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10 March 2010 @ 08:22 am
My secret is out. I will be constructing for, not competing at, the World Sudoku Championship this April in Philadelphia. (Although to be honest, after hinting for a very long time on this blog and elsewhere that I thought I should be writing the puzzles at this WSC, it shouldn't come as a surprise that this was my decision. I've been enjoying creating new sudoku challenges much more than practicing at getting faster with guessing which has felt necessary for recent WSCs. And tied to increasing work commitments, puzzle burn-out, travel fatigue, Eugene, and Slovakia, in some order, I still am not very enthused to compete anymore.)

The good news is that there is now a set date for a US qualifier to select a team for Philadelphia which many have been asking about and there are 5 open spots.
(Anonymous) on March 10th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
Interesting - I was half expecting the competitive bug to have bitten with you and that you were going to compete. It'd certainly have been a fascinating showdown with yourself and Jan M, after what happened last year. Still, with your and Wei-Hwa's perfectionist's standards we will have a lot to be looking forward to.

Will you still be coming to Philadelphia anyway?


P.S. If you're in need of a fiercely critical test-solver for the US qualifier, I think I might know a guy... ;-)
zundevilzundevil on March 11th, 2010 09:34 am (UTC)
It's clear to me that you're putting the good of the entire WSC enterprise at the forefront, and deserved to be commended for it. Now the Philadelphia WSC (the last standalone one, or so I'm told) will be extremely well-written, and thereby probably extremely well-attended too. Cheers.
(Anonymous) on March 11th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)

Gaurav Korde
(Anonymous) on March 11th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
I know its good for the WSC but its bad for the competition. It would have been great fun to see you v/s Jan Mrozowski specially after the kind of timings he is doing in Mock Tests and other National Championships!!

Also I wanted to test myself with you.. as in where i would stand in front of you!! it will surely lessen the charm but i am sure we will have the best WSC in terms of puzzles. :)
(Anonymous) on March 11th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
above post by Gaurav Korde
(Anonymous) on March 13th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Can people from other countries participate in the U.S. team qualifiers (even though we can't make the team)?
(Anonymous) on March 16th, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)
You can participate, but don't forget to register before the tournament.

Concerning WSC, everybody will expect top quality puzzles... Another kind of challenge for you, but an interesting one anyway.

What influence do you have on the choice of the puzzles ? Could you and Wei-Hwa create the whole set according to your wishes or do you have to obey some constraints ?

Bastien Vial-Jaime - Ours brun
motrismotris on March 16th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure why others are responding for the American captain regarding participation. Its also not my place to respond, so I haven't, but we have never published public results or times on our qualifiers and so there is no real point in trying to compete at the day/time of the qualifier as there will be no listing of results. Puzzles will be available later.
(Anonymous) on March 17th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Given that you have to tell about your country and citizenship when registering for the competition, it seemed evident that it was possible to participate even if you were not american ; that's why I permitted myself to answer, although not "allowed" to do so...

Bastien Vial-Jaime
motrismotris on March 17th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
I'd actually just think that was recycled code from the standard USPC registration form which encourages foreign participation. Maybe Nick has other thoughts in mind (I doubt it) but the puzzles aren't even specific to this qualifier as they are being borrowed from another nation's championship where Wei-Hwa Huang and I contributed puzzles. That's why I'd assume on the other side of things that the participation and grading will be limited and results not made publically known except for the team ID itself, just as happened the last 4 years with US qualifying.

affpuzz on March 17th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
Well, the e-mail that went out to (some?) previous USPC contestants said, in part:
"Only US citizens can be selected to the US Team. However, the qualifying test is open to anyone interested is solving interesting puzzles! Also, the puzzles will remain available after the online competition, so you need not participate if you just wand to solve for fun."

So, I would have guessed that there's some expectation of non-US participation. I'm actually surprised from that e-mail that there will be no results posted.

motrismotris on March 17th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm obviously out of the loop. I've seen no such email and do not know what will specifically happen. I'm simply describing what I've seen each year in the past, and why I'd say I wouldn't get your hopes up that this will run like an actual USSC (which we've never had) to compare with the USPC.
(Anonymous) on March 18th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks affpuzz, I was sure to have seen something like this but I couldn't remember where.

Bastien Vial-Jaime