Results of the 2019 Quebec Memory Championship

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The results of the 2019 Quebec Memory Championship are finally up.

  • Jean Béland and Valérie Grenon are almost tied for first place in the advanced section, but Jean won and therefore earned the title of “Champion de la mémoire du Québec”. Jean managed to memorize 180 digits in 10 minutes. Valérie no less than 45 names in 5 minutes. Both of them also did 52 cards in 5 minutes or less.
  • Livan Grijalva travelled all the way from New York to participate in the open section. He managed to memorize a full deck of cards in 37 seconds! Wow! He’s the one who managed to achieve the best results overall. The fact that he isn’t a resident of the province is the only reason why he cannot be declared the Quebec memory champion.
  • In the regular section, Cat tuong Le phan managed to take first place ahead of her friend Alexandre Skeates in third place. I was honestly impressed by their performances and those of many other participants.
  • Nadya Villeneuve is in 2nd place in the regular section and is also the “Laval University Champion” ahead of Mylène Shen. It should be noted that both Nadya and Mylène discovered memory techniques just a few weeks ago. They both scored 86% on an exam where they had to learn in 15 minutes a series of 50 difficult and completely fictitious pieces of information. It is really inspiring that such results are possible with just some mental images, stories and a little training.
  • 13 years old Eliott Texier and his 10 years old sister Jade Texier both had the courage to show up and compete without any previous training or knowledge of memory techniques. Did you know that it was possible for children to memorize a series of 70 or 40 images, 21 names and faces or 27 random words in a few minutes after just some very brief instructions before each event?
  • Some competitors who were unable to compete in person downloaded all the challenges after the championship and try to simulate the event as faithfully as possible from their home. Their results are posted here. You can still do the same thing if you want by following this link.

Many thanks to Sophia McKenna, Amine Tarib and Antoine Chauveau of the APMAL for their indispensable help in organizing this event. And thanks of course to Mr. Philippe Grégoire, professor of finance at the university, for all his initiatives and for his participation.

Congratulations to all! We hope to see you and many more participants either at next year’s edition or even better at the upcoming national championships in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in September.

Explanations about this scoreboard appears later down this page.

  • For images, words and numbers, the first number in each box shows the raw official result. The second after a slash shows the number of responses given including all errors. With words, for example, a result of 62/64 means that 64 words were written down and 62 of those were corrects. In the advanced section, penalties for errors can sometimes be severe, especially for numbers and words. Therefore, do not assume that a score of 300/360 necessarily means that the participant made 60 mistakes.
  • The numbers in brackets show the number of championship points (CP) obtained for each event. The CPs are added in the last column to calculate the final ranking of each participant. In the advanced section, only the 5 best results out of 6 are taken into consideration. In the regular section, the numbers and cards challenges are completely optional and only the 3 best results are taken into account. If there is no number in brackets in a box, it means that the results obtained for this test were not high enough to count among the participant’s top 3 or 5. When you see +60, +40 or +20 next to a given amount of CP in parenthesis, it means the competitor was awarded a bonus amount of points for scoring first, second or third place in this particular discipline. Competitors are only compared against others in their own section.
  • For cards, a result given in minutes and seconds means that all 52 cards have been stored correctly in order. A result given in numbers of cards shows the number of cards memorized correctly in 5 minutes.
  • The participants are listed in alphabetical order.
The last survivors who stayed until the end for speed cards (from left to right): Alexandre Skeates, Jean Béland, some random guy, Valérie Grenon and Livan Grijalva.
Jean Béland was profiled in the local media after his victory. The article can be read here. The text includes a few small mistakes.
Just a month ago Nadya Villeneuve thought she had a terrible memory. But then she went to a conference about the art of memory, started training and managed to get second place in the Regular section and first place among Laval University students. She memorized 62 random words in order in 10 minutes and 33 names in 5 minutes. She also scored 86% on an exam where she had to learn 50 difficult and completely fictitious pieces of information in just 15 minutes. She turned 47 soon after the end of the competition.

13 years old Eliott Texier and his 10 years old sister Jade Texier both had the courage to show up and compete without any previous training or knowledge of memory techniques. Did you know that it was possible for children to memorize a series of 70 or 40 images, 21 names and faces or 27 random words in a few minutes after just some very brief instructions before each event?
This is what a deck of cards memorized in 37 seconds look like.

Last note: We know that it may seem strange to give titles such as “Quebec Memory Champion” or “Laval University Memory Champion” in a competition where there were only 11 participants. However, we believe that if tomorrow morning the entire population of the province and the whole campus were subjected to the same challenges, the people who right now would be able to do better than these competitors would be very, very few in number. Most people would be able to get comparable results if they took the time to learn about memory techniques and to train for a long enough period, but that’s another story!