Sunday, November 25, 2012


I knew the organisers were tempting fate when Melik said we absolutely had to stick to the schedule today, because we had to be out of the main room by 4:30, on the dot. This was the cue for a major software problem to set us back hugely before we could start the flash numbers, and eventually the day finished at six.

Which is good, because with the gala dinner at 7:30, I have time to come up to my hotel room, watch most but not all of the Chelsea-Man City game that's conveniently available on TV, and update my blog too!

Just two memory events left today - I did pretty badly with the flash numbers, but Turkish-man-whose-name-I-need-to-learn did very well, getting a perfect 300! Jonas was second, if memory serves, and Johannes third, all with excellent scores that would have been unthinkably good just a couple of years ago.

I had a go at the mental additions - managing to get six of them right in ten minutes (the task is to add up ten ten-digit numbers, and the top scorers do it in an instant). Japanese-man-whose-name-I-need-to-learn (blast these newcomers with long names! I think his is Naofumi, actually, but I'll make a point of learning it at the dinner) blew everyone away in this and the flash anzan later on.

I skipped the mental calendar, though, seeing as I'm so out of practice, and just joined in the second flash anzan trial before deciding early on that it was more fun to just watch the other competitors (the eight-year-olds I mentioned earlier, for the most part) adding up lots of numbers very very quickly, waving their fingers in abacus-like ways while they do it.

And so we finished with binary. Johannes, playing devious German mind games, assured me before we started that a score of 3500 or so would be enough for me to win. I, in an entirely innocent underestimation of my abilities, assured him that I wasn't going to get such a good score, since I'm out of practice. It went pretty well, and I ended up with a score of 3870, which is as good as I could have expected from the genuinely minimal training I've been doing. Johannes won with 4095, neeeeearly but not quite beating my ancient world record 4140, and Christian came third, just behind me.

So I end up with one gold and one silver, which is probably more than I deserve. Roll on the world championship! Roll on even more the next Memoriad!

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