2016 USA Memory Championship

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#1 20 April, 2016 - 07:05
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2016 USA Memory Championship


I guess we'll be getting a new USA Champion this year! It won't be me, haha!

Does anyone here know how you take the Poetry test? Do you type it into a computer on a keyboard, or write it out by hand? If by hand, is printing preferred, as I don't trust my cursive to be legible anymore. Also, is there anything we should bring? Pencils, pens, cards, etc. The website doesn't seem to address this.

21 April, 2016 - 10:24
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I think that it's all on paper. I'm not sure if people bring their own cards.

21 April, 2016 - 11:35
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Tracym don't say that! You can be the champion but first you must believe it. I believe you can do it. Just do your training.

You have to write the poem out by hand and I would suggest doing it in print. You don't want someone to think a letter is another letter.

You don't need to bring anything but you can bring your cards to so can warm up and such. But they give you paper and pens.

21 April, 2016 - 15:55
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Is anyone staying at the Hershey Lodge the night before? I would enjoy meeting anyone on this forum who is going to the USAMC.

Does anyone know the typical order that the memory events occur?

21 April, 2016 - 17:02
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I'm staying at the nearby Days Inn, but I'm not getting there until late Friday night. I'd love to hang out with folks after the competition, though.

21 April, 2016 - 17:15
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Hope you all do great :) The order is always N&F, 5 minute Numbers, Poem, and Speed Cards.

A quick note: Don't forget capitalization and punctuation in the Poem! It helps to have an image system for the various punctuation marks (Nelson does this quite well). Last year I wrote like 250 points down but forgot a bunch of punctuation marks, so my score got docked to 178.

30 April, 2016 - 10:52
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I'm thinking about maybe making the trip from Montreal to the USA Memory Championships next week. I don't have a car and it includes a little too much traveling and hosting expenses for a one day event where I can't even compete, but it would be more affordable if I could find a ride from New York or Albany and maybe split the cost of 2 bed hotel room the night before. I'm writing this here just in case.

5 May, 2016 - 11:32
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Is there another competition somewhere else this weekend? Alex is the only one from last year's top 8 that is coming this year.

I do this just for fun so I don't put a lot of practice time in, but I might actually have a shot at making the finals with so many top competitors missing (finished 26th and 23rd my first 2 years). Only 4 people who finished ahead of me last year will be there. I've never even practiced the championship round events. Yikes, now I'm nervous.

5 May, 2016 - 11:44
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I knew that Nelson was not coming because he's in the Himalayas making an assault on Mt. Everest, and Everett had hinted in a post he wasn't coming. Maybe the other athletes are saving their efforts and travel expenses for the XMT and the US Memory Open. I thought for sure Livan would be coming because he gets an automatic bye into the finals. Maybe the list they published was just incomplete.

5 May, 2016 - 13:35
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@Kiko - do you have a list of the competitors that you can send me? Thanks. I'm sure you'll do great!

@Tracy - Yeah, I didn't train at all this last year so I thought it probably wouldn't be worth the time and money... Are you competing?

5 May, 2016 - 13:41
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@Everett - Yeah, I'm competing. Sorry to miss you, though. Also, the participant list is part of that document called "2016 Program" that is now available on the USA Memory Championship's website, http://www.usamemorychampionship.com/.

5 May, 2016 - 16:29
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Nice! Hope you do well. Yeah, maybe next year if I train more. Thanks for the link!

6 May, 2016 - 18:48
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7 May, 2016 - 11:20
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Alex with the World Record in Speed Cards!! :D Hope it counts!

7 May, 2016 - 12:32
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I wish that there were more updates. Here are Alex's new records so far:

  • US numbers: 483 digits
  • Speed cards: 18.653 seconds
7 May, 2016 - 14:45
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Well that was humbling. Alex, as expected, dominated, although Brad Sundstrom gave him a run for his money during the Double Deck O' Fun, taking him to around 70-75 cards. In addition to Alex's records mentioned above, young Katherine He scored an out of this world 335 or so in poetry. I think Alex's scores in poetry were around 240, and he won the Names & Faces event with 170.

I had performance anxiety like you would not believe. After getting a decent 102 in Names and Faces, during speed numbers I just froze, sort of dumbly looking at those numbers which back home come so easily. I creaked out 60, barely. In the second attempt, I tried for 80, but blanked on a locus and couldn't come up with it, so 60 was my score there. Speed cards was a disaster. I guess I should have practiced with real cards, because I totally bungled the reassambly order during recall, getting a whopping TWO in the first round, then in the second round switching two images on my fifth locus, ending up with an incredible EIGHT. I don't even want to talk about poetry. Suffice to say, I finished 35th out of the 54 contestants. But I had fun, met some fantastic people, and would love to practice and try to do this again.

8 May, 2016 - 09:26
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It was nice meeting you yesterday Tracy (this is Kyle by the way, which isn't evident from my username :-) ). I wouldn't put too much weight on your performance with it being your first year. Consider it a learning experience.

Alex's results were incredible. If anyone finds video of his speed card memorization, please post a link. Also, Katherine memorized the entire poem. Who knows, maybe she would have gotten an even higher score if there were more points available (longer poem, longer lines, more punctuation). Incredible memory feats!

8 May, 2016 - 10:25
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Here are the memorization and recall.

8 May, 2016 - 15:46
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9 May, 2016 - 10:33
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It was great meeting you, too. It's always great to have someone to talk baseball with!

9 May, 2016 - 11:13
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I was following along online with the competition and I must say it sounds like it was a fun one! I do regret not going due to work obligations, but I noticed, Lance, Nelson, Johnny, and Everett were not in attendance either so I guess I wasn't the only one.

Tracy - That anxiety is exactly what I felt the first year too. At home I was doing a deck in 45 seconds and the day of I had to review it a second time because I was so nervous and ended up with 1:22. The only way to get over it is to do more competitions, at least that was the case for me. In Sweden I had to sit next to Yanjaa and Jonas Von Essen so as you can image speed cards was intimidating but what I did was waiting for them to finish their runs before I started mine, that meant I wasn't worried about their times, or them slamming their hands down and distracting me. Can anyone tell me what the 2nd fastest CARD time was, and who was 2nd place for SPEED NUMBERS? I am more interested in the GAP between Alex and others. Thanks!

L

9 May, 2016 - 17:54
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@Memory-Magician: Brad Sundstrom did 202 in Speed Numbers, and I'm fairly certain he was in second place there. For Speed Cards, I think he told me he did about 1:52, and I THINK he was the second fastest there, as well. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't have such a good memory. :-)

9 May, 2016 - 11:32
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Wow Nice! Brad is the 5th American to break the 200 digit mark! :) Thanks for the update Tracy.

10 May, 2016 - 08:36
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10 May, 2016 - 15:01
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For anyone interested, I wrote a blog recapping this year's competition. Didn't get a chance to meet everyone, but nice to meet new faces (Tracy, Kyle) and see old ones again!

21 May, 2016 - 21:31
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More coverage from yesterday:
http://www.timesnews.net/Local/2016/05/21/Kingsport-resident-competes-in...

Thanks for mentioning ArtOfMemory.com! :)

1 June, 2016 - 21:20
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