Beijing International Sudoku Tournament (19-22 May 2011)

Information and discussion on Puzzle Competitions
dickoon
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by dickoon » Tue 17 May, 2011 3:18 pm

*salutes* Good luck, all!

I hope to hear lots about the event, but wouldn't blame any of the solvers for taking the contest seriously above all else in their mental preparations, rather than treating it as a journalistic enterprise. Be sure to tell us all about your impressions afterwards, though, please!

detuned
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by detuned » Tue 17 May, 2011 8:11 pm

Thanks everyone for the messages of support :D !

I'll be trying to get a decent write up of everything when all is said and done. I'm not sure about any major prizes now given the formidable list of participants, but with a bit of luck I can perhaps just maybe sneak into the top 10 - I've had a couple of fairly promising results on fed recently so I know I'm capable of keeping pace on a good day. It's going to be an incredible experience whatever happens though.

Look forward to seeing you there Rishi!

Ours brun
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by Ours brun » Tue 17 May, 2011 8:39 pm

Look forward to seeing you all. ;) By the way, Tom, I wanted to ask you but completely forgot : when are you departing ? I depart from London Heathrow tomorrow at 16:45 (flight 39). It would be fun if we were on the same flight !

Bastien
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detuned
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by detuned » Tue 17 May, 2011 8:58 pm

Mike and I are both departing from Heathrow tomorrow - I was going to fly with him until I found a significantly cheaper set of flights courtesy of Luthansa. My flight departs at 3.30pm, connects in Munich, and arrives in Beijing just before midday (local time) on Thursday. Mike's flight I believe was slightly earlier and goes via Amsterdam. I get the feeling I will be doing a lot of sleeping on the flight!

I look forward to meeting you and everyone else there :)

Ours brun
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by Ours brun » Tue 17 May, 2011 9:13 pm

So do I... I will have to "wake up" at 4:00AM (more probably, I will not sleep at all tonight) so that I can take my first flight in Marseille, which will arrive at London Gatwick; then, change to Heathrow... And finally, direct to Beijing. I guess I will be one of the first players to arrive (9:30AM, local time). The good point being that I will have some more time to regain a bit energy.

Have a good flight !
http://enigm-attic.blogspot.com --> sudoku variants and other handcrafted logic puzzles.

PuzzleScot
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by PuzzleScot » Fri 20 May, 2011 3:12 pm

All quiet on the Eastern front. I wonder how they're getting on...

drsteve
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by drsteve » Fri 20 May, 2011 3:22 pm

Well, they're not completely firewalled as Tom Snyder managed his Crocs today

Ours brun
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by Ours brun » Sat 21 May, 2011 5:17 am

First news from the Eastern front. Jan M. and Thomas S. leading after the first two rounds - the third one has being played but we do not know the results yet. Beautiful puzzles, impressive organisation, and strong competition for getting access to the semi-final. Czech and japanese players are doing very well too...

Indeed we are not totally firwalled but some features like google blogs are unavailable, and the connection is slow - in this room, at least.

Otherwise, very nice weather today. Too bad you are not with us !
http://enigm-attic.blogspot.com --> sudoku variants and other handcrafted logic puzzles.

dickoon
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by dickoon » Sat 21 May, 2011 9:50 am

The scores after four of the seven rounds have been posted; thumbs up to the Beijing organisers for providing scores in running, which is rather better than many puzzle contests. Excerpting:

1. Snyder (USA) 586
2. Mrozowski (POL) 573
3. Morinishi (JPN) 542
4. Ondrousek (CZE) 539
5. Rungsangrattanakul (THA) 459
6. Jo (JPN) 457
7. Wu (CTN) 442 (...and I'm not going to start a diplomatic incident over the meaning of "CTN")
8. Vytiskova (CZE) 430
9. Kusui (JPN) 430
10. Calver (CAN) 430
...
14. Kirch (GER) 404
15. Voigt (GER) 379
17. Gupta (IND) 360
19. Korde (IND) 346
21. Collyer (GBR) 340
22. Puri (IND) 331
28. Bothra (IND) 302
39. Colloby (GBR) 181
45. Baxter (USA) 139

The race for the ">40" prizes is pretty close; Mike is second out of eight, behind Poulsen (DEN) on 237 and with competitors behind him including Ran (CHN) on 177 and one Tetsuya Nishio (JPN) on 155.

