The Extreme Memory Tournament (short: XMT) has established itself as the most exciting memory event of the year. Well, next to the World Memory Championship. But since it is fully digital with a gorgeous software, live-streaming, instant results and $75,000 prize money, it can easily outrank the World Memory Sports Councils (WMSC) crown jewel. On top of all that it is the only championship that requires a qualification for the 24 available competitor slots.

The name “extreme” really lives up to its name. The US memory champion Nelson Dellis created this fabulous event together with Australian memory champion and top-notch programmer Simon Orton and their sponsor Dart Neuroscience in San Diego in 2014. Since then memory sports has become fast and furious.

Fast because all five events, namely Cards, Images (all new and cool XMT idea), Names, Numbers and Words are only 1 minute long for the memorizing part plus another 4 minutes for the recall. The shortest WMSC event is 5/15 minutes (memo/recall) up to 60/120 minutes – and all on paper, except for a few pioneer events like the US Open, Swedish Open and South German Open.

Furious because all of a sudden memory athletes compete 1 against 1, trying to out-memorize their opponent. WMSC memory events are more like trying to overcome ones own limitations, running parallel to the others. The XMT is very different as you see. Right now the Qualifiers for 2016 are running, where over five weeks memory athletes from around the world show what they can do. Each week is another discipline. To reduce cheating everyone has to take a video of their attempts and upload it on a public video host like Youtube.

It started pretty crazy with the first week: Cards. We are already in the fourth week now, but one post at a time. Here I present now the top 16 competitors and their video proofs.

Lance Tschirhart

Marlo Knight

Ola Kåre Risa

Ben Pridmore

Shi Binbin

Enkhmunkh Erdenebatkhaan

Johann Randall Abrina

Marwin Wallonius

Johannes Zhou

Tsetsegzul Zorigtbaatar

Bat-enkh Shijir-Erdene

Sengesamdan Ulziikhutag

Everett Chew

Yanjindulam Altansuh

Anudari Adiyasuren

Purevjav Erdenesaikhan