2017 Puzzle GP

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2017 Puzzle GP

Postby kiwijam » Mon 23 Jan, 2017 4:09 am

1st round - 27.1. - 30.1. - Serbia
2nd round - 24.2. - 27.2. - Slovakia
3rd round - 24.3. - 27.3. - Netherlands
4th round - 21.4. - 24.4. - USA
5th round - 19.5. - 22.5. - Czech Republic
6th round - 16.6. - 19.6. - Turkey
7th round - 14.7. - 17.7. - Bulgaria
8th round - 11.8. - 14.8. - India

http://gp.worldpuzzle.org/content/puzzle-gp

The structure for this year's Puzzle GP has been greatly modified:
There are now 3 separate contests per round.
The puzzles are divided into Division A (= WPC-style variants), Division B (= Classic logic puzzles), Division C (= Social puzzles).
Each division has its own 60 minutes timer and a different password.
You can choose to do more than one during the weekend window, they are started individually.

The contestants have been divided into three classes also.
Roughly the top 100 will be class A, and the next 200 will be class B, the rest in class C.
If you enter a Division that is easier than your class, then that score will be unofficial.
If you enter a Division that is harder than your class, then you can get promoted up if you finish in the top 100/200.
Best 6 of 8 scores count toward your final total.
Top 10 solvers in class A will compete in the final in Bangalore.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby kiwijam » Mon 23 Jan, 2017 4:15 am

Hopefully that is most of the new rules, feel free to correct or discuss.
I'm not sure yet how we know what class we have been assigned to? In general I would just solve the puzzles that you enjoy the most.
If you do want to enter multiple divisions then read the rules so you understand what will cause you to be promoted.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby dickoon » Wed 25 Jan, 2017 5:14 am

kiwijam wrote:In general I would just solve the puzzles that you enjoy the most.


Absolutely! I suspect I will fall into class B from having taken part in so many GPs over the years rather than from success, and yet I'm most interested in the Class C puzzles, so will only be taking part unofficially, which feels a shade disappointing.

Nevertheless, in theory, having three separate 60-minute contests per weekend should go a long way to helping make the championship even more accessible than ever. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out in practice!
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby GarethMoore » Wed 25 Jan, 2017 2:20 pm

The rules state:
Class B participants are those who qualify for at least one of the following conditions and do not qualify for any of the conditions for Class A:
  • Finished in the top 100 ranking for the 2015 Puzzle GP
  • Finished in the top 250 ranking for the 2016 Puzzle GP Competitive Section
  • Competed in at least one of the first five rounds of the 2017 Puzzle GP, Division B, and has one of the top 200 average scores (not including unofficial scores for Class A participants)
  • Received a score of more than 0 in at least 20 rounds of the Puzzle GP within the last three years (2014, 2015, and 2016). The Competitive
  • Section and Casual Section in the 2016 Puzzle GP are counted separately, so there are 32 potential rounds for purposes of calculating this qualification.


So you should be able to work out whether you are class B or not, I guess? I can't work out how to (or if it's possible to) access previous results on the GP site, so I can't check for you. ;)
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby drsteve » Wed 25 Jan, 2017 7:54 pm

The 2015 results are here -

http://gp.worldpuzzle.org/content/wpf-g ... sults-2015

and the 2016 competitive results are here -

http://gp.worldpuzzle.org/content/wpf-g ... ve-section

The full text of who should be in what division is:

"Class A participants are those who qualify for at least one of the following conditions:

Finished in the top 10 ranking for the 2014 Puzzle GP
Finished in the top 25 ranking for the 2015 Puzzle GP
Finished in the top 50 ranking for the 2016 Puzzle GP, Competitive Section
Competed in at least one of the first four rounds of the 2017 Puzzle GP, Division A, and has one of the top 100 average scores

Class B participants are those who qualify for at least one of the following conditions and do not qualify for any of the conditions for Class A:

Finished in the top 100 ranking for the 2015 Puzzle GP
Finished in the top 250 ranking for the 2016 Puzzle GP Competitive Section
Competed in at least one of the first five rounds of the 2017 Puzzle GP, Division B, and has one of the top 200 average scores (not including unofficial scores for Class A participants)
Received a score of more than 0 in at least 20 rounds of the Puzzle GP within the last three years (2014, 2015, and 2016). The Competitive Section and Casual Section in the 2016 Puzzle GP are counted separately, so there are 32 potential rounds for purposes of calculating this qualification.