Warm thoughts to everyone out there!

PuzzleScot
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 21 May, 2011 10:27 am

Excellent to have some insight into the contest, and well done to the organisers on the 'live' scores!
for the over 40s after 5/7 rounds:
Poulson(DEN) 294
Ran (CHN) 204
Colloby (GBR) 194
Mishio (JPN) 174
Baxter (USA) 166
Yan (CHN) 135
Mingyao (CHN) 98
Gan (SGP) 54
Rieder (CZE) 0

I think Mike needs a lot of luck on the last 2 rounds to catch up. Likewise for Tom - both still in with a chance of a prize at this stage, which is really encouraging.

dickoon
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by dickoon » Sat 21 May, 2011 10:40 am

The results have been reposted after round five, which has probably had a bigger impact on the leading positions than any round before it. Further thumbs up in the general direction of Beijing, and let's excerpt the charts once more:

1. Morinishi (JPN) 764 (up 2, after scoring a leading 222 in round 5)
2. Snyder (USA) 752 (down 1, after a fourth-placed 166)
3. Mrozowski (POL) 672 (down 1, after a joint-seventeenth-placed 99)
4. Ondrousek (CZE) 658 (level)
5. Jo (JPN) 608 (up 1)
6. Novotny (CZE) 604 (up 7, I think, after a second-placed 198 in the round)
7. Wu (CTN) 592 (level)
8. Voigt (GER) 562 (up 7, after a third-placed 183)
9. Rungsangrattanakul (THA) 558 (down 4)
10. Calver (CAN) 549 (level)
11. Vial-Jaime (FRA) 539
12. Hassin (MYS) 535
13. Kirch (GER) 535
14. Vytiskova (CZE) 529
15. Kusui (JPN) 522
16. Korde (IND) 462
17. Puri (IND) 443
...
23. Gupta (IND) 422
24. Collyer (GBR) 415
31. Bothra (IND) 335
33. Pulsen (DEN, >40) 294
40. Han (CHN, >40) 204
42. Colloby (GBR, >40) 194
45. Nishio (JPN, >40) 174
46. Baxter (USA, >40) 166

I'm delighted to see strong participation from, if I read correctly, Thailand and Malaysia, both of which (I think) are new to WPF-style competition. Welcome!

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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 21 May, 2011 4:15 pm

One round to go...

Tom Snyder has taken a commanding (but not unassailable) lead..

Poulson's nerves got to him, with a bad round 6 - the other 2 contending 'pensioners' have pretty much caught up with him - all down to the last round! Mike beat Poulsen by 49 points in round 6, leaving him 51 points behind going into the last.

Our Tom's in 25th spot, needing a perfect score in the last round to challenge for a cash prize.

sf2l
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by sf2l » Sat 21 May, 2011 9:39 pm

CTN means "Chinese Taipei".

If you classify >40 as "pensioners", in which class would you classify me? "corpses"?? or perhaps "mummies" ???

Hope Gyorgy will copy the idea......

dickoon
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by dickoon » Sun 22 May, 2011 9:12 am

The final results are now up!

The final round of the main contest didn't have much of an impact and the main contest concluded Snyder, Morinishi, Ondrousek, Jo, Mrozowski, with fairly convincing margins between them, particularly at the top. Tom Collyer had a good last round and climbed to 24th, clearly in the top half. The semi-final play-off had 12 participants (...though I thought a play-off of 10 had been announced?) and there was a reasonably clear top two, a reasonably clear third-and-fourth two and then graduation down from fifth to twelfth. Thomas Snyder finished fourth, a whisker behind Kota Morinishi in third, with Jan Mrozowski second and Jakub Ondrousek first. Ondrousek and Mrozowski competed in the final and Ondrousek came out on top.

In the youth division, Sarah Jane Cua and Timothy Tan of the Phillipines beat Luo Tianyi of the Chinese contingent and others; in what would politely be referred to as the masters division, Liao Ran of China pushed Henning Poulsen of Denmark quite close, with our own MichaelC ca$hing in third. Congratulations to all the winners!

