Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cymraeg Chof Chydymgais / Welsh Memory Championship

'm hovercraft ydy llonaid chan llyswennod. I have returned from the land of bilingual traffic signs and train station announcements after a very fun weekend! Ai Ddeudais caech a 'n arddun chorff , afaelech 'i rhago? Wales is certainly an interesting place to visit, and it's funny that I've never found a reason to do it before now. Dwi na 'n bellach heintiedig. The first-ever Welsh memory championship was a big success, even attracting three Welsh competitors (as many UK competitors who turned up for the first UK championship) as well as six outsiders. 'm ddidennau chwala ag ddifyrra! And I did rather better than I'd expected to do, which is reassuring!

It's great to be officially back in the memory-competition season! Ringland Community Centre, near Newport, welcomed a posse of new and old memorisers - a Welsh Team made up of old hand James Paterson, newbie Carl Griffin and new-to-competitions-but-not-to-memorising-cards John Burrows; an English Team of me, Katie Kermode and Ameel Hoque; and a Foreigners Team of Dagfinn Hammar (Norway), Idriz Zogaj (Albanio-Sweden) and Conor Muldoon (Ireland). Plus an all-important organising and arbiting team of Dai, Dai's dad and neighbour Sian, Phil, Warren and (Ameel's girlfriend who mentioned during one conversation that nobody ever spells her name right but who for some reason I didn't ask to tell me the correct spelling, so if this is right I'll be very surprised) Dionne.

I haven't got the final results to hand, so can only rely on my memory, but we started off with a new world record in the 5-minute words, from Katie of course, with 109 (or something close to it). I think that was the only world record of the day, I certainly wasn't up to speed enough to set one, unless there was one in the names and faces right at the end (we did that discipline last, unusually, for technical reasons - the papers needed to be printed out during the competition). I got an 82 in the words, which I was entirely happy with. I moved into the lead after discipline two, 5-minute binary, with a pretty impressive 840, and I think held on to it all the way through from then on. Throughout the competition, I was some distance away from my best, but not as far off as I'd thought I would be - my brain was running slower than it does when I've been training, and I was completely burnt out by the end of the day, but I posted quite acceptable scores in nearly everything.

Katie was a fairly comfortable second place - she's the top contender for next-new-British-World-Champion at the moment, unless she forgets everything during the general excitement of having a baby in August - and Ameel and James were fighting it out all the way through for third, with Ameel ending up on top. Hooray for Team England!

Dai provided floor-space (and even bed-space for me! I'm privileged, on account of I'm the world champion, you see), food, drink and fun for everyone, and organised a cracking weekend. Book your tickets for the next one, this time next year!


Florian Dellé said...

Sounds like an amazing weekend. I really wish I could have been there to write live about the championship. But I had to work and my new website is too young to have it planned months ago.

But I promise a better work from myself and visit as many championships all over the world as possible in the future.

Poor Dai is totaly exhausted and couldn't even send me proper details for the review article.

But anyway: Great work everyone!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all the arbiters and The World Memory Sports Council for all the help.

Also Ben for lending us the official Speedstack timers.

Thanks to all the competitors for coming as well. I'm glad everyone enjoyed it :-)

The Welsh Open Memory Championships 2010 will be on March 27th next year at the same venue:


08.45 Meet at Venue
09.00 5 Min Random Words 10 Min Recall
09.30 5 Min Binary 15 Min Recall
10.00 5 Min Names 15 Min Recall
10.30 15 Min Numbers 30 Min Recall

12. 30 Lunch

13.30 5 Min Numbers 15 Min Recall
14.00 15 Min Images 30 Min Recall
15.00 5 Min Historic 15 Min Recall
15.30 Spoken 100 5 Min Recall
16.00 Spoken 200 10 Min Recall
16.30 5 Min Cards 5 Min Recall
17.00 5 Min Cards 5 Min Recall

18.00 Get together

The host of the venue also deserves great thanks for guarding the door for eleven hours to prevent anyone coming in and making any sound !
Thanks Frank

Ringland Community Centre
NP19 9PS

If you would like to attend next years event you can e-mail me at:

or on Facebook Events at:

Dai Griffiths