Let's Talk XMT Strategy

For seeding reasons, getting into the top 10 of Extreme Memory Tournament qualifiers had been a goal of mine. Alas, I finished 11th, but c’est la vie. Since the XMT works like the FIFA World Cup, you must finish top 2 (or ~3, now that there are 24 competitors) in your 4-person group to advance to Day 2. So, which group you’re in matters quite a lot. My thinking here involves guesswork, as I’m not sure how the competitors will be seeded. One possibility is that the top 8 from last year will take the top 8 seeds, and the organizers will seed the rest based on qualification rank. Competitors will divided into 4 “hats” (to distinguish from the final 6 groups) with 6 people in each. Groups will then be created by taking one person randomly from each hat. Therefore, if I’d finished 5th-10th in qualifying and been placed in hat 3, I’d be going against someone seeded 19-24th rather than 13-18th. Instead, I’m one of those 19-24th seeds, so I’ll be up against a 13-18th seed (plus competitors from hats 1 and 2). That’s the theory, but things may work out better this way. Let me explain:

At the XMT, it pays to be good at names and words (I’ll call them “nards”). There are quite a few nards specialists (eg. Akjol Syeryekkhaan and Katie Kermode) in my hat (4). As the chart above shows, hat 4 qualifiers outscored hat 3 in both names and words on average, and I’d rather not face them. The advantage with XMT nards is that you don’t have to be perfect. XMT cards, numbers, and images are what people in the WMC Facebook group here have dubbed “time-based disciplines” because memorizing everything within 60 sec is doable (nards would be “amount-based disciplines”). Your time is what matters, and you must get everything right to do well. Take world #3 and reigning XMT champion Simon Reinhard. With strategy and a little luck, I at least have a chance to beat him at numbers. Say he finishes in 20 sec but misremembers one image, scoring 76. All I have to do is get 80 correct in 60 sec (doable for all qualifiers). In contrast, I have almost no chance of beating him at nards, since we’ll both take the full time and mistakes don’t matter as much. Bottom line: I’d rather take my chances against the numbers/cards specialists of hat 3.

 All that’s left now is to sit back and wait for the online draw!