Class C participants are any participants who do not qualify for any of the conditions for Class A or Class B."

So as I understand it, I'm in Class B as I was 62nd in 2015. As far as I can see, only Neil and James are section A. David McNeill, Emma, Tom C and Saul Glasman qualify via 2015 for Section B and AJ, Paul Slater, Anthea & Thomas P do the same via 2016. Not sure about who would also qualify for the "more than 0 in twenty rounds" condition.

What is unclear from the instructions is that after you have done "your" division, do you have 60 minutes for each of the other two divisions or just 60 minutes for both. The text reads like the latter, only that would be a bit daft. A bit like this structure really...

Hope that helps - but it would be nice if the reminder emails that had been sent out had included what division we were in.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby PuzzleScot » Thu 26 Jan, 2017 2:18 am

Thanks Steve. I'm firmly in class C (to start with) then...

Pretty sure each of the class contests are 60 minutes *each*:
The participant chooses a Division, and has 60 minutes to submit the correct answers to as many puzzles as they can. They may then choose to attempt the puzzles for as many other Divisions as they wish, whereupon they will have another 60 minutes to submit the correct answers to as many puzzles as they can.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby GarethMoore » Thu 26 Jan, 2017 11:49 am

You have a separate time limit for each division you choose to do, as Alan says.

The reason for the new structure is to make it much easier for new puzzlers to get involved. At the moment most online competitions are set to challenge the very best solvers, with relatively few easy puzzles. Hopefully this will help make the WPF GP more accessible to new solvers. It's not just logical difficulty too, but about the rules - for example, novel variants will only appear in division A, while division B will essentially have only 'standard' WPC types. This means newer players can get better at the standard types before worrying about tackling variants on them.

In other words, the Puzzle GP is now hopefully designed to lower some of the barriers to new players getting involved that certainly apply to the WPC itself, and its thick rule book that typically includes many variants.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby detuned » Fri 27 Jan, 2017 12:25 am

I haven't had time to make any comment to anyone about this, but this whole division structure is a bit confusing - I'm going to mention the puzzle GP at work tomorrow but I don't think I'm particularly optimistic of getting any takers. I think I'd rather have seen the WPF have completely separate competitions with separate branding and so on, rather than this hybrid state of affairs.

That said, splitting classics from more fruity puzzles is an interesting idea. Something that does come to mind would be more along the lines 2016 WSC, tour de france style, with multiple side competitions at stake. I was not a fan of that for a sudoku competition, but I think given the increased variability of a puzzle competition it might work a lot better.

Anyhow, I'll probably do B then A, and then if I'm still in the mood, C. I'll be disappointed if I don't qualify for division A after 4 rounds, even though I'd bet I'd be pretty close to the top of B.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby sknight » Sat 28 Jan, 2017 4:27 pm

I do think there should be some sort of display when you log in telling you what puzzle rank you're officially competing as.
I scrounged around to find previous year's results and am definitely a B at least to start with, which is about what I figured, but it wasn't easy/transparent.
Anyway, the part of the rules that I don't quite get is the moving between divisions during the season, which could be relevant for me.
I'm pretty clearly not one of the top 50 solvers competing, but top 100 maybe, and can certainly squeak into the top 100 on a good day.
So what does that actually mean in practical terms?
Suppose I am 90th on the A contest this time. In contest 2 is my B result now unofficial, even though I competed as B today?
Suppose then on contest 2, I am 140th on the contest, and my overall ranking in A is below 100th. Do I get demoted to B, and am I now competing in B but without contest 2 in my totals?
Shrug.\
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby dickoon » Mon 30 Jan, 2017 6:26 pm

The participant classes were posted yesterday afternoon. There are 14 people who have faithfully solved in the Grands Prix time and time again and have been "promoted" to Class B on the basis of effort rather than achievement. I am one of them. D'oh! (I am, at least, in good company in this...)

I've solved the Class C puzzles already - they were really good fun! - and am now deciding whether I can make an hour to try to solve one of the other classes tonight, rather than suffer the fate of my participation being merely unofficial.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby drsteve » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 12:27 pm

The results are out now.

