Dominic O’Brien has now become globally known for his extraordinary mental powers. I had the
privilege of first meeting Dominic in the late 1980s when I was in the process of organising the
inaugural World Memory Championships. He told me that, like many students, he had been criticised
in school for inattentiveness, daydreaming and for not being as interested as he should have been in
the topics in the standard curriculum. Dominic’s interests were more involved in the worlds of the
imagination, music and developing his more general mental skills. As a result, he left school and
began to study the art of memory.
Within five short years he had developed a gigantic “Memory Muscle” and was ready to challenge
all comers at the first World Memory Championships in 1991. Taking on such legends of the mind as
Creighton Carvello, who had set the world record for memorisation of the numbers of pi at 20,013
digits, Dominic virtually cruised to victory, clinching the title of first World Memory Champion and
in the process breaking and setting mental world records.
Since then he has gone on to defend his title successfully and to establish a growing number of
mental records, including the memorisation of a pack of cards in under forty-five seconds. Ranked
No. 1 in the world in Buzan’s Book of Genius (published 1994), Dominic is universally recognised
as one of the greatest mental athletes in the world. After having seen Dominic smash world records
with apparent ease in 1993 and 1994, Grandmaster Raymond Keene O.B.E., an authority on mind
sports and chess, and chess correspondent of The Times and the Spectator, said that he had never
seen anything so dominantly brilliant in the field of mental athletics.
What is more important for all students to realise is that Dominic achieved his extraordinary
accomplishments by studying the field, by applying himself totally to the task he had set himself and
by developing the natural skills which we all...