Sunday, May 07, 2006

A success!

Contrary to expectations, the Cambridge Memory Championship went really quite well. No major disasters at all, and hardly any minor ones either. My fears about it overrunning horribly weren't entirely unfounded (in fact, Mystic Meg's fears have never been so founded), but that didn't turn out to be a problem in the sense of us getting thrown out of the building - when we were finally leaving at about 7pm, a caretaker turned up to say he'd have to hurry us. Nothing went seriously wrong - my laptop proved incapable of playing the spoken numbers loud enough, but we fixed that by some clever technological means, I didn't think to bring stopwatches but enough people did that we managed okay, I had a dispute with Clemens about him wanting to use a pack of cards that was made up out of two different packs, so some had red backs and some had blue, but we sorted it out amicably in the end.

And we had the best Germans, the US Champion and lots of new British competitors! Clemens won, to nobody's huge surprise - he's now won the last five competitions he's entered, in a run stretching back to Vienna 2004. I really have to do something about that some time. Gunther came second and despite what I said yesterday in a competition-organiser-stress kind of mood took the whole thing entirely in the right spirit. Johannes Mallow came third with a very impressive performance including a huge 720 digits in 5-minute binary, Boris had a bad day but came fourth. So the Germans dominated much as expected, with me and Ed marking papers instead of challenging them. But the newcomers all seemed to have a great time, and hopefully will all be coming back to future competitions. There's definitely going to be one more in Britain this year, it seems - either a British championship or the worlds after all, Malaysia might not happen.

Nobody beat any of my records, which I was pleased about. Boris was shocked to hear that the Speed Cards Challenge will coincide with a Germany v England world cup football game if Germany win their group and England come second - he'd scheduled it specifically to avoid the days Germany might be playing. Aubrey joined the memory crowd for lunch at the Robin Hood and Little John and everyone had a lot of fun. The TV people interviewed me and a few others and seemed to like the look of the competitions after all. Everybody was able to get to the venue despite the lack of buses and to get home again without any major disasters, assuming Ferdinand Krause managed to catch his plane (he cut it a bit fine, with the competition running so late).

I've got the day off tomorrow, so I get to spend a lot of time in bed recovering from the mental stress. It turns out that running a competition is just as tiring as taking part in one. Who'd'a thunk it?


Anonymous said...

*raises glass*

(((Cheers to Ben!)))
(((Cheers to Clemens!)))

Clemens on spoken numbers is just amazing...

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad it went well :D.

internet nobody said...


It went well without me?