Considerations about the New World Memory Champion 2019-Andrea Muzii

Hello everybody. I’ve recently discovered that my connational Andrea Muzii (ITA) has become the new World Champion, beating all the Mongolian, Chinese and German previous champions by using a 2-digit PAO system for cards and a 3 digit system for numbers, breaking 6 world records on various official disciplines starting from the european championship in Sweden. This is making me rethink about all the more complex systems that have been created, considering the fact that this guy has been training on mnemonics for just a little bit more than 2 years. I’d like to know your thoughts about these achievements by using these nowadays-considered “primitive” techniques. I wanna also congratulate again with him if he ever reads this article since I really admire him as a person, I’ve been chatting a while with him and it’s incredible how humble, passionate and sharing he is.


Who thinks PAO and 3-digit is primitive? Pretty much the standard I’d say.


There was a period where some people were wondering if 1-card PAO was able to stand up to 2-card systems. It seems to be holding up well though. :slight_smile:

See this thread: The Death of PAO?


Well if you look at the Shadow system, or the 3 digit PAO, or 4 digit number ( i think is spreading mostly in Asia), they look primitive etimologically, in the sense that they are the starting point from which the other systems have been created. I personally use 2 digit PAO and I am creating a 3 digit number system, so I am not saying they are worse, but since they have been just around for more time, I wasn’t expecting such results and such an improvement.

Okay, I see where you’re coming from, but when you say:

… it sounds more like its other meaning of unsophisticated not an earlier stage of development. Might be better off calling it “basic” or “fundamental” instead. It’s not that it can’t be used like that in English… take primitive function (its: “primitiva”) in calculus for example, but more likely you’ll find it called antiderivative (ita: “antiderivata”) instead.

The shadow system is “just” (etymologically :wink: ) an extension of the 3-digit major system to include face cards… if you have 000 - 999 available, the double-cards A - 10 for all suits are covered. @LociInTheSky is even pointing out in his post how he wanted to have an extension of the major system rather than 16 different vowels as you’d find in @Zoomy’s Ben system.

I’ve never seen one with 1,000 actions actually, most turn out to be 3-digit P, 2-digit A, and 3-digit O.

Dunno about that one… I can tell you that Chinese is using rhyming, so it’s a bit different anyways. I had a look at it, but my Chinese is not on a level to use it as a system. In Singapore it’s either Chinese or English and in Mongolia a lot of competitors use PAO as well… can’t speak much for the rest of the countries.

Like I said… doesn’t look that “primitive” to me…

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I guess it’s natural and human, but a lot of folks interested in memory techniques seem to be constantly chasing the “perfect” system. I would just say: Find the perfect system for you. Just because an approach works really well for another person doesn’t mean it will fit just as neatly with the way your own brain likes to handle information.

For all I know, there’s someone out there for whom PAO, Dominic, Major, Ben don’t make any sense at all because they hear musical tones associated with every card in the deck. So their memory palaces are full of melodies, not images. But most brains probably don’t work that way.



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