9. Rules of the Competition (Puzzles)

The World Puzzle Federation Forums Public section WPF Guide Book 9. Rules of the Competition (Puzzles)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #7264
    WPF
    Participant

    Rules of the Competition (Puzzles)
    This is a discussion about the section 9. Rules of the Competition (Puzzles) contained in the WPF guidebook that you can download here:
    viewtopic.php?f=15&t=162

    #7688
    Fred76
    Participant

    At one point, I would like to open a fundamental discussion about WSC. I feel some discomfort with the fact that there are more and more puzzles that I would hardly put in the sudoku category in sudoku tournaments.
    I feel that there are so many things to discuss in this 9th section of the guidebook that I don’t really know where to start.
    Ok I’ll begin with small details.

    In page 10: “Points will be awarded only for 100% correctly solved puzzles. There will be no partial credit. A time bonus should be awarded for the solution submitted before the time limit.”
    I’m fine with that rule. However, some different kind of rules were tried at different WSC: WSC 2010 and 2011 a code for each sudoku could be entered by players if I remember well. WSC 2013 some points were allocated for sudokus with minor mistakes (I don’t remember exactly, the criteria was one or 2 cells wrong or empty I think).
    My question is: What did we learn about these experiences? Were they bad ideas, so we now return to the rule as written in the guidebook, or were they good and the written sentence in the guidebook should be changed?

    #7689
    Fred76
    Participant

    Now about Play off:

    There were lot of discussions on players blog about different systems used as play off. While I think it’s not a good idea to fix the play off system in the guidebook, I think this text is not sufficient now to guaranty that some bad ideas in the past doesn’t repeat in the next years.
    Here are my thoughts:

    • The guidebook should define what is the aim of the play off.
    • The guidebook should define the minimal and maximal number of players that should be qualified for the play off.
    • The guidebook should specify that the best players after the preliminary rounds should have an advantage (time, choice of puzzles, etc…), so that the preliminary rounds which represent something like 90% of the competition is not just a warm up for them. We don’t reset the ranking at the beginning of the play off.
    #7690
    Fred76
    Participant

    I’ll speak more specifically about WSC:

    One of the best improvement of the last years (WSC and sudoku GP) is that all (or almost all) sudokus appearing in these competitions can be solved by logic.
    I think it became a commonly tacite rule (I know that some authors already apply this principle for all the sudokus they create) based on lot of negative feedbacks concerning rounds where players had to guess to solve a lot of sudokus.

    Therefore, I think that we now should be ambitious and I suggest to write it in the guidebook:

    All sudokus appearing in the WSC should be solvable by the logic.

    #7691
    WPF
    Participant

    Broken Puzzle – proposal by Wei-Hwa Huang
    Here’s some suggested text for future competition guidelines:

    * If a puzzle, intended to have at least one solution, has no valid
    solutions due to a small error[1], a competitor can get full credit by
    indicating that the puzzle is broken[2], making a small change[3] to
    the puzzle so that it does have at least one valid solution, and then
    demonstrating a valid solution to the changed puzzle. A competitor
    can get partial credit by indicating that the puzzle is broken[2] but
    not fixing the puzzle. The amount of partial credit given is up to
    the organizer but should generally represent how much time would be
    spent on the puzzle before the error becomes evident.

    * If a puzzle, intended to have exactly one solution, has multiple
    solutions due to a small error[1], a competitor who gets any of the
    possible valid solutions should get full credit. A competitor can
    also get full credit by indicating that the puzzle is broken[2],
    making a small change[3] to the puzzle so that it has exactly one
    solution, and demonstrating that solution.

    * If a puzzle does not have any errors (that is, it is exactly as the
    constructor intended), competitors cannot get credit by changing the
    puzzle.

    [1] A small error is a small change (see below) introduced to the
    puzzle that makes it differ from the intent of the constructor. The
    error might have been introduced by printing errors, typesetting,
    copying errors, incomplete or incorrect instructions, etc.

    [2] One way of indicating that a puzzle is broken would be to write
    “BROKEN” on the puzzle. Other indications may also be valid, at the
    discretion of the organizer.

