2016 XMT Discussion

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#1 11 January, 2016 - 20:20
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

2016 XMT Discussion

Who here is going to the 2016 Extreme Memory Tournament? Are you planning to compete? (The qualifiers are happening now.)

What are your predictions for competitors and winners?

I'll be down there as a spectator, so if you're going, we'll be able to meet there. :)

12 January, 2016 - 09:20
Joined: 2 years 3 months ago

Alex Mullen, Lance Tschirhart, Marwin Wallonius, Simon Reinhard, or Johannes Mallow I think would be considered favorites.

12 January, 2016 - 10:00
Joined: 4 years 7 months ago

I'd say Marwin, but I imagine Simon and Hannes will put up a good fight.

20 January, 2016 - 07:47
Joined: 2 years 6 months ago

The second week of XMT qualifying is well under way. Performances on cards were ridiculously good - 24 competitors posted a time under a minute, which is staggering. 24 people memorising a deck under a minute!!! Congrats to all those who broke that magical one minute barrier.
I'm far down the league table after my cards performance (22 cards in a minute - round about 2 min 30 pace for a deck, which is about my average...). Did somewhat better on images, managing a recall of the 30 images in order in around 30 seconds. For this image event, I place 3 images in a location, interacting, in a way suggested by the images as they come up.
I don't harbour serious hopes of qualifying this year, but am wondering what scores it will take to get in the top 16 for each event, and what overall score might get you to San Diego?
On cards, the 16th placed competitor this year (excluding those who've pre-qualified) was Purevjav Erdenesaikhan who scored 60 points with 38.72 seconds.
On images, last year, 16th place came in with a recall of 31 seconds. Assuming a 10% overall improvement in average times this year, this would suggest round about 27/28 seconds will get you in the top 16. The big difference this year, is that would score around 50 points rather than 110 last year. The world record for this event is Enkhjin Tumur's 14.4 seconds...it ha taken me longer to write these last 10 words!
Names and Faces - as Ben has blogged already - perhaps this is the year that someone will get 30 on names and faces? With the record set at 28, anyone who does get through perfectly in under a minute can potentially score big in this event. Last year, 16th place got 18 names right. I estimate that it will be 21 this year, which would bring in 75 points.
Numbers - 16th place last year came in with a time of 52 seconds (Annalena Fischer). Given the performances in cards this year, I'd think that the average time for the numbers event would come down a lot this year - to get in the top 16 you might need to pull in a time of below 40 seconds. With Johannes' WR set at 20 seconds, 40 secs would get you 50 points.
Finally, words. World record score is 49, which means, like names and faces, that anyone who can get the full 50, and stop the clock before the minute, can score big. 29 words last year would get you in the top 16, so lets say 35 words this year, which would give a points score of 71.
totting these up gives a total of 306 points. Add on maybe a 10% margin of error to this, and something like 335-340 points is a target to aim for to be sure of qualifying.
good luck to all those competing to qualify!

24 January, 2016 - 15:18
Joined: 4 years 7 months ago

That's a pretty good score on images, Chris.

I was *so* close to competing - and Nelson very nearly tipped me over the edge - but I'm so glad I didn't! :) The standard is just insane!

I wouldn't have been able to make it to the States anyway and Words is the only event I think I could have scored well in. Yet, it would have been good to be part of Team GB - if only so I could claim some of their glory!

25 January, 2016 - 06:59
Joined: 2 years 6 months ago

cheers Graham
I was pleased with 30 seconds - my best was 25 seconds in practice, but never with any consistency. Scores for images were quite compressed - Johannes Zhou came top with 18.75 secs. 16th place was just over 27 seconds...
Names and faces next up this week

you should register even just to do the words event in a couple of weeks!

9 February, 2016 - 13:09
Joined: 2 years 3 months ago

Lance is crushing it in the XMT qualifying so far. First place amongst all those not pre-qualified! Go, Lance!

14 February, 2016 - 18:43
Joined: 2 years 3 months ago

Congratulations to Lance Tschirhart and Johnny Briones on qualifying for the XMT, joining Alex Mullen to make up the USA contingent. Congratulations to all other qualifiers from all countries. Should be a great show!

15 February, 2016 - 14:36
15 February, 2016 - 17:02
Joined: 2 years 3 months ago

Amazing performances also from the Mongolian team!

16 February, 2016 - 02:30
Joined: 2 years 6 months ago

Big congratulations to all those who qualified and are heading for San Diego.
I'd encourage anyone on here to have a go next year. The one minute format really helps you stress-test any memory system and see whether it holds up at speed. That statement applies for as much for those memorising, say, a deck of cards in 20 seconds, as those who are aiming at 5 mins/10 mins for a deck.
cheers Chris

16 February, 2016 - 09:50
Joined: 4 years 11 months ago

Good point Chris. I agree that it's important to get your methods working at high speed, and low quantities are the best way to make valuable mistakes (those with identifiable causes) if you're moving at a speed that is fast enough to generate mistakes. Doing that for 5 minutes and memorizing 240/480 won't teach you anything, but getting 74/80 digits just might.

It's unfortunate that there is a sign up fee for XMT. It isn't at all unreasonable, and Nelson's a nice guy for making it as cheap as it is when he could easily charge more. It's only $25 for a full year and the chance to qualify, but that's $25 too much for people who don't intend to qualify. Fortunately you can mimic all of the disciplines in other ways and practice them with the XMT rules. The exception is XMT Images, which is fine because that is unlike any other discipline found elsewhere.

The formats of the disciplines on the XMT training site are squeeky clean though.

10 June, 2016 - 12:45
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

About this XMT 2016 competition:

The Competition will be a 2-day event on June 24th - 26th, 2016
held at the Dart Neuroscience Convention Center in San Diego, CA
sponsored by Dart Neuroscience and Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL)
offering money prizes from a pool of $75,000

A statistic to notice is that both previous winners of this competition were Germans:
Simon in 2014 and Johannes 2015. Also, Boris another German, reached the Final in '15.

The knock-out rounds after the groups, seem hard and exciting duels. I watched some of the XMT'15 finals in Youtube last year, and it seemed like a nice competition format for a memory sport.

The '1 minute only' format, reminds of the 'Bullet' format in Chess or maybe Calendar calculation (1 minute). This is not always enough time. But exciting, with all the time pressure.

From the best XMT scores in 2015, as an outsider, I find some scores outstanding:
Images: Tumur's 30 images in 14.4 seconds (!),
Numbers: Johannes' 80 (decimal) numbers in 21 seconds (!)
Cards: Simon's: All 52 correct in 23.3 seconds
Words: Boris' 47 words in 1 minute, (and Simon's 49 words in 2014)
Names: Simon's 28 names in 1 minute

These are official scores in the competition. I find especially the first 2 records (14.4" in images and 21" in numbers) to be super amazing performances, at least for me. So, I consider it will be hard for someone to break those 2 scores. But let's see.

About the Qualification and how it went

The Top-8 from XMT-2015, automatically qualified for XMT-16, specifically:
1. Johannes Mallow 2. Boris Konrad 3.Simon Reinhard 4.Alex Mullen
5. Katie Kermode 6. Christian Schäfer 7. Jonas von Essen 8. Enkhjin Tumur

#7 Jonas and #8. Enkhjin Tumur, both withdrew, as far as I am concerned.

