Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Mental competitions!

I've just had an email from the Mental Calculation World Cup, so this seems like a good time to summarise everything that's happening in the mental world of mental skills competitions this year...

- Please help to circulate this call for registrations -
Mental calculators from all over the world are invited to the 5th Mental Calculation World Cup 2012!

[Apologies if you receive this e-mail more than once]

Mathematikum, a science museum in Gießen, Germany (

29 September - 1 October 2012

Contest Details:
Calculators will have to solve tasks in different categories (addition, multiplication, extracting roots, day-of-the-week calculations) and various surprise tasks.
Only strict mental calculation (no tools, no writing down of intermediate results) is allowed.

There will be several prizes and trophies for the best participants.
In particular, the MEMORIAD Association will sponsor free flights to the MEMORIAD 2012 competition in Antalya, Turkey ( for the winners in the categories addition, multiplication, square roots and calendar calculation.
(does not apply for participants who have already won a free flight in the MCWC 2010 event and for participants who are not allowed to enter MEMORIAD contests according to decisions of the MEMORIAD Association)

The registration form can be found on the MCWC website (
Please download the entry form and send it by airmail to the address given in the form.

Deadline for Registrations: 1 June 2012

More information can be found on the web site:

If you have any questions on the MCWC, please contact

I am looking forward to meet the world's best calculators in Gießen!
Ralf Laue

Is it really the fifth bi-annual competition? Wow, I suppose it must be, it started in 2004. I'm really getting old. Anyway, it's a fun competition, the Mathematikum is a great venue, and as usual I'll be going as long as I've got the money. They let me take part in it if they're weeding down applications to a maximum number because I'm a memory champion, even though I'm not all that great at mental calculations, so it'd be rude of me not to take advantage of this slight silliness.

And as Ralf mentions in that email, there's also the Memoriad - the second every-four-years competition encompassing mental calculation and memory. Long-time readers will remember I didn't go to the one in 2008 because getting out of bed after the world memory championship immediately beforehand was too difficult, but Boris, Andi and Gunther all say it was a fantastic competition. There's also lots of promises of big money and free flights and accommodation here and there. It happens on 24-25 November, in Turkey.

Making the convenient transition to memory competitions, here's what we've got planned so far:

The South German Memory Championship happens on April 21st - unlike the North German, which had an extra Open part, I think this is just for South Germans, and only a regional-standard (seven discipline) event.

The German Memory Championship moves back to its traditional summer spot in the schedule, on July 27-28, still at the very nice Experimenta in Heilbronn. Open to everyone, even if they're not German, and with translations into the language of your choice now available, I do really recommend this to everyone. As I've said many times before, this is the biggest competition with the highest standard of memorisers outside of the world championship and it's a great competition to go to. Let's have more non-Germans there this year, please!

The UK Memory Championship will happen in August, in London - details aren't finalised yet, but I'm sure they'll be coming soon. Presumably it'll be like the last couple of years, a two-day, International Standard, open-to-everyone-even-if-they're-not-British, kind of competition, exactly like the German.

The Swedish Memory Championship happens on September 29th, in what now counts as the 'usual' place (three years in a row is actually quite unusual for memory competitions) at the Gothenburg Book Fair. National standard competition, still open to everyone regardless of nationality.

The World Championship hasn't got a place or time as far as I know just yet, but I'm assured it'll be happening too. Probably late in the year, after all the above competitions.

Oh, and the Cambridge Championship? I'm getting on the case, I promise. I'm back in the mood to do something about memory competitions, I've been practicing cards for the last three days and I got below 30 seconds again today. Next step is working up to concentrating on numbers for a whole five minutes. It's an arduous process, believe me.

I notice now that the Mental Calculation World Cup takes place on the same day as the Swedish Memory Championship. That's annoying. I'll choose between them at some point in the future. That sounds like a decision that Future Zoomy will be great at making, I'll leave it up to him.


Anonymous said...

Ben, where can I find more info about swedish memory championship. I was looking around but have not seen anything.

Zoomy said...

I have nothing except a promise that it'll happen during the book fair again. Emailing Idriz Zogaj might help, but I would guess that details haven't been finalised yet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for fast answer Ben.