Despite setbacks and challenges, 2017 is on track to be the most successful year for the Mind Sport of Memory. New memory groups, new competitors, new countries, and championships are all contributing to a surge of interest in the sport. This, coupled with the growing prize funds for competitions make this the best time to take up the sport.
The highlight of the year will be the staging of the 26th World Memory Championships in China with an amazing prize fund of $100,000 USD. In previous years we have relied on our local sponsors to follow the detailed guidelines for the running of the event and provide an agreed minimum specification. There have been a number of recent instances where we have been let down, and promises left unfulfilled. We cannot allow this to happen again.
That is why we are so looking forward to this year’s WMC which is being organised to a very high level by the WMSC President for the Asia Pacific Region David Zhang. David has demonstrated a high commitment to excellence with the recent Asia Pacific Memory Championships; the Hong Kong Open Memory Championships and the 8th Indian Memory Championships. Supported by a great team in the China Memory Sports Council, David is bringing the Sport of Memory to a whole new level.
Throughout the year we have seen successful competitions held around the world.
In March there was the successful Fifth Italian Open Memory Championships in Milan organised by Matteo Salvo and supervised by Chief Arbiter Phil Chambers. A great start to the year.
Also in March were the 6th Algerian Memory Championships very professionally organised by Dr Riadh Bensaoucha with 49 competitors and 25 arbiters
The new Asia Pacific Open Memory Championships caused a great stir with $40,000 as a prize fund and an impressive 168 competitors. The event was opened by Malaysian Princess Tengu Faizwa Razif.
In the USA we congratulate Dave Farrow on his USA Memory Championships which were sponsored by EBAY and located in their offices.
In August the 3rd Egyptian Memory Championships took place in Cairo organised by Dr Riadh Bensaoucha in a prestigious location.
Also in August, Eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien made a welcome return to competitive memory at the Pan European Memory Championships in London proving that age is no barrier to memory achievements.
Then in Hong Kong, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its return to the motherland, Karen Cheung, the President of the Hong Kong Memory Sports Council, organised a highly successful Hong Kong Open Memory Championship with a prize fund of HK$200,000. The competition was supervised by eight-time World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien. The event was conducted under WMSC rules but used a new 6 discipline format. Congratulation to Su Ze He for achieving a record time of 20.233 seconds in the Speed Cards Discipline. The fastest time to date.
Following this great achievement, Sqn Leader Jayasimha organised the largest national memory championships ever in Hyderabad with an amazing 345 competitors on October 15th. Prince Moshin Ali Khan of Hyderabad was due to travel to open the event but sadly ill health prevented this. He did however send a video of good wishes to the competitors.
The Worldwide Memory family
We would like to welcome new memory groups and organisations in Brazil, France, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nigeria, USA, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
One of our biggest challenges has been to update the World Memory Statistic Database. The sheer volume of data that needs to be used to calculate results and rankings is growing every month. A new platform and server were required. This transfer to our new server was not without its problems and meant that we were unable to update the statistics in our usual timely manner. The good news is the Official WMSC World Rankings are now up to date. We would like to thank Jennifer Goddard, Phil Chambers, and Emma Fletcher for making this possible.
Let me remind everyone, only results of official WMSC competitions can be included in the World Rankings – where have the achievements of all our competitors over the past 26 years can be compared. Why go to all the trouble to compete in a competition and not be in the official world rankings? Only the WMSC Rankings carry the latest ranked positions.
Thanks to the efforts of David Zhang and his talented team in the Memory Sports Council of China, we are about to enjoy the benefits of a new training resource for competitors. At the WMC in Singapore, David shared a beta version of the WMSC Memory Training APP which, at that time, was only available on Android tablets. The good news is that, following the beta testing phase, the APP is about to be released on the IOS platform as well. It will be unveiled at the 26th WMC in December.
Despite the huge investment that has been made in the development of this powerful memory training tool, it will be offered to competitors as a FREE GIFT. We are hugely grateful to David Zhang for making this possible.
We would also like to pay tribute to all those organisations who have seen the benefit of investing in the Mind Sport of Memory as sponsors. Around the world educators teach pupils what to learn. They do not teach them how to learn it. What is lacking is the teaching of the simple memory techniques used by memory competitors. It is the vision of the WMSC to inspire teachers to learn these techniques and to pass them on in the classroom. Competitive memory makes learning these techniques fun and provides recognition for memory achievements. That is why the introduction of Memory Clubs in a school can be so effective.
We see this as a global opportunity to make a significant difference to a new generation of students, who will take these skills with them as they enter professions and careers in the future. This is a massive task which can only be achieved with the support of businesses, governments and individuals who share this vision.
Working with the Brain Trust Charity around the world, we invite everyone to support this important work.