News reaches this site of the precise details regarding the UK Puzzle Association‘s upcoming UK Open tournaments in sudoku and puzzles.
“This year’s UK Open tournaments will take place over the weekend 21-22 March 2015, once again at the Selsdon Park Hotel in Croydon. This is the venue that we used for the 2014 World Championships. This growing annual event is a must for anyone with an interest in puzzles or sudoku. Although there will be a competition element to the weekend, more importantly it is the annual opportunity to mix with others sharing your interests in a relaxing environment.
For the competitively minded, there will be competitions. Each competition will be made up of manageable rounds, much like a mini world championship. There will be a variety of prizes on offer, including best newcomer, and best overseas competitor for each event. These events will be used as part of the selection process for the UK teams, where the top 2 British competitors in each event will earn a place on the A-team to represent the UK at the 2015 World Sudoku Championships (WSC) or World Puzzle Championship (WPC) that will be held in Bulgaria in October. Everyone is welcome to participate, including overseas competitors. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.”
The sudoku tournament happens on the Saturday between 10:30am and 3pm; the puzzle tournament has its first session between 4pm and 6:30pm on Saturday and its second session between 10am and 4pm on Sunday. There will be a communal meal after the Saturday session and the reports of the catering from the World Championships (and the previous year’s UK Open) were very favourable.
The pricing is based on obtaining a mixture of day and 24-hour passes. What it means is that attending from 4pm to 4pm for the puzzle tournament and meal will cost £90 including bed and breakfast accommodation; if you want to attend both sudoku and puzzle tournaments, attendance will cost £120. Alternatively, if you live sufficiently locally that you just want to turn up for the tournaments only, that can be done for £60 – but when so much of the appeal is the good company and good food, that may be a false economy. (A more expensive, but possibly better still, option might be to stay for additional nights at the start and end, to enjoy more of the company and the venue.)
This site loves online puzzle contests, but getting together for events in person takes things to a whole new level, and attending the counterpart event in 2012 was a highlight of the year. If you have ambitions to represent the UK at the world championships, this event is particularly strongly recommended, though not absolutely essential; there’ll be at least one space on each of the sudoku and puzzle teams given to top performers on the online UK championships. Whether you consider yourself championship class or not, it’s recommended either way!
(Ooh yes, and if you fancy winning some money to help pay for your attendance, the second Quiz The Nation happens tonight from 8pm onwards, as discussed last week. New versions of the apps have been released for both Android and iOS; this site was among the proportion of players who struggled with the tech last week, though most people seem to have been fine, so update now in good time for tonight’s 8pm start. Downloading the app comes with free tokens to play the quiz; the top ten finishers get paid cash prizes of between £50 and £1,000 and there are spot prizes to be won along the way as well. It’s slightly more quizzy than puzzly, but the mental agility and intelligence rounds may well make it to puzzle fans’ tastes.)