WSC 3 - This one goes to 11
Okay, technically I tried to use the word before, but showed my complete unhipness by spelling it without numb3rs.
So, while ~40 hours of travel await before I can get home, I can announce once again that I am world sudoku champion. The official site does not list the results, but the individual competition was a very tight race between myself and Jakub Ondrousek. He blazed through the classic rounds bonus-wise while I could not bank a lot of bonus as the variant rounds had none. He and I were the sole finishers of round 2 with him about 5 minutes faster. His relay round time though gave him a ridiculous 12 minutes of bonus points which carried him slightly over me for the top individual placement entering the playoffs. Still, the two of us were significantly separated from the field with Yuhei Kusui from Japan in third. As I predicted, in a championship with strong scoring biases towards classics, all 4 "classics trophy" players were in the top 8 (1,2,4,7). We went through long playoff rounds (that continued to be adapted seemingly on the fly in an unsettling way - we first got a list with 3 puzzles in the 3 rounds, then it suddenly became 4 before they started. We had semifinal/final/classics final listed on the page but they ran it semifinal/classics final/final.
So, anyway, after struggling with jet lag and round and round of puzzles I broke but perservering to have a solid qualification, I pulled out two stellar finals rounds where it mattered on stage under the cameras and won both titles, hopefully putting to rest the need to run two "separate" championships. I appreciate having classics more represented in the competition, but the sad truth of classics puzzles is that if you make them very hard, competitors will go to the "nuclear option" of bifurcation to solve them fastest. I like poker and roshambo as much as the next person, but a sudoku tournament should test skill not luck and so the hardest classic in the playoffs being a total guess-fest was silly.
Negatives aside, the puzzles were excellent, many were incredible with artistic themes and beautiful solving themes. I'll enjoy solving them slower soon.