I hope to hear more about the event in the fullness of time; there's quite a bit, in German, at the German Logic Masters forum, including discussion that there was a faulty puzzle in round six (see also Thomas on this, passim) which probably was what inspired the organisers to stretch the semi-final from 12 to 10 to ensure that those most badly affected by the faulty puzzle were not harmed.

detuned
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by detuned » Tue 24 May, 2011 10:04 am

I'll do a full report at some point later.

The competition was flawlessly organised, with some beautiful puzzles. I have only myself to blame for some extreme sloppiness - 8 wrong digits in 6 puzzles costing 110 points in rounds 1-3 - which would have had me right up there in the top 10 at that point, although perhaps I faded away a little in the afternoon.

The semis ended up being a bit of a sprint - they handed out the puzzles about 10 minutes in to the 50, and me/Rishi/Gourav either had them all done or else should have done if we'd correctly read the instructions - but really Jan and Jakub blew everyone out of the water and deserved to go head to head in the final. The format favoured Jakub a bit with a heavy classic influence - and it turned out that way as he pulled back a slight deficit to take the win. Extraordinary stuff really - Jakub at times makes you think for a second that Jan is actually solving slowly!

Thomas felt a little put out by the format of the semis/final - but I think he is happy enough with his share of the prize pot, as well as putting up a formidable as ever show in the rounds with the more meaty variants, as well s being pretty competitive in the classics rounds. As he himself said, rumours of his competitive demise are definitely premature.

david mcneill
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by david mcneill » Tue 24 May, 2011 11:50 am

Good to hear from you, Tom. Congratulations to Mike and yourself for representing the UK so well. That was a scary field you were up against. I can't imagine that the organisers can keep putting up such a prize fund when it is going to be mopped up by Jakub, Jan, Thomas et al. I noticed that Ulrich is really taking Sudoku seriously now. Could he become double world champion?

I would be really interested in having a go at the Championship puzzles. Is there any chance that these might be made available through the UKPA?

PuzzleScot
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by PuzzleScot » Tue 24 May, 2011 1:50 pm

Tom, now I realise why you were lower in the table than I expected. A fabulous experience nevertheless!
I look forward to your report...
Is there any chance that these might be made available through the UKPA
Mike (or myself) can ask the organisers for a copy of the puzzles, but they are under no obligation to do so, since this is outside the realms of the WPF.

uvo
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by uvo » Tue 24 May, 2011 2:48 pm

david mcneill wrote:I noticed that Ulrich is really taking Sudoku seriously now. Could he become double world champion?
Most certainly not.
At the moment, I think it is likely that my "taking Sudoku seriously" will end after this year. I will compete in this year's WSC because there is no extra travel involved; and I flew to Beijing because I considered having a good chance for some serious prize money (which turned out correct, but it was awfully close). I am simply not fast enough at classic Sudoku, despite a lot of practice over the last weeks, and this is not likely to change. And since I still do not enjoy classic Sudoku that much - which isn't likely to change either - I will probably leave the WSC spots to those who can get more fun out of them.

In the Beijing semifinals, I was about 30% slower than the top competitors, while doing my best, making no mistakes at all, and having some luck as well (making a good guess in one of the puzzles). How could I possibly beat Jan, Jakub, Thomas and the other top solvers?
I would be more than happy to win the WPC again; this is realistic, but far from sure. To win the WSC is just fantasy.

For those who are wondering why the semifinals were extended to 12 players instead of 10:
In round 6, there was a mistake in a Little Killer (one of the given sums was incorrect). Some solvers like Thomas were not affected at all, because they could solve the sudoku without that clue. However, I am faster at simple arithmetics than at classic Sudoku, so I noticed that mistake - thinking at first it was my mistake, of course. Later, I realized the puzzle must be incorrect, but I already lost some time by then (I would estimate it as about 2-3 minutes, but this is hard to tell). At the end of the round, I couldn't finish a 25 point puzzle because I was running out of time, but with only a few digits missing, I was sure I would have finished without the Little Killer problem.
After the preliminary rounds, I was in 12th place, 22 points behind 10th place. Since the organizers didn't know whether the puzzlers in 10th and 11th place were affected by the mistake, they decided to extend the semifinals to 12 players, and add some money prizes for 11th and 12th place as well. I think that was the best solution possible.

Someone (me or the organizers, or possibly both) was very lucky here: suppose I had been 30 or 35 points behind 10th place instead of 22 points. Giving me additional 25 points for my last puzzle was easy. But how about some time bonus (3 points per minute), which could have been possible as well? How do you judge how much time bonus I might have earned without that mistake?

