Flash Anzan at All Japan Soroban Championship

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#1 18 May, 2015 - 18:09
Joined: 2 years 3 months ago

Flash Anzan at All Japan Soroban Championship

World's fastest number game wows spectators and scientists

Flash Anzan was invented a few years ago by an abacus teacher, Yoji Miyamoto, who wanted to design a maths game that was only solvable by calculation with an imaginary abacus, a skill known as anzan.

When the contestant sees the first number he or she instantly visualizes the number on the imaginary abacus. When they see the second number they instantly add it to the number already visualized, and so on. At the end of the game the contestants cannot remember any of the numbers, or the intermediate sums. They only retain the final answer on the imaginary abacus.

Check out the speed in this video:


23 May, 2015 - 17:07
Joined: 3 years 7 months ago

Wow, that's ridiculously fast.

24 May, 2015 - 01:13
Joined: 2 years 9 months ago

This is much more ridiculous I think:

After watching this I started to learn abacus and start Anzan training for myself.

24 May, 2015 - 09:00
Joined: 2 years 10 months ago

There are lots of apps for practicing out there but it seems to require a significant amount of training.
Has anyone acquired these skills as an adult? On the soroban 8+5 can be a bit of a mental pain.
I don't seem to have the imagination for that much manipulation in parallel and I find my soraban awkward to use.
Children's fingers would fit much better.

1 June, 2015 - 19:59
Joined: 2 years 2 months ago

Peter, that vid you posted is from Giessen's MCWC 2012. I am the guy with the black t-shirt at 0:10 explaining Ogasawara something on the clock about intervals, before his great performance. I was just a normal competitor, but the Japanese guy beat everyone of us, by a huge margin.

We have never seen anything like that in Europe. But in Japan apparently there are many schools about practicing Flash Anzan. In Memoriad 2012, Ogasawara was about 3 times better than any other Anzan competitor (36K vs 12.5.K points. I beat him on the square roots, we had almost equal multiplication correct in both rounds (8+5 vs 6+7 ), however, I did n't choose to compete in Anzan, because I have never trained with soroban. People in Asia, train much differently than in the West. The only disadvantage they have, is that they do not much calendar calculation (week-days etc). But maybe their calendars are different or something.


2 June, 2015 - 08:15
Joined: 2 years 10 months ago

Any recommendations on good practice apps? Currently in the between stage where I can add with the soroban but when I try to do it mentally the regular apps are too fast for me to envision the movements in my mind.

3 June, 2015 - 21:12
Joined: 2 years 9 months ago

I am training Anzan Flash Method now. My best times on soroban application are
15 times 3 digit number in 25 seconds
15 times 2 digit numbers in 15 seconds
and 15 times 5 digit numbers in 43 seconds.

This is on Simple Soroban application on android.

When it comes to mental calculation I can add single digits almoust effortlesly.
Now I am fighting with 2 digits. There are a few apps with Anzan. One is from this forum.

4 June, 2015 - 01:06
Joined: 2 years 2 months ago

Peter, nice results. Keep training.

It is great for visualisation skills

The online anzanprog I use the most (sometimes) is
You can set many parameters and gradually select less seconds.

Robert, I think I also have somewhere the program called mentalcalculation (not very original name! :)
google search: mentalcalculation- I hope this link works:
http://www.sorobanexam.org/static/data/mentalcalculation- (that's a great free anzan software. Install and run fullscreen)

4 June, 2015 - 01:33
Joined: 2 years 2 months ago

Is there some sort of detailed manual on how to use a soroban? I understand the general idea how the numbers are represented, but when it gets complicated and involves adding/removing both fives and next-column tens it slows me down significantly. Maybe there's a textbook of sorts with clear rules for every situation?

4 June, 2015 - 03:22
Joined: 2 years 10 months ago

I need 3-4 seconds before I can do an inconsistent carry Ala 9 +7... I will be playing with my real soroban for a while yet. FYI.. Plastic beads suck.

4 June, 2015 - 05:24
Joined: 2 years 9 months ago

I used to train on my tablet on Simple Soroban app. I also used real soroban but it took me more time to read errands and calculate them so I moved to the application. I have errand and soroban on my device and I can do much more calculation on it. However on the real soroban you have many additional aspects. You use your brain in more sensoric way.
I mean that:

  1. you hear your soroban. When beads hits each other and the bean.
  2. You touch the soroban
  3. And you see it.

In my opinion this is much more influential than apps.

10 November, 2016 - 03:12
Joined: 4 years 10 months ago

That is great but is there a way to activate the sound synthesis?

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