The rest had to go through a 5-week qualification process, to find some additional 18 people who made it to the Top-Scores in the Qualifiers. These according to their rankings/best scores were:

1 Lance Tschirhart
2 Johannes Zhou
3 Marwin Wallonius
4 Yanjindulam Altansuh
5 Purevjav Erdenesaikhan
6 Tsetsegzul Zorigtbaatar
7 Shi Binbin
8 Anudari Adiyasuren
9 Bat-enkh Shijir-Erdene
10 Melanie Höllein
11 Sengesamdan Ulziikhutag
12 Ben Pridmore
13 Marlo Knight
14 Johnny Briones
and 4 more : Jan-Hendrik Brucher, Everett Chew, Wessel Sandtke
and Johann Randal Abrina (sorry if I made any spelling mistakes or mixed any rank order )

Then, all the 24 participants were drawn to 6 groups of 4. The exact groups are :


Group qualificiation. The first 2 from each group will qualify to the Top-16 Knock-Out phase, along with the 4 best of 3rd places in each group. (16= 2 x 6+ 4) .
(Btw, this qualification format (24, with 16 advancing) reminds me of the USA FIFA World Cup 1994, which had 24 teams. That was my country's Greece's first World Cup appearance, so I'll never forget that)

Anyway, good luck to everyone participating in XMT 2016 in 2 weeks. Very hard to make predictions this time. I have some acquaintances within those competitors, but I try to be objective, so the best and most prepared will probably win this event.

If there's a Youtube XMT livestream this year as well , I'll try to watch some of it, hopefully in Memory Sports Channel or any other similar channel


9 June, 2016 - 14:46
SR's picture
Joined: 6 years 1 month ago

Small correction:

"Words: Simon's 48 words in 1 minute, (and Simon's 49 words in 2014)"


And I agree that 14.4 s at the Images is a fantastic score but I honestly would not be surprised if all five of those records above were broken in 2016 by various people.

Thank you for the great summary, by the way.



10 June, 2016 - 14:45
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

Hello Simon. Yes, you are right. Your Word scores in both XMT '14 and '15 were the Top, and you won the words category both times, so congratulations for the performances !

But in my short review, I mentioned which scores I found the most outstanding according to my point of view. So I just mentioned your 49 score (from 2014) because it was better than your 48 (last year).

Obviously, your 48 word score from last year was still +1 better than the 47, which Boris did . But actually, I wanted to give a mention Boris as well, because he is lower ranked than you in the World Rankings, and because his 47 words, per se, was an outstandanding performance considering his lower rank than yours. (e.g. you're place 4th vs. Boris' place 15th)

You, Alex and Johannes are the best, so if you do around 50+ words per minute, that's not so much surprise, if instead someone else would break first that barrier. (e.g. Ben, Katie, Lance or Binbin). And yes, I agree with you, sooner or later, someone will break the 50+ barrier in Words. But the favourites to win right now , are either you, Johannes or Alex. Anyone else breaking first a score of 50+ in words will be a total surprise. But I'm not sure about the new Mongolian competitors though, because they seem to practice a lot, and they are always unpredictable.

I guess now, after your boycott of the WMC 2016 , there can be more time for such miscellaneous and different activities like XMT. Or even Memoriad, which has now included some new interesting tasks like number&shapes (I guess that task maybe similar to Ramon Campayo's Speed Memory Championship which features a similar number/shapes task).

Hopefully all memory community will endorse this fast XMT format in a few years, given that it's a new competition. Maybe there will be a seperate World Rankings List for such rapid contests , like it happens in chess, where there are now seperate world rankings for Blitz and Rapid . So, in the future if they will happen many fast contests like XMT , then a separate ranking list can be created, taking into consideration of all the previous rapid and speed memory results. (including Ramon Campayo's winning contests). I think that will be fair enough for everyone. This speed memory Recordholders page , at the moment, has just the world records (including 3 current WR of yours, Words in 5', Word in 15' and real Speed Cards) but it does not have not full rankings. So, essentially it just gives the most emphasis to the history and the timeline of each speed memory world record, but it does not list the actual current world rankings independently of rapid contests such as XMT. (which has its own rankings based only on past competitions). Recordholders does a good job, but like I said, it does not have all the details, like the current rankings, and focuses mainly just on the past records. On the other hand, the rankings in the disciplines of the World memory statistics are thorough and vast. But they don't yet have many details about speed memory, or the new 1 minute disciplines like those featured in XMT. (e.g. 1 minute words)

I hope you understand my points. Anyway, good luck guys in XMT'16 in California in 2 weeks and I hope to also see you folks in Las Vegas Memoriad '16 in 5 months , in order to defend our Olympic Medals and titles from Memoriad 2012 !!


