This is a continued post on the 2015 USA Memory Championships. To read from the start click here
Just as everyone was evaluating what the final round Double Deck of Cards would look like with 5 competitors a kick to the gut was announced. Livan Grijalva’s score was entered into the results incorrectly. His score for cards was entered as 5 minutes when in reality he scored 1 minute 22 seconds. This result would have placed him in the top 8 at #6 and meant he should have been in the final 3 rounds.
The organizers were in a tough spot. Should they insert him now before the final round or continue without him? The organizers and remaining 5 mental athletes huddled and it was decided to not let him in because he hadn’t weathered the previous 2 rounds and that was mentally taxing and he had been relaxed.
On the flip side I would argue that not being in the last 2 rounds would hurt Livan more because his head was mentally taken out of the game and to be placed back in wouldn’t have been an advantage for him. Regardless, it was decided to continue without him and compensate for it in 2016 by giving him a free pass and starting in the final rounds.
Livan handled it with complete absolute class. There are mental athletes in the USA and the world who would have burned the place down had this happened to them. Livan Grijalva did none of that and handled it with such class he was awarded the Sportsman of the Year award. http://www.usamemorychampionship.com/usa-memory-championship-sportsman-of-the-year-livan-grijalva/
At dinner that night Lance made a good comment I thought. His input was if Livan was inserted it would decrease everyone’s chances of winning by a little but if he wasn’t it would 100% eliminate Livan. So it would be a huge blow for Livan to not be included but to include him would only be a small set back for the others individually because the risk would be shared thus mitigating the impact to any 1 person. In other words, it would hurt the whole less than it would hurt Livan individually so he should have been included. That was unique insight by Lance.
With that said, what can you do? It’s a tough call and I for one am not one to throw stones at the USA Memory Championship organizers. We all make mistakes and they have little help. They have made the USA Memory Championship the only tournament in the world where people come to watch (because they made it interesting.) That has done a LOT for the sport. The media attention they get is also second to none.
Mistakes will certainly be made in the future as well but the solution that I am sure will be taken is to post the results and scores after the events to allow competitors to check their scores before the next event so this does not occur again.
Although it was an honest error and I’ve made worse errors it doesn’t discount the kick in the gut it was to Livan Grijalva and the tournament.
Now on to the final round without Livan Grijalva unfortunately….Double Deck of Cards! Click here for the conclusion