WPC 2006 – Borovets
Het vijftiende WK – ditmaal in Bulgarije.
23 deelnemende teams
Captain: Hns Eendebak
5 The Netherlands
8 Czech Republic
15 United Kingdom
1 Ulrich Voigt (Germany)
2 Wei-Hwa Huang (USA)
3 Maho Yokota (Japan)
4 Thomas Snyder (USA)
5 Roger Barkan (USA)
6 Niels Roest (The Netherlands)
7 Pál Madarassy (Hungary)
8 Mehmet Murat Sevim (Turkey)
9 Bram de Laat (The Netherlands)
10 Michael Ley (Germany)
6 Niels Roest
9 Bram de Laat
37 Maarten Löffler
59 Jaco Breukels
Warder, October 15th 2006
In March from this year, during the first Sudoku-championships, Nick Baxter said to me "It feels like October". Yes, October. The traditional WPC month, the event where we meet old friends and make new ones, this time in Borovets, Bulgaria. Borovets is famous for his beautiful slopes during the wintersport-season, but since solving puzzles has nothing to do with skiing there was no reason to go there. Besides, there is no snow in October. But if the amount of rain in October is comparable with the amount of snow in the winter, Borovets must be a good place for skiing. And it has about 30 restaurants, bars and nightclubs, enough for a good after-ski party. We didn't see much from the rest of Bulgaria; we visited Rila monastery on Sunday but the weather conditions were bad. And we were at Sofia airport for a long, long, long time. But the main goal of this trip was, of course, the 15th world puzzle championships.
Official scoring, all the teamphoto's and more information is on the internet:
First, for Deyan and his lovely girl Desislava: thank you very much for organizing this event. It's a hell of a job and you did very well., together with the Mensa-people. The puzzles were nice, there was a lot of variation and the instructions were clear. It was also a good thing that the puzzles were corrected fast and the results were posted directly, also on the internet. Results?
After two long days the three best puzzlers (Ulrich, Niels and Wei-Hua) of the world were placed one, two and three. But the last years a sort of semi-final and final has become the standard. In Borovets Deyan and his team made a semi-final, with the top-10 puzzlers, including time-advantage according to the points the semi-finalists had scored. Ullrich Voigt (1) had 32:42 minutes, Michael Ley (10) had 25:45, and all the others somewhere in between. The actual rule was #total points divided by 100 plus 10 minutes#. But anyway, three minutes after the semi's had started the audience received the puzzles. By that time a small mistake in the 'star battle' was already corrected on all sheets of the competitors. Unfortunately there was another mistake in that puzzle, so Deyan decided to stop the semi's. A good decision, but what to do next?
Vites, Will and Peter organized a meeting with all the teamcaptains and we decided to create a new semi-final. Georgy, Hendrik and me delivered a bunch of puzzles, Deyan made his selection, the French and some Belgium guys tested the puzzles and two hours later a new semi-final was played. By that time my team member Bram (who was 9th) was already on his plane home…
Wei-Hwa Huang from the USA won that semi-final, Ulrich Voigt from Germany was 2nd and Maho Yokota (Japan) became 3rd. They played the final and at the end of the day the top-10 looked like this:
37 Maarten Löffler
59 Jaco Breukels
Note that Michael, who actually played the semi-final and solved 3 puzzles, volunteered to switch places with Bram. Thanks Michael!
What about the teamscore and teampuzzles? After a lot of 4th places we ended 5th, after the USA, Germany, Japan and Hungary. For the 3rd time there was a 'weakest link'-teampuzzle and for the 3rd time the starting puzzle was too hard. It is a good concept, but the starting puzzle must at least be solvable, not by trial and error, but by pure logic. There was a team contest with four 9x9 puzzles cut into nine pieces: it was really hard to find out what pieces belonged to what puzzle. The USA finished just in time, two seconds ahead of the Hungarian team. That was a close finish and a very exciting part to watch.
As I said: the best puzzlers won. And the best team won. Another winner was Jan, who won the Dutch pool. And speaking about a pool: the hotel in Borovets has a nice and big swimming pool but due to the extra long final day I wasn't able to take a swim.
Some other business:
For the first time in the history of the WPC Kamer Alyanakyan from Turkey didn't compete in the official competition.
WSC2 (2007) will take place in Prague (Czech Republic).
WSC3 (2008) will take place in India
WPC16 (2007) will take place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
WPC17 (2008) will take place in Lithuania (probably in Vilnius)
Statistics over all those years:
I didn't make any pictures during the price giving ceremony. I don't have photos from desperate puzzlers, or from the night club in the basement of hotel Samokov. What I do have is a couple of good memories from a memorable championship with unexpected things that happened but after all the expected result.
See you in Brazil, or even better, in Prague. ;-) Hns