    [3] An example of a small change would be the addition, removal, or
    movement of a number, line, or symbol, either in the puzzle or in the
    instructions. The precise details can be dependent on the puzzle type
    and should be a judgment call by the grader, possibly escalating to
    adjudication as necessary.

    Rationale: In an ideal world, puzzles used in a WPC / WSC competition
    will be free of errors, and have no unintended solutions. However,
    occasionally due to mistakes in checking or printing, such errors can
    slip through. Such errors cause problems in competition, because the
    competitor might attempt the puzzle in good faith, expecting the
    puzzle to be error-free, but then realize that the puzzle is broken,
    while other competitors might not have worked on the broken puzzle at
    all. The time they invested in solving the broken puzzle could have
    been spent to get points elsewhere. The purpose of this rule is so
    that a competitor who works on a broken puzzle has a simple recourse
    to turn their time investment into points, whereas a competitor who
    did not work on a broken puzzle doesn’t get an advantage (as they
    would if, for example, the puzzle were just thrown out of the round,
    or if all competitors received points for the broken puzzle).
    However, this rule only works if competitors are aware of this method.
    Therefore, we encourage all organizers to adopt such a rule in future
    competitions.

    #7692
    Realshaggy
    Participant

    The discussion about “puzzles solvable by logic” is very old. This is just a collection of facts and opinions that have been brought up regarding this topic in the past, as far as I remember them. (It’s in no way an expression of my opinion.)

    What means “solvable by logic”?

    If it means “You should not have to use Trial and error”, than one could say, that technically “Trial and error” (sometimes commonly called “guessing”) is just a part of the logic technique “Complete exhaustion of search space”. In a competition with logic puzzles, the solver usually stops after he found the first solution, because the puzzle is assumed to have a unique solution.

    If it means “The puzzles are only allowed to have the following steps”, like steps from the categorization at sudokuwiki.org, than you have examples in both directions which seem to be wrong.
    First, there are techniques in the “diabolic” category at this site, that are clearly only “advanced T&E”, like Bowman Bingo. Noone would use that in a competition over simple “T&E”.
    And second, there are puzzles with clearly logical steps, that even the solver at this site is not able to find (I remember an example at the old “motris” blog of Thomas some years ago).
    If you cut the list to “only easy or medium techniques are allowed” for the whole contest, then you discriminate solvers, who are actually capable of finding more complicated steps.

    Even most of the basic techniques are in fact some kind of “T&E”, the only difference is, that you do it in mind. Number “3” may not be in cell 1 for this reason, and not in cell 2 and 3 for another reason, so it has to be in cell 4. There is a difference between the solvers, how many steps they can think ahead without writing such things down and therefore what they consider “T&E”.

    Another problem with hard puzzles with complicated steps in it is, that it’s usually faster to do “T&E” than looking for the hard step. For general puzzles, this is an even more serious problem than in sudokus. There are puzzle types, where the top solvers usually don’t solve by logic, because it’s much faster to guess an almost solution by intuition and then fix all errors. Categories where this is very common are path puzzles and word puzzles.

    And last, there are opinions, that it is not bad to have some puzzles which require some “T&E”. Realizing, that you are on a point, where you could save a lot of time by trying something, is a skill worth testing. And even doing the T&E is a skill on its own. In sudoku, you usually have to choose a cell and a candidate, and you have to estimate, how much “easy information” you get with that choice, so that you get either a fast contradiction or enough information to make the puzzle considerably easier.

    #7693
    Fred76
    Participant

    I would like to open a discussion about puzzles that compose the WSC.

    I’m a sudoku player, WSC is about sudoku, so I expect puzzles appearing in WSC (and sudoku GP) to be sudoku. This sentence, which looks like a poor triteness, reveal in contrary an issue : we don’t have now a clear definition of sudoku, which would contain classic sudoku and all its variants.
    The limits are not clearly defined, thus each player, author, organizer can have different opinions on this subject.