Top UK Scores:

Category B:

11. Heather Golding 608
36. Tom Collyer 514
65. Alan O'Donnell 431
68. Steve Barge 425
72. Emma McCaughan 415
74. Eva Myers 410
75. Michael Collins 410
88. Anthea McMillan 384

Plus 11 more outside the top 100. A good healthy entry from the UK

Category A:
21. James McGowan (masquerading as NZ) 391
22. Neil Zussman 391
43. Steve Barge 320
52. Tom Collyer 297
54. Saul Glasman 292

Plus 12 more outside the top 100, many of which didn't compete in Category B.

The two competitions show a lovely demonstration of the lottery of a single round competition, with a number of competitors having wildly different performances on different categories. Things should balance out over the seven rounds - just hope there isn't anything important happening at the same time as the next one... ;)
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby GoldingH » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 2:28 pm

teehee
Yes, I'm fairly sure my result was a blip. This will be particularly clear when the results for part C are out...
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby drsteve » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 2:48 pm

GoldingH wrote:teehee
Yes, I'm fairly sure my result was a blip. This will be particularly clear when the results for part C are out...


That isn't remotely what I meant 8-) That was a great performance, Heather. Well done. Even with my typos, that's still 100 in front of me. Congratulations
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby PuzzleScot » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 4:11 pm

... that's still 100 in front of me


I make 608 - 425 = 183, not 100. Maybe this is why I beat you? :lol:
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby sf2l » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 5:56 pm

GarethMoore wrote:
The reason for the new structure is to make it much easier for new puzzlers to get involved. At the moment most online competitions are set to challenge the very best solvers, with relatively few easy puzzles. Hopefully this will help make the WPF GP more accessible to new solvers. It's not just logical difficulty too, but about the rules - for example, novel variants will only appear in division A, while division B will essentially have only 'standard' WPC types. This means newer players can get better at the standard types before worrying about tackling variants on them.

In other words, the Puzzle GP is now hopefully designed to lower some of the barriers to new players getting involved that certainly apply to the WPC itself, and its thick rule book that typically includes many variants.


IMVHO this contest has failed to achieve this target.
The difference I found between the division A and division B do agree with this. I solved the puzzles of Division B more smoothly than the Division A (do not mention the two horrible typos which costed me 160 points - Wei-Hwa is particularly harsh not awarding me the points for having typed the correct solution in the wrong row). But I found the puzzle of Division C as hard as, if not more, than division A. A very large and complicated Products, another very large word search, some counting puzzles, risky as usual...... not exactly what could attract beginners. What do you think?
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby GoldingH » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 6:33 pm

I agree to some extent - I found the C puzzles really difficult (and made the daft mistake of not looking at the points before answering so blew all my time on the low and risky pointers). Also most of the points go on a single puzzle type, which is unfortunate. However, on the plus side, they were largely puzzles that required no prior knowledge - which I suppose was the point. Noone said that they'd be easy...
So, to summarize, not sure. But I would say the C puzzles would not have encouraged me to continue, if I was a beginner solver.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby PuzzleScot » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 8:44 pm

I agree too. If I was a beginner, and only did the C contest, I'd be giving in right away.

A) It was too hard, period. A seasoned puzzler, regardless of level, should have been able to finish with time to spare.
B) Only 4 of my 10 submitted answers were correct! Regardless of silly mistakes, in no way would this encourage me to pursue puzzling further.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby drsteve » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 10:22 pm

PuzzleScot wrote:
... that's still 100 in front of me


I make 608 - 425 = 183, not 100. Maybe this is why I beat you? :lol:


No, I meant if you count entering the wrong row in B2 (which I'm appealing) and not counting battleships correctly which would add 32+59 = 91 points to my score. Sounds like I won't be in luck with the appeal though... :(
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby david mcneill » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 8:57 am

I have had a go at solving the A puzzles and B puzzles. The A puzzles seemed spot on apart from the third Doppelblock which was over the top. The B puzzles were great, although I didn't beat Heather. I haven't had a go at the C puzzles yet.

