Germany and China are picking up the ball and running with a British invention, the World Memory Championship. Founded in London in 1991, the Memory Championships, now in their 19th year, are taking place in Guangzhou, China. Germany and the host nation are poised after the opening day’s titanic battles on Friday, to dethrone the reigning World Champion, Ben Pridmore from Derby, and take the lead in the Mind Sport, where British representatives, such as eight times world champion, Dominic O’Brien, had previously dominated.

What is more, Chinese media have over-performed in focussing their attention onto the Championships. Billions watched on Friday, as news of the progress of the World Memory Championship crowded out all rival attractions, to become an extended lead item on Central China Television, in live bulletin after live bulletin, on Friday afternoon and evening.

One reason for this fixation is that local memoriser Wang Feng has bulldozed his way to the fore, leaving world records, not to mention established champions, smashed and shattered in his wake.

After full results are in from three of the ten disciplines, Abstract Images, Binary Number and Hour Number, Wang Feng leads the individual championship, ahead of German Champion Johannes Mallow, with Britain’s defending titlist, Ben Pridmore, battling further German and Chinese challenges for Bronze position.

In the parallel team event, China also leads, followed by Germany, the UK, India, Austria and the Philippines. With two days of competition still to come, the final on Sunday promises to be very exciting.

The World Memory Championships were founded in 1991 by Tony Buzan, inventor of Mind Maps and globally acclaimed lecturer and author on the brain, its power and potential. He was joined in this enterprise from the start by Chess Grandmaster Ray Keene OBE , Mind Sports and Chess Correspondent for The Times of London. The inaugural winner was Dominic O’ Brien, while the current holder is Ben Pridmore.

The host city of GUANGZHOU won the right to stage the World Memory Championship, in a unanimous decision, outbidding UK, Sweden, Japan and the Gulf States. Guangzhou is the third largest city in China. By hosting the 2010 All-Asia Games, and the 2010 World Memory Championship , Guangzhou is establishing itself as the Asian capital for physical sports and a world capital for Mind Sports.

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