Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Cambridge Memory Championship!

My passing mention of the Cambridge Memory Championship last night provoked a surprising flurry of emails and comments from people wanting to know more about it. I suppose it is a while since I've mentioned it, and I have picked up a few more readers since all those TV shows I've been on, so I should probably go into a bit more detail...

The Cambridge Memory Championship (which has got a website, albeit one that only talks about last year's competition) is an annual event that happens somewhere in Cambridge, at some time in May, usually on a Sunday. I organise the competition, but I don't pick the date or the location - it happens as part of the Cambridge Mind Sports Olympiad (which has also got a website, which also just talks about last year's) and we just get a room wherever this wider event takes place.

I'll let you all know as soon as I know when and where it's happening. In the meantime, you can let me know if you're interested in coming, or ask any questions you may have, by using the 'contact' link on the Cambridge Memory Championship site (it just goes to my email).

Or you can post any questions as comments here, and I'll try to answer them. Anticipating some of them, I'd just like to stress that it is a friendly, relaxed introduction to the world of memory sports for beginners and a friendly, relaxed get-together for experienced memorisers. No previous memory experience is required - having seen me on telly is an advantage only in that it'll boost my ego. I will be organising and not competing, although I often end up persuaded to have a go at memorising a pack of cards really, really quickly at the end.

For real beginners, a quick guide: The competition is all about memorising as much information as possible in a set time. There are ten 'disciplines', which you can read about in detail on the website - for example, memorising as long a number as possible in fifteen minutes, or as many random words as possible in five minutes. The rules on the website are more in-depth and complicated than you need to know, but pay attention to the scoring.

And please do come along! If nothing else, it's a chance to meet some fun and weird people, and we always go to the pub afterwards to hang out and chat. Everyone's welcome!

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