    This year, I had troubles with 2 kinds of puzzles encountered in sudoku competitions that I would not have classified as being purely sudoku.

    • Hybrids with other puzzles : there are some variations of sudoku whose idea come from another puzzle type. That’s absolutely fine, no problem with that. Such well known variations are for example kropki sudoku and skyscrapers sudoku. Another new idea was born this year : pyramidal sudoku (sudoku GP 2015, round 6) which seems to be an hybrid between sudoku and the puzzle named pyramid : At the end, the puzzle is a sudoku and the external idea acts like constraint between digits in grey cells. Absolutely fine !
      Where I have troubles is when I have the feeling that the external puzzle doesn’t merge with the sudoku, it’s like the 2 puzzles are superimposed and we have to solve 2 puzzles in once. Examples are battleship sudoku (sudoku GP 2015 round 2, discussion here: http://gp.worldpuzzle.org/content/sudoku-gp-2d-round) and sukaku (sudoku GP 2015 round 4). In those example, the influence of the non-sudoku puzzle is not only to add constraint to place digit. In the first one we also have to place ships in the grid and in the second example we have to divide the grid into rectangles. These are surely nice ideas and nice puzzles, but in my opinion it crosses the boundaries of sudoku, hence they should be part of puzzle competitions, not sudoku competitions.
    • Puzzles that stretch the basic rules of sudoku : This year’s WSC contained a few puzzles that I would not have placed in the set of sudoku. I talked about it on my blog: http://sudokuvariante.blogspot.ch/2015/10/some-thoughts-about-wsc-2015-in-sofia.html.
      There are several ways to stretch or weaken common sudoku rules : use repeated symbols or digits instead of the classic set 123456789. Divide the grid into regions which don’t contain N cells (well-known examples : deficit/surplus sudoku, blackout sudoku). Make that finding the limits of regions is a part of the puzzle (well-known example : tripod sudoku), etc… In past years, I think lot of organizers/authors cared about the fact that putting such puzzles into sudoku tournaments meant playing with boundaries of the definition of sudoku. I don’t think it’s a coincidence if deficit/surplus sudoku appeared in small size in WSC 2010 (5*5!!) and WSC 2014 (7*7). Now in lot of recent situations I have the feeling that these kind of puzzles are now viewed as fully accepted puzzles for sudoku tournament and that they justify to have puzzles that are even further from sudoku.

    Here I want to make a small break and precise that I like innovations, new variants, new ideas and my point is certainly not to say that sudoku competitions should be composed only with classic sudoku and well-known variants.

    I fear now that we take the turn of having more and more such puzzles in sudoku competitions.
    I don’t see any problem if the amount and the difficulty of these puzzles are controlled. If I see here and there easy puzzles that I would not qualified as sudoku, that’s fine for me (I would not dispute about the 20 points overlapping latin squares of 6th round of WSC – even if it’s very clearly not a sudoku). But if entire rounds of WSC are composed with puzzles that can be controversial to be sudoku, then I’ll have some difficulty to convince myself that the S of WSC still means Sudoku. Or I have to change completely my understanding of WSC.
    I see a flaw where it would be very easy now for a WSC organizer to make a WSC that would be very far from testing player’s ability to solve sudoku.
    My point of view is that a text should be written in the guidebook to ensure that WSC will still be about sudoku, and that organizers have to care about it. But I’m far to be confident about the fact that this idea is commonly accepted, so now I’m not making a suggestion for the guidebook. I want to open the discussion, and I’ll be happy if people that disagree with me explain their point of view, so I could understand it better (now I must admit that I don’t understand the point about including these puzzles into sudoku competitions, and that causes sometimes a frustrating feeling to me).
    At this point I would also be happy to know the opinion of Slovak team who is in charge of organizing the next WSC.

    To finish this long post, I would like to say that if the community decides that everything is allowed for the WSC, then I would be happy if the instruction booklet is published before the registration process begins, so that each player can decide if he wants to take part according to what is proposed.

    Sincerely yours,
    Fred

    #7694
    Fred76
    Participant

    @Realshaggy wrote:

    What means “solvable by logic”?

