day or weekend to show Othello. The cooperation between John Adams and the British Othello Federation has been very successful. The British Othello federation has gotten sponsorships so that they could invite youth players to the World Othello Championships 2016, in Japan, and 2017, in Belgium. If federations support local licensee companies, with events, it may be possible to get support from them. Cooperation is importance to make Othello well-known. The Federations needs players. Companies need to sell games. To cooperate is a great solution!

Cooperation between companies and Federations is good in Japan, Great Britain, U.S.A:, Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic, The World Othello Federation works for more and better cooperation between Companies and national federations. Corporation with events at local national toy fairs, game conventions and in mall and toy stores. If federations have good ideas for promotional events, that is a good start to find common ground for cooperation. Federations, clubs and interested events arrangeurs can contact the World Othello Office for more information. 

Guy Plowman show Othello at a UK Yoy fair.

Creating an Othello event does not need to be complicated! Sometimes it is only necessary to have one Othello game. Jens Aagaard Hansen used a homemade Othello board and created events in Kenya, when he was working there. The results of those events was that Kenya had one player in the World Othello Championships, Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000. 

It is not necessary to make an event more complicated than it needs to be! Use the area where you live, ask people you know to join in, be outside in a park! When people see other people doing something, like playing games, they might come and have a look! Have some extra games that people can borrow; if needed, teach them the rules. Print up some short information about the game to give to interested players. Make it easy. Make it fun!

In Brazil they started playing Othello at home made Othello games in recreational areas. We will write more about Brazil in upcoming articles. Othello started small in Brazil. After two years the interest for Othello has grown  alot. Now, Brazil Othello Federation is one of the most active and largest Othello Federations in the world. And they started with small events. 

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Jens Aagaard Hansen make transcript of the game. Othello event in Kenya 2000.
Japan Othello Association is the largest Othello federation in the world. Together with their sponsor MegaHouse they do promotional events in malls together with local retailers of the game in the country, it is possible to make larger promotional events which cost more. 
In those events they have some table there you can be teached Othello. You can play against famous Othello players. Players play simultan Othello. Small tourneys can be arranged. They arrange Othello quizz. Local famous persons can be invited and play Othello. It is many ways to make Othello fun for the visitors.

It is possible to do events, big or small, who are interesting for the persons who visit the area there the events be arranged. 
Also remember that an event must be fun for the persons who arrange the event! If it is fun for you, the visitors notice that, and get a positiv feeling about Othello. 
An Othello event in a mall. Japan 2017.
In the next article we will write about Othello events in Asia, USA, Italy, and Brazil.
You can also read more about upcoming events at the WOF website pages for Events. 
Authors: Benkt Steentoft & Daniel Turunen