Boo, Bahrain lost their all-important game against New Zealand. That's probably a bad omen, but it would have to be a bad omen for memory competitions in general rather than for me in particular, and since it's unquestionably worse for the mind sport of memory to have the same old boring world champion win it again, I'm taking this as a good omen for me.
Plus my brother emailed to say he's arrived safely in Harbin, China and is settling in nicely, and that's something that's been concerning me just slightly in amongst all this memorising, so that's a good omen too. And just for me, not for any of the others, because few if any of them have even met my brother.
Anyway, I ended up with 22 packs of cards when we got the results this morning, and Hannes got something like 15½, or maybe it was 17½, I don't know. Go and check memory-sports.com or worldmemorychampionship.com. What this meant was that I'm 89 championship points behind Hannes, and about 350 ahead of Gunther in third place.
This morning we had random words, in which I fervently hope I got all 187 words I attempted right. Hannes reckons he might have got 210. And then spoken numbers, in which I think I got 135, and Hannes something a bit less than that. So there are various permutations, but what it's going to all boil down to is of course the final discipline, Speed Cards. It's great when a memory championship ends like that. Except that this means there's a sporting chance that I'll make a mess of everything and maybe not even finish in the top five or six. Still, fingers crossed, eh?
This morning, while we were waiting for the start, I looked around me and wrote what I could see:
Gunther makes sure his little German flag (with eagle) is standing up on his desk, while his juggling balls sit next to it. Simon has a big green pepper on his (during the morning, he munched his way through a green one and an orange one - presumably the red one is for the afternoon). Ruiqiao is late (lateness in the morning is his 'thing', obviously). Boris has his printed plan for the competition (what score to attempt in each discipline, what result would be good, acceptable or great and what total scores that would give him...) Cornelia's desk is cluttered with jacket, bottles of water, carrier bag and little cuddly lobster. Hannes has a sandwich, bag of some kind of snack food and lots of apple juice. I've just got my hat, watch and a bottle of water on mine.