The 2011 World Memory Championships, sponsored by the World Memory Sports Council, were contested in Guangzhou China on December 7-10, 2011. Sam Sloan, who was the runner-up in the contest for the New York Libertarian Party's Gubernatorial Nomination in 2010, won the Silver Medal (Second Prize) in the Senior Division of the World Memory Championships losing to 73-year-old grandmother, Kuang Liqun (who goes by the name "Lily"). In coming in second, Sam Sloan, aged 67, earned 306 Championship Points while Kuang Liqun, accumulated 634 Championship Points. Two of Ms. Liqun's grandsons won the Grandmaster Title and one of them won the World Junior Memory Championship.
Mr. Sloan competed in nine categories of memory, including the ability to remember random numbers, random words, binary digits, abstract images, names and faces, dates of events and decks of cards. The formal category names were the following: 30 Minute Binary Numbers, 15 Minute Abstract Images, 15 Minute Names & Faces, 15 Minute Random Words, 5 Minute Historic Dates, 5 Minute Speed Numbers, Hour Cards, Hour Numbers & Spoken Numbers.
Sam Sloan reported:
There was wide variation among the abilities of the contestants to perform various memory tasks. For example, 16-year-old Sri Vyshnavi Yarlagadda of Hydrabad, India won the "Names and Faces" contest by a wide margin by being able to remember 92 names and faces in five minutes, but she finished near the bottom in the test of speed cards by being able to remember only five playing cards in five minutes.
Girls tended to do better in Names and Faces and dates and historic events whereas men did better in remembering random numbers.
To win the grandmaster title one needs to be able to memorize a complete deck of cards in less than 60 seconds and to memorize 200 random numbers in 15 minutes, among other tasks.
The event was organized by Chess Grandmaster Raymond Keene and Tony Buzon. Jennifer Goddard did all the work especially in calculating the prize winners.
Sam Sloan is currently an active member of the Libertarian Party of Queens County. He ran for an At-Large Representative position at the Libertarian Party National Convention held in St. Louis, Missouri in 2010.