The cards to be used in the competition
The cards to be used in the competition

The World Memory Championships is an organized competition of memory sports in which competitors memorize as much information as possible within a given period of time.[1] The championship has taken place annually since 1991, with the exception of 1992.[2] It was originated by Tony Buzan and co founded by Tony Buzan and Ray Keene. It continues to be organized by the World Memory Sports Council (WMSC), which was jointly founded by Tony Buzan and Ray Keene. In 2016, due to a dispute between some players and the WMSC, the International Association of Memory (IAM) was launched.[3] From 2017 onward, both organizations have hosted their own world championships.

The current WMSC world champion is Tenuun Tamir of Mongolia.[4] The current IAM world champion is Andrea Muzii of Italy.[5]


The World Championships consist of ten different disciplines, where the competitors have to memorize as much as they can in a period of time:

  1. One hour numbers (23712892....)
  2. 5-minute numbers
  3. Spoken numbers, read out one per second
  4. 30-minute binary digits (011100110001001....)
  5. One hour playing cards (as many decks of cards as possible)
  6. 15-minute random lists of words (house, playing, orphan, encyclopedia....)
  7. 15-minute names and faces
  8. 5-minute historic dates (fictional events and historic years)
  9. 15-minute abstract images (WMSC, black and white randomly generated spots) / 5-minute random images (IAM, concrete images)
  10. Speed cards - Always the last discipline. Memorize the order of one shuffled deck of 52 playing cards as fast as possible.

Venues and winners

World Champions (1991-2016)

# Year Venue Winner
1 1991 London England Dominic O'Brien
2 1993 London England Dominic O'Brien
3 1994 London England Jonathan Hancock
4 1995 London England Dominic O'Brien
5 1996 London England Dominic O'Brien
6 1997 London England Dominic O'Brien
7 1998 London England Andi Bell
8 1999 London England Dominic O'Brien
9 2000 London England Dominic O'Brien
10 2001 London England Dominic O'Brien
11 2002 London England Andi Bell
12 2003 Kuala Lumpur England Andi Bell
13 2004 Manchester England Ben Pridmore
14 2005 Oxford Germany Clemens Mayer
15 2006 London Germany Clemens Mayer
16 2007 Bahrain Germany Gunther Karsten
17 2008 Bahrain England Ben Pridmore
18 2009 London England Ben Pridmore
19 2010 Guangzhou China Wang Feng
20 2011 Guangzhou China Wang Feng
21 2012 London Germany Johannes Mallow
22 2013 London Sweden Jonas von Essen
23 2014 Hainan Sweden Jonas von Essen
24 2015 Chengdu United States Alex Mullen
25 2016* Singapore United States Alex Mullen


Up-to-date lists of world and national records can be found on the statistics websites of the IAM[7] and WMSC.[8] The best of them are listed in the following table.

Discipline Record Athlete Event
Hour numbers 4620 digits North Korea Ryu Song I WMSC World Championship 2019
5-minute numbers 630 digits Italy Andrea Muzii IAM MemoryXL German Championship 2021
Spoken numbers 547 digits North Korea Ryu Song I WMSC World Championship 2019
30-minute binary digits 7485 digits North Korea Ryu Song I WMSC World Championship 2019
Hour cards 2530 cards North Korea Kim Su Rim WMSC World Championship 2019
Speed cards 12.74 seconds Mongolia Shijir-Erdene Bat-Enkh IAM Korea Open 2018
15-minute random words 335 words India Prateek Yadav WMSC World Championship 2019
15-minute names and faces 224 names England Katie Kermode IAM World Championship 2018
5-minute historic dates 154 dates India Prateek Yadav WMSC World Championship 2019
15-minute abstract images (WMSC) 1048 points China Huang Jinyao China Memory Championships 2022
5-minute random images (IAM) 547 points France Yolan Cohen IAM Swedish Open Championship 2021

See also


  1. ^ The World Memory Championships - Memory Training - Accelerated Learning
  2. ^ "World Memory Championships | World Memory Statistics". Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  3. ^ "International Association of Memory | Memory Sports". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  4. ^ "Final result of 30th World Memory Championships | World Memory Championships". Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  5. ^ "World Memory Championships 2019 | International Association of Memory Statistics". Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  6. ^ "World Memory Championships | International Association of Memory Statistics". Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  7. ^ "World Records | International Association of Memory statistics". Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  8. ^ "World Records | World Memory Statistics". Retrieved 2018-12-19.