MindSports is a joint venture of
Christian Freeling (games, math, icc concept) and Ed van Zon (technical stuff, programming).
email: MindSports

Christian Freeling

summer 2023

autumn 2023

spring 2024

  • Born: february 1, 1947 in Enschede, the Netherlands.
  • Lives in Enschede, now a retired math teacher taking care of Snowy, his raccoon dog and a couple of burmese pythons.
  • Three sons, Demian (1975), Myron (1978) and Falco (1993), one daughter, Ninja (1982).
    Demian invented Congo in the Christmas holidays of 1982, shortly before his eighth birthday.
  • Made all possible mistakes a games inventor can make in his first game, around 1978 - "like Frankenstein's monster: all separate parts and no life of its own".
  • Decided that his next game should have rules simple enough to be understood by any eight year old in a minute or so. His quest for simplicity resulted in Havannah. This game was subsequently intoduced at the math department of the University of Twente and the university's games club Fanatic, where his games found fertile ground up to 1986. The game was manufactured by Ravensburger in 1981, see Wiki - Havannah.
  • Made several Chess variants, of which Grand Chess may be the most significant, and several Draughts related games such as Bushka a variant based on 'contact capture'.
  • Withdrew from the games world for more than a decade but kept in touch with Ed van Zon, who was a student at Twente University and a member of Fanatic.
  • Started MindSports together with Ed in 1997.
  • Invented Dameo quite unintentionally in 2000 as the result of a lingering loose end - linear movement in a draughts environment - and his introduction to Ljuban Dedic's fantastic draughts variant Croda.
  • Considers Dameo the best sport weapon of all draughts variants.
  • Survived the explosion of SE Fireworks on may 13, 2000 at 120 meters from his home virtually unharmed, but lost all his belongings.
  • Put his best work in the ArenA, and in good company too.
  • Thinks games have a 'spirit' and that inventing games has more to do with silently listening to this spirit revealing itself, than 'trying this rule or another'. Considers Emergo the best example of this approach.
  • Saw Symple coming by in October 2010, in a small overlapping window, while drifting off to sleep. The symple move-protocol turned out to be a meta mechanism with an embedded turn-order balancing mechanism, applicable to themes that have a certain affinity with territory, connection or configuration. It instantly rendered a couple of games, the most important representative of which is Sygo.
  • Made a square connection game called Scware on the same protocol in the fall of 2012 and intoduced a new generic opening protocol called "one-bound-one-free" in Pit of Pillars, Io and Inertia.
  • Accidentally found Starweb in 2017 and called it a day in 2018 with Storisende, unusual, organic, territorial, existential and above all a grand closure.
  • Except that blood creeps where it cannot go. In July 2020 Loca, a draughts variant fueled by a man/king hybrid appeared and then between October and March eleven more games emerged, two of them under co-authorship. You can find them starting here. Of these KnightVision stands out because, as someone put it, it shouldn't work. But it does.
  • And on, and on. The count since the intended last game stands at 22. Zumo and China Tangle, both from 2022, stand out for originality.
  • China Tangle led to a Symple-based cousin called China Grove in 2023, followed by their far more strategic variants China Octangle and China Squares that are breaking new ground in that they can no longer be played over the board. To play them you must wholly rely on the apps for clarity and notation.
  • Is the author of this cv and therefore feels entitled to say that none of his work would likely have survived without the help of Ed van Zon.

Ed van Zon

  • Born in Waalwijk, the Netherlands.
  • Studied mathematics at the University of Twente (as it's now called) in Enschede, the Netherlands.
  • Lives in Drouwen, the Netherlands; for now. Now retired from a day job in IT.
  • ...