UK Open Puzzle and Sudoku tournaments preview

UK Puzzle Association logo
The UK Puzzle Association will be holding the UK Open Puzzle tournament and UK Open Sudoku tournament at a four-star hotel in Croydon in the UK on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th March. £85 per head gets entry to both tournaments, one night’s bed and breakfast at the Selsdon Park Hotel, two lunches, transfers from the nearby East Croydon railway station and more.

The UKPA have more details about the competitions as well as sample papers from the counterpart contests in 2012. The Sudoku contest will feature plenty of problems of the classic type, but also related variants; the puzzle contest will feature a wide variety of culture-free, language-neutral logic problems. Many newspapers have puzzles pages with a couple of sudoku and a few puzzles of other types; it’s not unreasonable to consider the puzzle tournament to test skill in “the other types”.

I was lucky enough to be at the 2012 weekend; the puzzles were great fun, though very challenging, and the company was excellent. Sadly I cannot attend this time but nevertheless it should be a spectacular weekend. If any readers attend, the site would be delighted to host a report. The venue sounds particularly promising; the UK are set to host the 23rd World Puzzle Championship, and the 9th World Sudoku Championship, there from August 10th to 17th.

Competition for the national teams to attend the World Championships is extremely fierce for most of the competitors these days. However, it wasn’t always this way; the old maxim runs “80% of success is showing up”, and little more than showing up was required to get me into the nascent UK team for the World Puzzle Championships in 2000 and 2001. I wrote a review of my experience in 2000 for a site that is long gone, but the Wayback Machine has an archive of all five of the daily parts. I very much doubt I’ll ever make a WPC team again, but attending the UK Open tournaments would be a good way to get a similar experience – while still being able to solve some of the puzzles!