Minesweeper World Championship 2015 - Announcement

Thomas "tkolar" "ralokt" "tk" "Lothar Komas" "Tommy" Kolar, 2015-09-09 (last updated on 2015-09-24)


Doesn't count if you're taking part. Skip the parts about accomodation, travel, location and the tournament system if you must, but read the rest to avoid untimely nasty surprises.

In the context of this announcement, "I" refers to Thomas Kolar, ie, me, and "you" to the participant in question, ie, you.

Important information


The Minesweeper World Championship 2015 is split into two parts that take place on two seperate days - the 26th and 27th of September 2015.

The official part

This part could also be called "the actual championship" or "the championship proper". It contains exactly one event, a 5 Intermediate+5 Expert/3 Hour tournament as it has been played for the past three championships (and many other tournaments). For a detailed explanation of the tournament mode, see below.

The side-event part

This part has no official status whatsoever, but there will be multiple small events, the nature of which may spontaneously decided by participants. Read: We will mess around, try new tournament systems, and have fun. Another reason I'm not fixing anything for this part is that I may implement new scoreganizer/vsweep features, meaning that we might be able to do things that I can't announce yet.


The Minesweeper World Championship 2015 will take place on the 26th of September, 2015 at 15:00 (local time) at UT Vienna (TU Wien). Please be on-site at 14:00 - otherwise, your participation is not guaranteed (ie, if you arrive later than that and there is a problem that can't be fixed in time, it is considered your fault, and I won't provide support during the tournament).

The Minesweeper World Side Event 2015 will take place on the 27th of September, 2015 at 13:00 (local time) at UT Vienna (TU Wien). Please be on-site at 13:00 - otherwise, you may miss out on some of the fun.


Participants should register using the registration form before September 21st, 2015.

Registering has the following advantages:

  • You are guaranteed a PC for participation. Other participants may be asked to leave if there aren't enough PCs for everyone. I will do my best to accomodate everyone, but I can only take emergency measures and try to organize more rooms in advance if I know that space will be a problem.
  • You are eligible for funding. I need to tell people who registered how much funding they can expect, and I need to do that in advance.
  • You will be let into the building by the receptionists. Other players will have to find another way, such as calling someone inside in order to be let in and have their name put on the list, or similar shenanigans that are tedious for everyone involved.

Registration isn't binding, as there's nothing I can do to stop you from not showing up anyway, but if you can't make it, that would be nice to know. If you are not sure if you will come, that is no problem, but please let me know via the "other information" field.

After 2015-09-21, you can still register with the restriction that you aren't eligible for funding. Also, I cannot completely guarantee your participation, but it is extremely likely that this will not be a problem (you will still be given a higher priority than people who don't register at all, and I likely have more than enough room).

Register before the 25th of September to ensure that you will be let inside the building.


Participants that register are eligible for a small amount of funding for their travel and accomodation costs. Note that to receive funding, you must give the organizer your original receipts (and tickets, if applicable).

Registration for funding has now ended; Everyone who registered in time is eligible to receive up to 54€.


The tournament will take place at UT Vienna (TU Wien), in the Freihaus building.

The address is:

Wiedner Hauptstraße 8-10
1040 Wien

Otherwise useful information

Public transport in Vienna

You will likely be using public transport in Vienna a lot. I will assume that you remain inside the city for the duration of your stay (except for trips to/from the airport) - otherwise consult the homepage of wiener linien (public transport in Vienna) and/or the homepage of ÖBB (Austrian rails).

What tickets for public transport make sense depends on how often you use them.

Your (sensible) options are:

  • A weekly pass for 16,20€. This is cheaper than a 72 hour ticket, but is for a specific calendar week (ie, if you stay past Sunday, possibly a bad idea). (Important update: It's possible that you have to buy these in advance, I will check this and then update this section.)
  • A 24/48/72 hour pass for 7,60€/13,30€/16,50€. These passes are not bound to a specific day (or time of day), so it might be worthwhile to combine them with a single ticket on the morning/evening you arrive/leave.
  • Single tickets for 2,20€ each. This may be the cheapest option if you don't plan to make many trips, but be sure that this is the case. If you plan to take 4 trips within 24 hours, a 24 hour pass is cheaper. The same goes for 7 trips within 48 hours, and 8 trips within 72 hours. Also, with a single ticket, you may change modes of transport, but not interrupt your trip.

