A press release from FIDE landed in my inbox the other day, reminding me of the 2008 Mind Sports Games. This event, to be held in Beijing, is an international games involving Chess, Bridge, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi (Chinese Chess).
Reading between the lines (and doing a bit of research on the web), it seems some international federations are giving it a big push while others (eg chess), are not quite sure what to do. On the one hand the press release indicates that FIDE regard this as an important event, but the press release reveals that maybe the national chess federations haven't embraced it with similar enthusiasm.
However, it seems that the organisers are making a big effort to make it a success. Apart from free accommodation, they are also providing free air travel 'from' Air China Hubs. Unfortunately they don't say where these hubs are (and it would be a pointless offer if the hub was in say, Beijing), so I've sent an email off to organisers asking for clarification.
Nonetheless, despite my hope that such an event is both succesful and repeated, there seems to be two possible impediments. Firstly the website is big on PR and very very small on detail (ie I can't find a calendar of events, or even the dates of the Games), and secondly, with its proximity to the Dresden Olympiad, a lot of players would be unable to take the time playing in both events, leaving a second string field for Beijing.