European Open Memory Championship 2017

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Dates: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017 to Monday, August 21, 2017
Competition Format: 
Foreigners allowed to compete?: 
Yes

It's a two-day, international-standard event held as part of the Mind Sports Olympiad: http://www.msoworld.com/

The competition will be made up of three 'modules' - people can enter just one if they like (a lot of Mind Sports Olympiad competitors like to take part in as many different mind sports as possible over the week of the MSO) or all three if they want to compete in the overall memory championship standings.

The venue is JW3, a community centre in central London: http://www.msoworld.com/venue/

Entry fee for the memory competition is £35 (made up of £15 for the 'marathon memory' module and £10 each for the other two). It's also possible to pay an all-week MSO fee (£120) to compete in everything else if you want - I recommend that, it's a lot of fun!

Competition details/schedule as follows (world records correct as of a couple of months ago - there have been some improvements since then!)

The two-session event on the 20th will be "Marathon Memory" - test your endurance, memorising a huge amount of information in 30-minute bursts! Three disciplines here, each with 30 minutes' memorisation time followed by 60 minutes of recall (recall is done by writing down on paper).
1) Binary digits - 1s and 0s, a lot of them, arranged in rows of 30; score 30 points for a row correctly recalled, 15 for a row with one error, 0 for a row with two or more mistakes or blanks. The world record is a mind-blowing 5040 digits.
2) Decimal digits - numbers from 0 to 9, this one in rows of 40; score 40 points for a row correctly recalled, 20 for a row with one error, 0 for a row with two or more mistakes or blanks. World record is 1800 digits.
3) Cards - decks of 52 cards; score 52 for a correctly recalled deck, 26 for a deck with one mistake, 0 for a deck with two or more mistakes. World record 17 decks and 4 cards!

[We'll fit the first two in a morning session, then have lunch, then announce the scores so far and do the final one in the afternoon]

One-session event for the morning of the 21st is "Natural Memory" - these are the disciplines where the memory experts don't have such an advantage; it's harder to adapt memory techniques to this kind of thing. The first two have 15 minutes' memorisation time and 30 minutes to recall; "Images" is five minutes to memorise, fifteen to recall.
1) Words - a list of random words (mostly nouns, but with a few stranger ones thrown in), arranged in columns of 20; score 20 for a column completely recalled, 10 for a column with one mistake, 0 for a column with two or more. World record is 300 words!
2) Names and faces - photos of faces, each with a first and last name underneath. The names will be an international representation, they could come from anywhere in the world. You then get the faces back in a different order, and have to fill in the names. One point for a correct first name, one point for a correct last name - simple as that. World record is 187 names.
3) Images - random pictures, presented in rows of five - you need to remember the order they come in. You get the images back with each row shuffled into a different order and have to fill in the numbers 1 to 5 to show the order they were originally in. Five points for a correct row, but minus one point for any row with an error (so no guessing!)

And the afternoon of the 21st gives us "Speed Memory" - a miscellany of memory disciplines involving fast-paced, short-term memory.
1) Historic dates - a list of years (between 1000 and 2100) with a description of a fictional event alongside each. You have five minutes to remember the year of each event, then you're given the events back in a different order, and have 15 minutes to fill in the year they "happened" in. One point for a correct date, minus half a point for an incorrect one. World record here is 132 points.
2) Spoken numbers - listen to a long decimal number, spoken at the rate of one digit every second, and try to remember the whole thing. There are three attempts at this, with the highest score of the three being your score for this discipline - the first trial has 200 digits, the second 300 and the third 500. Recall time is 10, 15 and 25 minutes respectively, but the scoring is tough - you get a point for every digit you recall, but only up to your first mistake. One wrong answer, and anything you write down beyond that counts for nothing! World record is 456 digits.
3) Five-minute numbers - numbers from 0 to 9, this one in rows of 40; recall on paper, score 40 points for a row correctly recalled, 20 for a row with one error, 0 for a row with two or more mistakes or blanks. You have five minutes to memorise, and fifteen minutes to recall. We do two trials, and your higher score of the two counts. World record here is 520 digits.
4) Speed cards - a single deck of cards, and you have a maximum of five minutes to memorise it. But you can stop your clock at any time if you've got the whole pack memorised! You then have five minutes to rearrange another, unshuffled, deck into the same order as the one you memorised. World record is an amazing 19.41 seconds!

Each discipline has a score that equates to 1000 championship points; for example the 1000-point standard of names and faces is 170 points; a competitor who gets 85 points will score 500 championship points, and so on. Each of the three memory modules will have an individual winner, but if you add the scores for all three together, we get the overall MSO Memory Champion!

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