Sunday, April 12, 2015

Let's get extreme!

The most exciting part of the Extreme Memory Tournament that happens in advance (except for the qualifying competition) happens on Wednesday 15th, at 12 noon EST, which means 5pm here in Britain! It's the draw for the groups, and I would really prefer not to end up in the most horrifyingly difficult group again, if it can possibly be avoided...

So here's how it works. The names are in four pots, and I'm in pot 2:

1. Simon Reinhard
2. Johannes Mallow
3. Jonas Von Essen
4. Mark Anthony Castaneda
5. Christian Schaffer
6. Ola Kare Risa

7. Ben Pridmore
8. Boris Konrad
9. Johannes Zhou
10. Yanjaa Altansuh
11. Enhkjin Tumur
12. Johann Randall Abrina

13. Enkhumnkh Erdenebatkhaan
14. Annalena Fischer
15. Tsogobadrakh Saikhanbayar
16. Anne Reulke
17. Lance Tschirhart
18. Tuuruul Myagmarsuren

19. Alexander Mullen
20. Marwin Wallonius
21. Marlo Knight
22. Akjol Syeryekkhaan
23. Katie Kermode
24. Johnny Briones

Now, being in the second pot isn't so bad, because it means I don't get put in the same group as Boris, Johannes Z or Yanjaa, who are all experts at what Alex Mullen called 'nards', meaning 'names and words'. As an aside, that's not a good thing to call names and words. Not when 'numbers and cards' is another combination that people talk about. Let's call them 'nurds' instead; that should remove any possible confusion.

Pot one contains reigning champion and hot favourite Simon, who I would really prefer to avoid at all costs. It does include last year's 4th-placer Mark Anthony, who looks the most tempting prospect, for all that he did so well last time round. I'm fairly sure I can beat him if things go well, and finishing first in the group would give a big advantage when it comes to the knockout rounds.

Pot three contains a selection of scary Mongolians, who are more of an unknown quantity to me than the Europeans and so make me nervous with their occasional extremely good scores in numbers and cards. Tsogbadrakh, though, I know to be someone who concentrates on numbers more than anything else, and Tuuruul hasn't competed very much lately. Enkhmunkh is the one who's most worrying of the three, with his cards expertise; but Lance is concerning too, just because he's the kind of person who could pull an amazing performance out of nowhere. Hard to say which of them is the group-of-deathiest. The undeathiest in the pot would probably be Anne, though nothing's ever easy here.

Pot four, on the other hand, has the name of Katie jumping out at me. Just like with James Paterson last year, she's the big nurds expert in the bottom six, and I really want to avoid her. Marwin is improving a lot too, and he's got the advantage of having been there last year. I would say my preferred opponent out of those six is Alex - excellent memoriser and all-round-nice-guy though he is, I see him as someone who's not quite up to my level yet in all the disciplines (except names, of course).

So, the Group of Death that I really don't want to end up facing: Simon, me, Lance, Katie. Group of Life: Mark, me, Anne, Alex. Let's just see how it goes...


Simon Orton said...

Love it. Yes, "nurds" will definitely not confuse things further :)

Here's the date and time of the draw around the world.

Christian said...

Aren't you in pot 1? You got 2 points in the Quarter Finals, Ola got only 1 point. So you should be on position 6, I think...

Zoomy said...

I agree, actually, but there are plenty of different ways to work it out, and I think they've gone with one that puts me in 7th...