Ask a memory champion [2]

(Ben Pridmore) #21

Well, I don’t think I did a particularly exceptional job at memorising cards without the use of systems - I don’t think my natural memory is any better than average. And no, I really don’t have any reason to use memory techniques outside the world of competitions, my job really just needs me to remember a few rules and regulations that anyone can remember perfectly easily. My systems are designed specifically for the rules of memory competitions, I suppose if I ever found myself needing to remember a lot of other stuff, I’d think of a good way to do it… :slight_smile:

I’ve currently got 59 journeys, each with 26 locations, that I rotate through. That’s probably enough for a couple of world championships’ worth of memorising, because I fit quite a lot of information into each location (6 cards, 9 decimal, 30 binary)

(Tiger loci) #22

Ben can you tell me the Way you memorise Abstract images & Poems in World memory championships.
When memorising numbers (you use 3 digits I guess) so you put 9 numbers per loci,How do you link them together.
Please tell me how would you memorise 1572780772866464941 This number.(just give an example how would you do

(sharad baral) #23

hy ben… I am your fan bigtime. I have watched all your videos in youtube. You have been my source of inspiration. i wish very best for your future endeavours.
I heard that you practice mental math too. I just wanted to know what method do you use. thank you

(Ben Pridmore) #24

I haven’t memorised a poem since, I think, 2005 - they only still have that discipline in oddball tournaments like the US Championship, which isn’t open to non-US citizens. I think I really only ever used to read and repeat it to myself, I didn’t really use a proper technique.

Abstract images is done by assigning an image to each of the 158 different background patterns. It would be a much more interesting discipline if it didn’t have those patterns, as I’ve always said - hopefully the new discipline shortly to be introduced by the IAM won’t have the same problem, though I’m not entirely hopeful… :slight_smile:

For that string of numbers, we get Tucker Jenkins (a character from an old TV show) and Niamh (a character from an old book) going to see an old man with a turban and beard, who’s dispensing wisdom. On the next location, a pair of young trendy girls are ignoring this wisdom, and instead donning goggles to watch someone rowing a boat. And so on. It’s hard to explain, exactly, it’s all very visual in my mind…

(Ben Pridmore) #25

Thanks, although I think there are plenty of better videos on youtube than the ones with me in them. I don’t do very much mental calculation, I haven’t been to a competition for years. There are a few basic techniques for things like mental multiplication, but you can probably find them more easily on the internet than reading my attempt to describe them. Although I think I did put them in that book of mine, I’ll send you that if you want!

(sharad baral) #26

ofcourse. please do send it here [email protected] . thanks alot . it would be of great pleasure to read your book


hi mr pridmore a just want to ask about your story making strategy.
Do you create a story for every spot? or Do you make a continuous story starting from your first spot? thanks champ.

(Ben Pridmore) #28

I make things into a continuous story - three objects on each location, but the last one on every location interacts with the first one on the next, so (in theory) if I remember one thing, I can remember the whole lot!

Also, Mr Pridmore was my dad. Please call me Ben! :slight_smile:


sorry Ben , i have tried that also and what you said is true.
But have you tried just creating story in the spot not the continuous one? thanks.

(Ben Pridmore) #30

Do you mean creating a separate little story in each location, or fitting everything into just one location?

The first is what I did originally; I changed to linking each location together because it seemed like it would be a big help, and I think it was, too.


creating a separate little story in each location.
. Thanks. I think i will go with your method of linking every location for my numbers.


Hi Ben, I’m using a two-block-two-card system and creating stories of various lengths on each of my loci (the linking or moving on to another locus being part of the encoding). I had never thought about the possibility of using loci at the same time as having a continuous story. I think I will try to integrate this into my method … even though in my case I never know in advance how many images I will have per locus. It might help to prevent gaps but at the same time I have to make sure that even though I keep the story continuous, I still attach the first image of each sub-sequence to its corresponding locus.

Image_1 which is located on locus_A interacts with image_2 which interacts with image_3 which interacts with image_4 which interacts with image_5 which is located on locus_B and interacts with image_6 which is located on locus_C, etc.

Is there anyone keeping a continuous story without a fixed amount of images per locus?

(Ben Pridmore) #33

I have heard of people doing that kind of thing before, though I can’t remember exactly who. I do live having the continuous story, it lets me use the locations as more of a backup than a major part of the memory process. But different things work for different people, as I always say…


HI ben how would you create a little story for these images?

  1. Chunli, snake, flag
  2. snake, chunli, flag
  3. flag, chunli, snake
    Did you get what I mean? thanks

(Ben Pridmore) #35

Chun Li from Street Fighter II, right? Funny story - she’s not one of my images, though she does feature in the video to Scale It Back. I just said “a street fighter” to avoid using trademarked names, but the image is actually Fuuma from World Heroes in my head.

Anyway, those would be something like…

  1. Chun Li chases a snake, which runs up a flagpole to escape her.
  2. The snake is chasing Chun Li and she runs into the flag and knocks it over,
  3. The flag is standing on the left, and Chun Li under it, chasing the snake into the next location.


yes hehe. thanks .


Yes indeed! I might give it a try, just to see :slight_smile:


Thanks for doing this Ben.

I was wondering what techniques you used for the poem round in memory competitions?

I’m trying to work on memorising pre-written essays and I thought that some of the techniques might be transferable… I realise that you probably haven’t tried this due to your aversion to using memory techniques in everyday life :slight_smile:

(Ben Pridmore) #39

Luckily, I never need to memorise essays in real life, so the question doesn’t come up for me. I don’t have an aversion to using them in everyday life, it’s just that I’m never in a situation where there’d be any point in it…

The poem discipline was abolished a long time ago now, so my memory of it is dim - as best I can recall, I didn’t really use any kind of specialised memory technique, it was really just reading and repeating to myself, making special note of any unusual capital letters. I didn’t do any real turning into images, beyond what I’d normally picture to myself when reading a story.

(Silent Avenger) #40

Hey Zoomy i’m back!

So i have been very busy with school work and trying to find a spot in my busy schedule that i can commit to memory training, in the mean time my scores have been dropping. So when i train my brain usually starts to get fatigued after an hour or so. what would happen if i carved out like 3 or 4 hours and just pushed though and did memory training the entire time. would my scores go up the next day or would the extra time be worthless because i wasnt training fully focused.