You can download a map of fast public transport services in Vienna from

Also, if you want to stay out past midnight, Vienna has you covered. There are always night buses, and subways are operational all night if the next day is not a normal weekday (ie, Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday).

You can download maps of night-time public transport services in Vienna here:

Getting there

From Main Station

Take the U1 (red line) to Karlsplatz.

From the Hostel I recommend

Walk to Westbahnhof.

From there, take the U3 (orange line) heading to Simmering and get off at Volkstheater.

Switch to the U2 (purple line) heading to Karlsplatz and take it to Karlsplatz.

From somewhere else in Vienna

You can download a map of fast public transport services in Vienna from

use it to get to Karlsplatz.

If, for some reason, you aren't close to a subway station, using slower public transport to get to the nearest one is most likely to be your best bet. After that, use subways to travel to Karlsplatz.

From Karlsplatz

Since Karlsplatz Station is one of the most confusing places in Vienna to navigate, I made a guide there that contains photos of your route to Freihaus.

It can be found here

See also:

Staying in Vienna

There are multiple cheap hostels in Vienna. I compared them with regard to Price, availability, accessibility, and some other factors and will recommend The Lounge. You are welcome to chose any accomodation you like, however, it is likely that this hostel will be the center of evening socializing activities (or close by).

Getting to Vienna

By train

Take a train to Vienna Main Station. You are now in Vienna, and have access to the U1 subway station Südtiroler Platz/Hauptbahnhof.

Note that some trains may run to Wien Westbahnhof (west station). In this case, you are now also in Vienna, and have access to the U3/U6 subway station Westbahnhof.

By plane

If you haven't booked yet, getting cheap flights may be tough. While Vienna Airport is obviously more convenient, it may be worthwhile to fly into Bratislava instead of Vienna - there are buses directly from Bratislava Airport to Vienna that take 1:15 according to plan and cost 13€ return.

From Vienna Airport

Take a train to Vienna. You will end up at Wien Mitte/Landstraße. You are now in Vienna, and have access to the subway station Landstraße.

BE CAREFUL - the airport is outside the city, so you will have to pay for a train ticket to the city's border even assuming that you already have a ticket for public transport in Vienna.

From Bratislava Airport

Take the airport bus to Vienna. You will end up at Erdberg. You are now in Vienna, and have access to the U3 subway station Erdberg.

Participating online

It will be possible to participate in the Minesweeper World Championship 2015 online from home, under the following restrictions:

  • You are not eligible for the title of "Minesweeper World Champion 2015". You are, however, eligible for the title "Online Minesweeper World Champion 2015".
  • You are not eligible for prizes, trophies or certificates (for logistics reasons).
  • There will be a scoreboard displaying only those players that took part on-site. Also, the main scoreboard will highlight players that took part on-site.
  • Participating on-site grants a large amount of credibility - watching someone play in real life is the only way to be sure that they do not cheat. If you participate online, you don't get this credibility boost (and being trusted by the minesweeper community is great if you want to organize your own tournament).

If you participate online, you will need to download and install the tournament client on your computer. It is highly recommended that you test whether everything works all right beforehand - this is a requirement in order to be eligible for support during the tournament. There will be test tournaments that can be used to test your installation. If the system works for you during one of the test tournaments and fails during the championship, you are eligible for support during the tournament itself.


I will provide support for the tournament software in case something doesn't work properly.

  • Anyone wishing to participate is eligible for support until up to two days before the tournament.
  • On-site participants are eligible for in-tournament support if they arrive on time (see above).
  • Online participants are eligible for in-tournament support if they have already taken part in at least one tournament using the tournament software, and have uploaded at least one intermediate game and one expert game using it.
  • Support is subject to availability - this means that I cannot completely guarantee a response even if you are eligible, as this is a one-person operation.
  • However, if you are eligible and need help, I guarantee that I will sacrifice an unlimited amount of my tournament time to help, unless it is determined that the problem can't be fixed (network outage or similar).
  • In order to guarantee your ability to fulfill the above requirements, there were several test tournaments, and I was online on the minesweeper IRC channel (see below) to help with any problems that might have arisen.

If you need support, contact me via one of the support channels.

Support channels

In order to receive support, either:

Contact me via email

My email address is thomaskolar90[_AT-]gmail.com
Please make the subject something meaningful to increase the likelyhood that I read it as soon as possible.

