Friday, October 17, 2014

Ultimate Master of Memory

There's a sort of wild discussion going on at the Facebook world memory championship group at the moment about the sheer volume of people who can call themselves "World Memory Champion" or the like, and what to do about it. Without wanting to jump in and derail the conversation , I thought I'd blog about what seems to me the main problem - people keeping old titles forever, even if they're not relevant any more.

I've always said that people shouldn't still be called 'Grand Master of Memory' if they qualified for the title in one of the old ways that doesn't even get you more than a little pat on the back nowadays, scores having improved so much. But then, I've always disliked the kind of person who comes to memory competitions just in order to get the easiest possible "official" title and then uses it for their career as a dubiously-qualified motivational speaker or life coach. Really, if I had my way I'd scrap the whole 'grand master' thing - there are lots of mind sports out there where the only title to strive towards is world/national champion, and having this subordinate level of grandness just encourages the wannabe-millionaire-businessman type to come to our nice competitions (as opposed to the nothing-better-to-do-with-their-time memory competition enthusiast, who should be encouraged hugely, of course).

I also don't call myself a World Memory Champion, by the way. If pushed, I'm a former World Memory Champion who isn't all that good any more. I say, current achievements in the last twelve months should be all that counts for any "official" accolades.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Old age

I'm pretty sure I never expected in my wildest dreams to be thirty-eight. I'm really not sure what to do about it now...

Monday, October 13, 2014

The fields of England

The announcer on the train has just said, about half a dozen times, that the next stop is Duffield. It's actually Dronfield, but it's an understandable mistake, since this line goes through all the Fields on its way up north - Duffield (though it never stops there), Chesterfield, Dronfield and Sheffield.

One day, I'll find the time to look up what the Duff, Chester, Dron and Sheff mean...

Memories of China

Well, I've booked my flights to China in December, so it's official, I'm going to the World Memory Championship. I would really like to be able to do some training before then, so we'll just have to see what happens, but everyone should set a reminder in their new-fangled electronic diaries or file-o-faxes for December 11-13 and keep tabs of what's happening to me, British team-mates Phill and Jake (now I'm singing the Adventure Time song) and the rest of the world's competitors. My metaphorical money's on Simon Reinhard.