11 June, 2016 - 21:52
Joined: 2 years 6 months ago

On Friday the 17th Florian Delle and Boris Konrad will be interviewing Nelson Dellis and discussing the upcoming XMT. For those of you who are not familiar with Florian's website it is www.memory-sports.com. You can tune in live and submit comments/questions during the interview.

12 June, 2016 - 06:06
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

Hi jwrig8,

Yes, Florian does a good job with all the interviews.

75000 $ prize is a lot, so it will be an interesting competition

I found the updated contest plan is here :
http://www.extremememorytournament.com/the-tournament/ (days 1, 2, 3)

I made a small analysis of all 3 days, and it seems to me that Day 2 is the hardest, and the day with the most potential hard match-ups:

Day 1: The Group Stage. 30 matches per group: 6 matches in all 5 categories. Total: 180 matches (5 groups) That's 15 matches per competitor.

Day 2: Knock-Out round (first to 4 wins, therefore maximum 7 matches) :

A. Round-of-16 (2 rounds of 4 matches). Obviously, those starting the 1st round, will have more time to rest. Total R16 maximum 7x8 = 56 matches

B. Quarter-Finals (all 4 matches start simultaneously). Total QF maximum 7x4 = 28 matches

C. Semifinals (both 2 matches start simultaneously). Total SF maximum: 2x7=14 matches

Day 2 maximum 8 x 7 + 4+7+ 2x7 = 98 matches. That's fewer than the 180 of Day 1. However, if hypothetically all R16, QF, SF go to 7 matches, that's 3x7=21 matches per competitor So, obviously, Day 2 is the most difficult day.

However, if someone in all rounds makes a "Sweep" 4-0 (as we call it Basketball) there could be a minimum of only 3x4 =12 matches per competitor who sweeps (4-0) easily all the knock-outs before the Final

Day 3: The Grand Finals (Best of 9) and the 3rd Place Match (Best of 9) Maximum 18 matches, and 9 per competitor. In case of 5-0 (Sweep) there can be minimum of 5 matches. Last year (2015) , 8 matches were needed in the final, since Johannes beat Boris 5-3.

Therefore for someone to win XMT, it's needed between :
Minimum: 15 matches (Day 1) + 12 matches (Day 2) + 5 matches (Day 3) = 32 matches
Maximum: 15 matches (Day 1) + 21 matches (Day 2) + 9 matches (Day 3) = 45 matches in total. So, if "x" is the number of games that the Finalists need to compete, then 32 < x < 45 minutes

Each of every task is 1 minute memorization and 4 minutes recall. So the pure XMT competition time is :
Total Memorization: between 32 minutes and 45 minutes .
Total Recall: between 4x32=128 minutes and 4x45=180 minutes
Total Time (Memorization+Recall) : between 32+128=160 minutes and 45+180=225 minutes

But as we all know, almost noone uses the whole 4 minutes for recalling. Most people just use only an average 1 additional minute for recall. So, if the memorization is between 32 minutes and 45 minutes, then assuming 1 extra minute only for recall, then you need another 32 minutes and 45 minutes for recalling, so in total is needed between 64 and 90 minutes (in all 3 days) But these are very rough and crude estimates.

But it's not bad hourly rate and working time for some who will get thousands of Dollars $$ in return for only about 2-3 hours of total pure mental work

The surprise XMT #1,#2,#3,#4,#5 tasks in the knock-out phase will make it even more interesting.

