I didn't mention that an added bonus of this trip to Munich was having my brain MRI-scanned by Boris and his team of German mad scientists. They've now added my brainwaves to their collection of memory athletes, and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they successfully create a super-brain that will take over the planet Earth.
If anyone's keeping track, this means that my brain has now been scanned by scientists in Japan, the USA and Germany. Does nobody in Britain care what's inside my head? It's quite fascinating in there, I'm sure.
Anyway, the sideshow to this science was the second day of our friendly gathering to test our memories - or, rather, to see how out of practice we all were, because it's safe to say that nobody was setting the world alight with amazing feats here. I did do a pack of cards in 26.53 seconds and, more importantly, recall it with great ease - most of the time when I'm under 30 seconds it's a huge mental struggle. Hopefully this will happen more often in real memory competitions, although actually it might be more rewarding if I'm racking my brains for five minutes and only sorting the last cards into order in the last half-second.
The time (measured in the old-fashioned way with arbiters with stopwatches, since we hadn't brought enough speed stacks timers) was too slow, though - I got mentally 'stuck' on at least one image for a couple of all-important seconds, aiming for a time a bit under 25. This meant, for what it's worth, that Hannes won with a score of 6060 and I came second with 5999. By way of comparison, Wang Feng just amply demonstrated why he's the world champion with a score of something like 8477. That's what happens when you're at a real world championship instead of a last-minute unofficial get-together, as well as when you're much better at memorising things than I am. Congratulations to him, and here's hoping that next year I'll be in a position to challenge him (there's no point putting it off any more - I've got to create that 10,000 image system for numbers. I don't think I'm ever going to get over 2000 with my current one, and scores way above 2500 are rapidly becoming the norm...)