Go online in the minesweeper IRC (internet relay chat) channel

Server irc.newnet.net
Channel #minesweeper
If you are new to IRC, just visit

I guarantee that I will be online there during all of:
  • the test tournaments
  • the world championship
  • fairly often in general
Also, even if I am not online, other sweepers will likely be willing to help. During the championship, I will be distracted, so mention me (by saying something containing "ralokt").

By phone

Before the world championship starts, I will send my phone number to all confirmed participants in case of emergency or inability to find the tournament site.


Apart from the tournament mode, the following rules apply:

  • Attempts to cheat will lead to disqualification. Cheating is defined as normally in the minesweeper community, with the following addition:
    It is considered cheating if a player tries to submit a game that was not played during the alotted time.
  • Players should not be disruptive. Announcing scores is allowed, but permanent real-life mic spam is not appreciated. By permanent I mean permanent; celebrating highscores is very much allowed!
  • Participants may leave their seats to take a break as they wish at any point in time. However, there is no "refund" on the time spent that way.
  • This should go without saying, but: Be excellent to each other. If people tell you that something that you are doing is bothering them, stop doing that (unless the thing happens to be minesweeping, breathing, or of an existential relevance similar (or somewhat close) to that of breathing. You know what I mean).
Also, the house rules of UT Vienna apply. Don't turn the PC room into a mess, and, in particular, don't eat in the PC room/have glasses/open bottles/etc there. There will be a different place for that, and it will be accessible at all times during the tournament.


The on-site participant that has the lowest score at the end of the world championship may claim the title "Minesweeper World Champion 2015". The participant (on-site or online) that has the lowest tournament score at the end of the world championship may claim the title "Online Minesweeper World Champion 2015". It is possible for one player to claim more than one title. The second participant of each of the respective rankings may claim the title "[Online] Minesweeper World Championship 2015 Runner-Up".

Tournament Mode

The tournament format will be the standard format used by most world championships until now, using realtime and thousandths.

That is, every player has three hours to complete intermediate and expert games. The sum of the realtime scores of the fastest (least time) five intermediate games and the realtime scores of the fastest (least time) five expert games of a given player is that player's tournament score. Game and tournament scores are measured in thousandths. Should a player not manage to complete a sufficient number of games for any level, a 999.999 second penalty will be added in place of each unfinished game.

Completing a game that was started within the 3 hour period is allowed.


Tim the Enchanter takes part and completes the following games:

On Intermediate

  • 18.234
  • 19.123
  • 22.432
  • 21.543
  • 17.717
  • 20.404
  • 42.420

On Expert

  • 65.432
  • 54.321
  • 58.085

Only the best five intermediate games are taken into account


As only three expert games were completed, two penalties of 999.999 seconds are given


The total tournament score of Tim the Enchanter is therefore



The comparatively bad intermediate game doesn't affect the ranking at all, but had Tim had two (other/shorter/better) games less, it would still have been much better to have this game in the ranking than the 999.999 penalty.

Also note

The tournament takes three hours; this is a Long Time. A fairly consistent player capable of getting scores that are as good as Tim's would likely have no problems finishing many more expert games in that time, so the example is slightly contrived in that respect. Playing at least one three hour session in private to get a feel for one's consistency capabilities is considered a very good idea.

As a rule of thumb, if you are a beginner or very inconsistent (as some non-flagging professional players are), it is advised to play for completion, otherwise, trading consistency for speed is probably a very good idea.

Facebook event

There is also a Facebook event.


We will be using the Linux installed on the PCs in the PC room. This means that mouse behavior might be subtly different from what you are used to if you use a different system.

You can bring your own mouse, but must use the PCs along with the rest of their peripherals.

If you want to prepare for this but only have Windows available, practice using no mouse acceleration, for example by applying the MarkC Windows 10 + 8.1 + 8 + 7 Mouse Acceleration Fix (which, incidentally, is a very good idea for pro sweeping in any case).

I will make sure that all participants can play with a setup that is as acceleration-free as possible. Also, i will provide a means of customizing mouse speed.


The Minesweeper World Championship is kindly being sponsored by HTU (Hochschülerinnen- und Hochschülerschaft an der Technischen Universität Wien, the student representation at UT Vienna).