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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by motris » Tue 24 May, 2011 4:43 pm

I'm probably the bigger threat to be a double world champion, but even I think it will be quite difficult if not impossible to win a WSC and a WPC back to back. The two days of competition before the start of the harder event for me will leave me less sharp at a time I need to be more sharp. If I could have more WPC day 1 performances (in 1st I think 2 times, in 2nd 3 times) compared to day 2 performances (normally around 10th for just that day), I would be much closer to winning the tournament after the playoffs for the first time.

At least the BIST showed me I can enter a sudoku tournament without any real advance practice and be at the top of my game. I too could spend a lot of time getting my classics solving a bit back to form, but I don't have that much interest in solving more of them compared to many other types of puzzles. I do not intend to be practicing for the WSC this year, as I am targeting the WPC. And if the Hungarians follow the models of WSC1-4 and not WSC5 without a fair and reasonable playoff system, I might not even bother coming for all those extra days. I've never been a fan of the joint events, and I'm still trying to figure out how to manage the championship I'm favored to win in order to have the best chance at the championship I most want to win. I lost a few good years at the WPC by the training I spent to win the large cash prizes at the US Sudoku Championship (and simply being too tired after all the travel, frustrated by mistakes and Eugene, etc.). I don't view competing at full effort for a WSC right before as any different, and starting a WPC at 90% is giving up too much of an edge I don't even have.

detuned
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by detuned » Wed 25 May, 2011 5:39 pm

Interesting insights from Thomas and Ulrich. I think in an ideal world all solvers would welcome both your participations in any event, because it would without question raise the standards of said competition - thereby adding more meaning to the titles in question. Obviously this all has to be balanced with personal issues, enjoyment etc but I certainly hope to be seeing more of the both of you :)

re the little killer - I had exactly the same problem as Ulrich. I'm not sure what I was thinking during the test, but basically I decided to ignore it because everything else seemed right - perhaps I was waiting for the puzzle to blow up more spectacularly. In the end, the rest of the puzzle came good, and I convinced myself that there must be some sort of error with where I thought I'd gone wrong, as I'd done with the mathdoku. (it turns out a pair of 1 and 7 can perfectly well represent 7 if you divide them!) I can tell you I was breathing a sigh of relief when halfway through some other puzzle the mistake in the puzzle was announced.

Although it didn't stop me breaking 2 other puzzles in that round multiple times haha :roll:

motris
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Re: Beijing International Sudoku Tournament May 19-22

Post by motris » Wed 25 May, 2011 10:09 pm

At the first WSC there was a product sudoku that seemed to be broken. The center cage was a bit unusual, split between four adjoining cells but no numbers would go into it to be used as usual. However, as a large puzzle with all products given, it was immensely constrained. So I worked around other bits of it, got to an answer, and figured out that where I wanted a 2 in the center cell I needed to put an 8, which would be split into four 2's by the creatively drawn cage to unbreak the puzzle. Many other solvers thought this was just a broken puzzle and stopped solving. While that puzzle might have been guilty of being too cute, it taught me to sometimes work around other parts of a puzzle when I think I have a logical contradiction in other spots. I didn't run into the broken sum in the Little Killer, but in past Little Killers when checking I saw I had a problem and worked around the other sums to tweak it. So my intuition of how to deal with things is to use the many other constraints in the puzzle to figure out why that one isn't working.

The other question this episode brings up is whether, when an error is discovered, it should be announced during the round or resolved after the round. In Poland, there was a puzzle that broke the "all such boxes are marked" rule for the new type. This was only discovered later, but the judges recollected all the booklets and used this standard: because the puzzle was broken, any solver with enough work on the grid to appear to have reached that point (with erasures or whatever) would get credit. People with blank or mostly blank grids would not. I could see a similar standard being used here on the Little Killer after the round is finished. The problem is making an announcement of the fix during the round. While friendly to those solvers who have not yet done the puzzle, it disadvantages those who already wasted time on something that wasn't working. My attitude for the "fun" side of the puzzle solving is to correct any mistake as soon as it is verified. My attitude for the "fair competition" side is to say nothing until after the round. I'm not sure which side would win that argument at a particular championship.

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