It’s World Puzzle Championship week

This year’s World Sudoku and Puzzle Championships are taking place in Bangalore in India. There can’t be as much coverage of this year’s event on Ex Exit Games as there has been of previous years’ events, but it shouldn’t go unmentioned altogether.

The World Sudoku Championship has finished. UK team member Tom Collyer writes: “the competition is over now, and congratulations go to Kota Morinishi who took a 3rd world title by the equivalent of a small fraction of one puzzle amongst 100s to edge out the previous champion Tiit Vunk. The team title was taken by the youthful and equally charming Chinese team. UK finished 6th overall, which I believe is an equal best showing. Individual results have David at 17th, myself at 30th, Mark at 32nd and Heather at 41st – which I think also represents our strongest showing for a while. Thanks to the Indian organisers for putting out a varied and high quality set of puzzles!

The World Puzzle Championship starts tomorrow. The UK A team is strong: Adam Bissett, James McGowan, David McNeill and Neil Zussman; James and Adam won their places at the online UK Puzzle Championship and Neil and David won their places at the in-person UK Open Puzzle Championship. (Tom Collyer, who wrote the above piece, finished third in both.) If people are in form, and the signs from both A and B teams in the sudoku event are highly promising, then perhaps an equal best showing in the puzzle championship might be within reach, which would be a highly impressive achievement. Every year I tip Japan for the team world championship and Germany win, but looking at the line-ups, I’m going to tip Japan again.

You can take a look at the instruction booklet for the World Puzzle Championship to see what sorts of puzzles they’ll face. I get the impression that the duration of the puzzles is high this year, even by World Championship standards, and the location of India has brought some teams to participate this year who appear less frequently. I think New Zealand are first-timers, Korea are sending a great number of teams, and while this may say more about my memory than anything else, I don’t recall seeing Bangladesh, Iran or the Phillipines represented (at least, in the World Sudoku Championship) in the past. Welcome!