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List of Articles by Winchell Campos



Castaneda Creates Stir in US Extreme Memory Tourney

By Winchell Campos
PhilBoxing.com
28 Apr 2014

SAN DIEGO, CA--Unheralded Filipino Mark Castaneda showed class and potential by scoring a string of upsets and ended up in fourth place in the star-studded 1st Dart Extreme Memory Tournament Sunday here.

Himself a newly-normed grandmaster, Castaneda upset fourth seed Norwegian super-Grandmaster Ola Kare Risa in the quarterfinals, 4-1, but failed to sustain that momentum, as he faced stiff opposition from World No. 2 and super-GM Simon Reinhard of Germany in the semifinals and third seed and world champion Jonas von Essen in the fight for bronze.

Reinhard beat compatriot Johannes Mallow to win the $20,000 top prize and the coveted gold medal in this event participated in by amazing talents from all over the world. Two other Filipino GMs--Johann Randall Abrina and Erwin Balines--competed valiantly but lost in highly-comeptitive matches.

The amazing mind power of Reinhard was in full display as he demolished the top seed Mallow, needing only seconds to memorize a deck of cards, 60 random numbers, 50 random names and faces in less than a minute, as well as memorizing random words in their correct spelling and order, among other "tests" of mind memory skills.

The 12th seed Castaneda made heads turn when he pulled the rug from under Risa, 4-1. Risa is the holder of world records in recalling more than a thousand binary numbers within five minutes.

Castaneda, like many of the participants, needed mere seconds to reconstruct in succession a randomly-dealt deck of cards. Head coach Roberto Racasa commended his wards for giving a great fight throughout the two-day elimination and finals phase. "We should not be ashamed of what we achieved today. Mark's character got tested today as he faced the world's top four players yesterday and today. I think we did a great job."

The Mandaluyong City native Castaneda just could not get much headway against Reinhard, who was tremendously conditioned. "Babawi na lang next time. I learned a lot today," said Castaneda.

In the finals against Mallow, Reinhard was impeccable in reciting 15 spoken and random words and numbers, delivered in 15 seconds and putting binary combinations of coins on a checkered board.

The three Filipinos battled some of the best minds in the world including those from the United Kingdom, Wales, Sweden and Mongolia.


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