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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sudoku Grand Prix 2016

The WPF Sudoku Grand Prix 2016 is here! After successful editions in 2014 and 2015, the 2016 edition consists of eight rounds held across the first seven months.
The top-10 finalists will be invited for the GP playoffs during WSC 2016 (Slovakia).

Due to certain unfortunate incidents, I wasn't able to compete completely in the first two editions of the GP. Well, I'm really hoping to make it this year.
Rishi Puri, the current and two-time national champion, featured in the playoffs in both years while Prasanna Seshadri was in the playoffs last year. With Rishi 'retiring' from active participation, it'll be interesting to see how the GP unfolds for the Indians!

Scoring System
There has been some discussions regarding the new scoring system for the GPs. Historically, normalization of scores for a championship consisting of various rounds has worked well due to the unreliability of having similar rounds in terms of scores and difficulty.
The GPs did use normalization in the previous editions, and it was universally accepted.

I'm not convinced there was a need to go ahead without normalization this year, so it remains to see whether or not it will work. You can find some pros/cons being discussed about the new scoring system on the GP Forum.
Being part of the organizing team of Sudoku Mahabharat / Puzzle Ramayan (which are very similar to the structure of GPs), we had to change the scoring system during this year's rounds, due to the inconsistencies without normalization. So, I'm not particularly in favour of dealing with raw scores.

View Championship Page

Round 3: Czech Republic (4th - 7th Mar, 2016)
Coming soon...

Round 2: Serbia (5th - 8th Feb, 2016)
Ohhh no. I bombed this round. Just had a bad day. And another submission mistake made it worse. So, that makes it two bad rounds out of two :-(

Puzzles were nice, nothing extraordinary. Many of them turned out to be Converse-like variants, which incidently comes right before the Converse round of SM, so good practise there.

Round 1: Netherlands (8th - 11th Jan, 2016)
Not the start I was hoping for. Had a rough solve, got stuck up time and again. To make things worse, I had one submission incorrect.

Tiit finished the set in just less than an hour, which is phenomenal. Prasanna finished the set in 79mins putting him in 5th. I finished in 84mins, but the mistake dropped me to 14th place.
The puzzle quality was excellent, as expected from the Dutch authors.

I hope this is the round that gets discarded!

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