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World cup on mental calculation in mathematics was held for the 1st time in history in Annaberg Buchholz, Germany, on 30th Oct 2004 in memory of Adam Ries, the great German master of calculations. Planning to be held once in two years, the first World Cup had seventeen individual contestants from fourteen countries participating in various categories of the event.

The world cup had six categories and the winner was to be decided on the basis of performance in all the categories. Addition of 100 single digit numbers, multiplication of 2 eight digit numbers, extracting the square root from a six digit number and calculating the day of the week were some of the events held in different categories. There were two surprise events having 10 questions on mental calculations to be tackled before the winner was chosen. Each category had 10 sums to be solved in 10 minutes and the calendar event had 50 days to be done in 1 minute.

The competition was carried out in strict atmosphere with no disturbance. The media was present there but their activity was restricted in an attempt to keep them from disturbing the participants. The results of all the categories were announced in the afternoon on the same day.

Divesh Shah came 2nd in the addition of 100 digits. On the evening of 30th October a show on mental calculation was performed and the winners were honoured by the Mayor of Annaberg. Divesh Shah won the hearts of all the German students and parents with his speedy calculating techniques.

The German press interviewed Divesh about the calculating abilities of Indians. Divesh took this opportunity and appealed to the audience there to develop interest in maths. He also mentioned that right form the childhood, children in India have a fascination for the subject and Indian parents and teachers alike put in a lot of effort to ensure that children have a good base in Maths. He also appealed to all teachers in Germany and other European nations to make the subject more interesting and practical.


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