Sorry I haven't blogged for the last few days - I've been either wallowing in clinical depression or just being lazy, I'm not quite sure which, and haven't been getting anything done.
But anyway, Yuan Wenkui has kindly sent me the full results from the Chinese Memory Championship, and it makes interesting reading. The Chinese, in a very sensible policy that other countries should adopt, have a national championship in exactly the same format as the world championship, so it's easy to see who's on form and likely to do well in December.
The only world-championship-threatening score was from Wang Feng, who won comfortably with 7723 points (ever-so-slightly worse than my winning scores in 2008 and 2009 but better than anyone else has ever done, I think) - his closest rival was Yuan, more than two thousand points behind. The likes of Su Ruiqiao (who, even though he finished behind Wang at last year's WMC, I tend to think of as the biggest danger) don't seem to have been there.
Although it's hard to be 100% certain who was there, because the results spreadsheet and website, naturally enough, use Chinese characters, and I can't find a website that translates Chinese names into the Roman alphabet. So I used a couple of online translators designed for translating text, which naturally render any Chinese name that's also a common word as that word rather than the name. One competitor is apparently called either 'front blue' or 'Blue expensive', while another is 'the week presently to advocate' or 'Zhou is now the main', depending on which translation service you use. The entrant who one translator sensibly calls Fang Zijie is called 'prescription outstanding' by the other. Still, I managed to work out who all the top competitors really are without too much trouble.
Anyway, Wang Feng (who is young, handsome, cool and would be adored by the Chinese media if he does win the world championship in December) was apparently satisfied with his performance in everything except the hour-long marathons. He was aiming for a world record in hour numbers but only ended up with 1480 (which is exactly the kind of thing that I always do, too), and attempted 22 packs of cards but finished up with 15½. These are both perfectly acceptable scores, especially the hour numbers, but we can probably safely assume that he could do better. In binary he got 3048, which is significant because few people get over 3000, for some reason; in names he got 99, which is of course better than I ever get (and judging by the relatively low scores, the names and faces weren't particularly easy ones); 249 in images, 340 in speed numbers, 70 in dates, 132 in words, 136 in spoken numbers - a very consistently good performance all round - and finished with a flourish with 25.73 seconds in speed cards!
This is the kind of performance that I can beat if, and only if, I'm at my very best. And, as I keep whining, I'm nowhere near my very best at the moment. If I can buckle down and do some really heavy training from now until December, then it's possible, but I'd have to work really, really, really hard at it. So let's see how I get on...
No, that sounds too negative. Positive thinking from this moment on! I WILL do lots of training this weekend, and I'll tell you all about it in my blog!