Thinking of this from the puzzle setters' point of view, the new format is a huge ask. The range of puzzle styles and difficulties required is very wide and timescales are likely to be tight. I wonder how many puzzles ended up on the cutting floor. Or did a batch of puzzles simply get subdivided into the 3 categories? Would the UK be able to do better?
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby drsteve » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 11:43 am

drsteve wrote:
PuzzleScot wrote:
... that's still 100 in front of me


I make 608 - 425 = 183, not 100. Maybe this is why I beat you? :lol:


No, I meant if you count entering the wrong row in B2 (which I'm appealing) and not counting battleships correctly which would add 32+59 = 91 points to my score. Sounds like I won't be in luck with the appeal though... :(


Nope, the appeal was unsuccessful. Rather harsh, I thought - spend the time solving the puzzle correctly (as is clear from entering one correct row and then choosing the wrong row to enter) only to be told that entering the correct answer key is part of solving the puzzle. When it is clear that the puzzle has been solved, surely points should be awarded? Half points, perhaps?
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby drsteve » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 11:46 am

david mcneill wrote:I have had a go at solving the A puzzles and B puzzles. The A puzzles seemed spot on apart from the third Doppelblock which was over the top. The B puzzles were great, although I didn't beat Heather. I haven't had a go at the C puzzles yet.

Thinking of this from the puzzle setters' point of view, the new format is a huge ask. The range of puzzle styles and difficulties required is very wide and timescales are likely to be tight. I wonder how many puzzles ended up on the cutting floor. Or did a batch of puzzles simply get subdivided into the 3 categories? Would the UK be able to do better?


I didn't look at the C puzzles, but didn't really spot a massive step up in difficulty between A and B. The Recto for example was much easier than the Pentomino Division, although I wish I'd remembered the starting point for those puzzles a bit quicker (i.e. look for the possible X). And I rather liked the third Doppelblock - these were much more fun than difficult standard ones which always seem to be too much trial and error for me.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby david mcneill » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 2:06 pm

Well, I've now had a go at the C puzzles and scored 336! Quite enjoyed it as I tend to like word puzzles and detest Nikoli puzzles. But definitely the timing was way off and likely to be a disincentive for new solvers.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby GarethMoore » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 5:47 pm

drsteve wrote:I didn't look at the C puzzles, but didn't really spot a massive step up in difficulty between A and B.

Apart from being supposed to be easier, the B puzzles are also all meant to be standard types rather than variants. The idea is that you aren't penalized so much for not having a lot of experience with an underlying type before being expected to tackle a variant.

I haven't tried the competition puzzles, but from the instructions I thought some of the C puzzles did look a bit intimidating - suitable for serious puzzlers of a different kind, perhaps, and probably not easy/friendly enough to encourage many people to get involved. So it struck me as simply a different type of competition entirely. But I can't fairly judge, since I didn't solve it, so I'm half going on comments above too. No disrespect to the authors, of course, who had very little notice to prepare an entirely new design of competition. So I think this feedback is really important to help fine-tune it going forward.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby detuned » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 11:45 pm

Personally felt a bit rusty (particularly after apparently failing to submit an 83 point battleships, and, er a 10 point recto :roll: ), but overall a good UK showing. Very well done Heather on B, it's a shame you couldn't get the last puzzle out in those 12 minutes you had in the end.

I'd argue the A/B/C Division structure already failed its primary objective. Pentomino Division on B felt far more fruity than Slitherlink/Akari/Easy As on A for example. As another, you had "All or One" making an appearance on both A and B! I didn't have a look at C, but if this is going to be a time pressure thing then it feels like the difficulty has been set at the wrong bar. I'm all for hard puzzles, but if you are going to make people solve them in limited time and they don't get them then you will just make people feel miserable.
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Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Postby detuned » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 11:51 pm

drsteve wrote:Nope, the appeal was unsuccessful. Rather harsh, I thought - spend the time solving the puzzle correctly (as is clear from entering one correct row and then choosing the wrong row to enter) only to be told that entering the correct answer key is part of solving the puzzle. When it is clear that the puzzle has been solved, surely points should be awarded? Half points, perhaps?


No, disagree with this entirely having been on the other end. You have no idea about the number of opportunists chancing their arm with appeals, and if you are asking the judges to sort out the chancers from the hard-luckers with only the contents of an answer code to go by then you are asking too much of the judge. It's also not fair on everyone who spent a bit of extra time checking their answers were correct. I know it happens to everyone, but really if the answer codes are fair (which I thought they generally were) then if you stuff them up then you only have yourself to blame.
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