Okay, so the situation for the Derby championship is like this. There will be certainly one, possibly two, TV crews filming the event, half a dozen competent arbiters, nice scenic location, admirable organisation of the whole weekend... and, if we're lucky, three competitors.
This is not a good thing, all in all. The whole thing is going to look a bit silly. 66.7% sillier than the UK championship last year, assuming that silliness is inversely proportionate to the number of competitors who turn up for an event. Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted that Gaby is coming from Germany and Dagfinn from Norway, just to take part in the championship, but I would be more delighted if the entire population of Britain didn't have better things to do that weekend. Or if the entire population of Derby wasn't happy to point me out on the street (even the Big Issue salesman in the city centre) but reluctant to try their collective hand at memorising a few numbers.
Okay, we might also have the likes of Nikita from possibly Russia or possibly Stoke-on-Trent, I've never asked, and other-Ben from down south somewhere and Nico from London-I-think-but-I'd-have-to-check-up-on-that and make a half-respectable turnout, but I'm still very worried that I'm going to end up looking extremely silly here.
There's a £100 top prize, remember, people - and I'm not eligible to win it, so you have a decent chance of covering your expenses if you want to come along. But I'm seriously considering taking a full census of exactly who's coming, and if the silliness level is below UK Championship 2007 levels (possibly using a more sophisticated assessment method involving world rankings), I might cancel the event while it's possible to escape with some dignity and my deposit for the room.
Please come to the Derby Memory Championship! Or give me a good excuse why you can't!