Saturday, October 25, 2014
Another extremey update
I should address this now, before anyone gets some funny ideas. Obviously there is a lot of money at stake here, and having a qualifying round online is going to bring up all sorts of questions and concerns for most serious competitors. Specifically with regards to cheating.
But rest assured. First of all, all online submissions must be accompanied by a video. The requirements will be EXTREMELY strict (continuous filming, no cuts or edited segments, shot at a specific angle, with certain things that must be in view of the shot, etc.). Any case that is questionable or leaves us unsure, will be disqualified. Obviously there will be some level of subjectivity. The judging committee will be made up of a few of us who are organizing the event (we are all very involved in the memory world and know what's up), and we will always hold the right to reject, question, re-try, accept anyone we choose (if you don't like that, then you don't have to compete, simple enough). The goal is to be as fair as possible, obviously. But we are going to look at every case with the same amount of care as any other. For example, If we've never heard of you and you come in with an absolutely crazy amazing score, you bet your butt we are going to look into that very carefully. But also, if you're the World Memory Champion and you hit a world record, we will equally look into that as well. That's not to say we will assume it's cheating, but we will make sure it is legit as best as we can so that every one has an equally fair chance of making it into the 2015 XMT.
So there you have it. While this is supposed to be a fun and exciting competition amongst competitors who are passionate about memory sports, a day will come when someone wants to cheat their way to victory. Yes, this competition has rules and regulations, but it's still relatively "mom and pop" run. Simon Orton and I (Nelson Dellis) created this thing and will NOT stand for cheating.
So let that be a warning to you all (imagine me waggling my finger sternly at this point).
For the avoidance of doubt, I wasn't at all saying that any of my memory friends and loyal blog-readers would even consider cheating in my last blog entry! Anyway, I like this strictness, it gets my whole-hearted approval. I also want to try the qualifiers as well, even if I don't have to, so I'll try to dig out my old video camera and see if I can get it to work.
Other Extreme things that have occurred to me - in this year's competition, we had twelve matches each in the group stage; in the new format it'll be twenty. That's quite a bit of brain-strain for one day, even if the matches are just one minute of memory and four minutes of recall - will we see the best results at the start and competitors will burn out later on, or will we warm up to the task and be flying through the memorisation at record pace by the end of the day?
I didn't mention the new prize money distribution before, but that's very nice, and reduces the amount of money that one person can grab all for themselves by being better than everyone else (this is good news for everyone except Simon, obviously). $100 for each match won is an especially nice touch - will it reduce the incentive to try for a world record if you've already qualified for the knockout phase? Probably not, knowing memory people. We're not the type to go for a 'safe' hundred dollars and give up the chance of two thousand, especially since that comes with the accolade of having the best result.
And the inclusion of a knockout 'round of 16' is awesome, meaning that twice as many people get the fun of an Extreme Memory Task! With the top two in each group and also the four best third-place-finishers all qualifying, that should reduce the 'group of death' factor and make it less likely that someone really good will be narrowly edged out...