Edited Transcript of Facebook Live by Phil Chambers, 12th April 2020.

Welcome to this Facebook Live, talking about the Speed Numbers discipline. Speed Numbers mirrors the One Hour Number in the Championships. So there’s forty digits to a row and there’s the same trick or tip, as we get in the Hour Numbers, whereby on your final line of recall, you add a single digit. If you get it incorrect, you’ll score half a point (half what you attempted is the rule), which is then rounded up to a full point. Whether you get it right or wrong, you still get a point. Exactly the same as Hour Numbers, you can gain an extra point very easily. 

Of course, the difference with Speed Numbers is you get two attempts. It’s the best of two. In your first trial, you can go steadily. Maybe go over the lines more than once, just to make sure that you get points on the board. So if you’ve got a solid first run, in your second run, you can go all out, sprint as fast as you can and go for ‘death or glory’. You’ve got points to fall back on if, in your second attempt, you make mistakes. 

One of the things competitors often do is, after they’ve memorised, they sit in the recall phase for the first few minutes going through the journeys which they just memorised in their mind to reinforce them. When they start writing down, they’ve got a more solid memory to recollect.

It’s very important, with Speed Numbers, as I said before, to get the points on the board to start with a solid score. That’s what tends to happen throughout the competition for the top memorises. They get roughly the same number of points for each of the different disciplines. They know their limits. They know what they can achieve in training and try to replicate that in competition, so they stay with a nice solid progression. Over all that averages out to a very creditable, often competition winning score. Dominic O’Brien is a great one for consistency. Whereas, Andi Bell, who Dominic beat on a number of occasions, tended to go all out – giving his all to all the disciplines. Often that backfired. If he achieved what he had attempted it was fantastic: a new world record potentially. If he didn’t achieve it, and he pushed himself too far, he’d make mistakes. That could end up costing him loads of points and therefore eventually costing him the championships. So it makes sense to be consistent and steady, rather than pushing yourself beyond your limits, which is an important point when you’re competing. 

Another thing with Speed Numbers is that, because you have such limited memorization time, it makes sense beforehand to draw lines on a sheet of transparent acetate you can lay over the memorization sheet. We’ll always check for you in the competition to make sure that your lines are correctly spaced. You don’t have to waste time drawing lines when you’re grouping the digits into blocks to memorise them. Interestingly, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea team during last year’s World Championships, despite us offering them acetate, decided they’d rather do it in the way we’ve been training which was just ruling lines at the start of memorization, but they still did incredibly well. Although the World Record’s actually held by Wei Qinru from China with 616 digits. She’s, of course, our 2018 World Champion. It’s just incredible what people are now able to do in that discipline. 

I hope this has been of interest to you. We’ll go on to the next discipline in the next Facebook Live next Sunday. So in the meantime, survive your lockdown and enjoy Easter as best you can. 

Speak to you soon. 

Thanks for listening and bye for now. 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai