Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Friendly Memory Championship 2014, part 8

Historic Dates! Also known as Historic and Future Dates. Or just Dates.

The most recently-invented discipline apart from Abstract Images, this one came along in 2001 - I wasn't really involved in memory competitions back then, but I think it came about because they'd decided it would fit the whole millennium standard idea better if there were ten disciplines rather than nine, and Gunther dreamed up this one. He made most of the rules in those days, actually.

The dates range from 1000 to 2099. I have no idea why that was chosen, but it suits my system very nicely, so I can't complain. For the 2000s I use the images starting with H from my cards list. It's a lot more inconvenient for people with a two-digit-image system, because you get a lot of 19s, 18s, 17s and so on.

As has also happened with abstract images, the 1000-point standard lagged behind the top scores for quite a while, leading to the top scorers in this one getting a disproportionate amount of points compared to the other disciplines. I've always thought it would be better to go back to the system of the top score in each discipline gets 100 points, and everyone else's score is proportionate to that.

Thinking up a brief description of a historical event is easy at first, but once you've done a few hundred of them, it gets harder and harder. Actually, it's interesting to go to different events and see how the individual writers of each list approach it. Some people are 'funnier' than others.

Back in ancient times (2002), a few of the events on the list were sort of jokey and related to the year listed, which really shouldn't be done. I'm pretty sure they're always randomised now.

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