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((Anonymous)) wrote on October 26th, 2009 at 11:20 am
Hmmm. Well I wasn't there in Goa and this idea has never occurred to me - perhaps because at our own championship that logistics of giving back papers after they had been handed in would be all but impossible.

Still, whilst it appears to have obvious merit and appeal (indeed I don't think speculative bifurcaters would be rewarded at all - if they spot that their bifurcation was wrong it makes perfect sense to simply rub out and start again rather than to hand in; if they don't spot it and it gets handed back most likely the puzzle will have to be started from scratch and they'll be beaten anyhow; and if it was right then there is no difference), I still have serious reservations.

At a championship, as the organisers here are fond of pointing out, the accuracy of solving is more important than the speed. The aspect of being as sure as you possibly can be of handing in a correct solution, knowing that once handed in that's it, is a critical difference between solving for fun and competitive solving.

It's an additional pressure that only adds to the credibility of an eventual winner that overcomes it - indeed it's not an insignificant pressure - for example at our championships, only 24 of over 100 solvers actually correctly solved the 8 preliminary puzzles.

I'd rather interpret this episode (and with the utmost respect for Thomas, whom I don't particularly like to unnecessarily attack on his own blog!) as a personal failing that can be easily rectified in the future - making him an even more formidable solver. If you are that much of a quicker solver then that still hands you the advantage of a better opportunity to go back over your puzzle and check your answer.

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