Less than 300 hours left now : http://xmtlive.com/#/home

21 June, 2016 - 14:19
Joined: 6 years 10 months ago

Just a reminder to everyone in this forum:

The 2016 XMT will take place this weekend starting Friday, June 24th-June 26th (8:30a-4:30p PT each day). For those in the San Diego area, all are welcome. Admission is free, just show up at:

For the majority of you who won't be able to make it, fear not! The whole competition will be streamed LIVE, with sports commentary for exciting analysis and interviews throughout all three days. The live streaming can be found at http://XMTLIVE.com. It will also stream live via Facebook Live on the Extreme Memory Tournament and Nelson Dellis Facebook page. Please make sure to watch! It will be exciting.

Co-founder and organizer of XMT

21 June, 2016 - 14:28
Joined: 6 years 10 months ago

Sorry forgot to provide address in case you wanna stop by:
12278 Scripps Summit Dr., San Diego, CA 92131

21 June, 2016 - 21:40
22 June, 2016 - 20:08
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

If anyone is here in San Diego and wants to meet sometime over the next few days, send me a message. :)

24 June, 2016 - 07:08
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

It starts in about an hour. Watch it here:

24 June, 2016 - 15:33
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

Alex Mullen just memorized a deck of cards in 16.86 seconds with 100% recall.

24 June, 2016 - 15:49
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

Katie Kermode memorized 50 words in 53.65 seconds:

(There are more records, but I don't have all the links gathered yet.)

24 June, 2016 - 16:33
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

Another world record from Katie in names & faces -- 30 in 60 seconds:

24 June, 2016 - 16:52
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

Lance Tschirhart just broke the world record for images -- 30 images in 13.91 seconds:

24 June, 2016 - 17:02
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

World Record: Alex Mullen memorized 80 digits in 17.65 seconds:

24 June, 2016 - 17:14
Joined: 2 years 3 months ago

...and Everett advances. Go Team USA! Alex and Lance are just putting up INSANE numbers. Same for Katie!

24 June, 2016 - 18:10
Joined: 2 years 7 months ago

The 1st day was really interesting with lots of new World Records.
Congratulations to the 3 people with the best scores in the 5 events:

- Alex (all Cards 16.86" , all Numbers 17.65")
- Lance (all Images 13.91")
- Katie (all Words 53.65", all Names 60")

All them were new WRs , so the prize of 2000$ for each record
is totally well deserved. Also, congratulations to all the 16 people who qualified from the Group Stage.

The Round of 16 matches are :

Tsetsegzul Zorigtbaatar(12) - Everett Chew(21) VS
Lance Tschirhart(7) - Marlo Knight(18)

Simon Reinhard(3) - Jan-Hendrik Büscher(20) VS
Johannes Zhou(8) - Katie Kermode(5)

Alex Mullen(4) - Sengesamdan Ulziikhutag(16) VS
Purevjav Erdenesaikhan(11) - Boris Konrad(2)

Johannes Mallow(1) - Yanjaa Altansuh(10) VS
Marwin Wallonius(9) - Christian Schäfer (6)

4 wins are needed to advance. It's hard to predict the winner. As you may saw, there were also 3 Germans who made XMT records today (Johannes M. (all Cards 22.77"), Boris (all Images 14.75") and Simon (all Words 55.37") but all those were eventually surpassed by Alex, Lance and Katie respectively. In total there are 5 Germans in the Round of 16 and all of them have very high-level, so anything is possible.

I predict it will be much harder tomorrow to re-break any of those new WRs, due to the seriousness of the Knock-out phase. All the Top 4 memory rankings in the world compete in XMT, so in my book, whoever wins this XMT 2016 will be the best mnemonist in the planet, at least for the summer of 2016.

Last but not least, thanks to Nelson and his team at xmtlive.com , who made possible the live broadcast of the results, even for us who live far away from San Diego
(11 thousand km, in my case)

Good luck to the knock-out phase. May the best win !!


24 June, 2016 - 21:39
Joined: 2 years 6 months ago

Some incredible scoring. Congratulations to all participating there. Looks like a great atmosphere

25 June, 2016 - 09:29
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

Katie breaks her own world record from yesterday: it is now at 50 words in 51.31 seconds.

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