    If it means “You should not have to use Trial and error”, than one could say, that technically “Trial and error” (sometimes commonly called “guessing”) is just a part of the logic technique “Complete exhaustion of search space”. In a competition with logic puzzles, the solver usually stops after he found the first solution, because the puzzle is assumed to have a unique solution.

    If it means “The puzzles are only allowed to have the following steps”, like steps from the categorization at sudokuwiki.org, than you have examples in both directions which seem to be wrong.
    First, there are techniques in the “diabolic” category at this site, that are clearly only “advanced T&E”, like Bowman Bingo. Noone would use that in a competition over simple “T&E”.
    And second, there are puzzles with clearly logical steps, that even the solver at this site is not able to find (I remember an example at the old “motris” blog of Thomas some years ago).
    If you cut the list to “only easy or medium techniques are allowed” for the whole contest, then you discriminate solvers, who are actually capable of finding more complicated steps.

    Even most of the basic techniques are in fact some kind of “T&E”, the only difference is, that you do it in mind. Number “3” may not be in cell 1 for this reason, and not in cell 2 and 3 for another reason, so it has to be in cell 4. There is a difference between the solvers, how many steps they can think ahead without writing such things down and therefore what they consider “T&E”.

    I know this is quite impossible to define exactly what means “solvable by logic”. But in the real facts it has a concrete meaning. I only made one guess during the 2 days of WSC, and I’m not sure this guess was essential to solve the sudoku. That’s enjoyable for me. When a beginner comes to me and asks me to help him to solve a sudoku that he wasn’t able to solve during the round, I’ll be happy to explain him how to solve it and perhaps learn him some techniques or tricks. We share a same passion. I don’t want to tell him “put a 3 in that cell, and then it’ll be easy” or “nobody actually knows how to solve this sudoku” or “download this sudoku solver, it will show you how many forcing chain you need to solve it, but nobody can do it that way in less than one hour”.
    The same applies for online contest. When I’m not able to solve a sudoku and I ask on the forum of the competition, I’m happy to have an explanation and perhaps learn something new. If I’ve no answer, then what is the point of suggesting this sudoku?

    @Realshaggy wrote:

    Another problem with hard puzzles with complicated steps in it is, that it’s usually faster to do “T&E” than looking for the hard step. For general puzzles, this is an even more serious problem than in sudokus. There are puzzle types, where the top solvers usually don’t solve by logic, because it’s much faster to guess an almost solution by intuition and then fix all errors. Categories where this is very common are path puzzles and word puzzles.

    I know it’s more complicated for puzzles in WPC: there are some puzzles which are more intuitive or visual. That’s why I proposed it for WSC only. Also it doesn’t mean players are not allowed to guess if they want to. If they think it’s faster to guess, or feel comfortable to use “T&E”, or if they are stuck while solving a hard one, they can do it on every puzzle, even those which can be solved with logic.

    @Realshaggy wrote:

    And last, there are opinions, that it is not bad to have some puzzles which require some “T&E”. Realizing, that you are on a point, where you could save a lot of time by trying something, is a skill worth testing. And even doing the T&E is a skill on its own. In sudoku, you usually have to choose a cell and a candidate, and you have to estimate, how much “easy information” you get with that choice, so that you get either a fast contradiction or enough information to make the puzzle considerably easier.

    For the WSC, I think about these rounds of “very hard” classic sudoku, which contained 90% of sudoku that nobody solved with a logical path during the competition. I never heard players who told me it was an enjoyable round. I think it’s a real improvement to not have any of these rounds in WSC for ~3 years.

    Again, I think the point is not to define exactly what means “solvable by logic” but to write this rule in the guidebook as a guideline for future WSC hosts. And so we remember that at some point we had WSC that contain rounds with “too hard sudoku” and that it was a bad idea.

    #7695
    Fred76
    Participant

    I feel a bit alone in the discussion about WSC. However I’ll keep going and try to make more precise proposals.

    I incidentally came across the “Open Letter to the World Puzzle Federation Regarding Sudoku Championships” written by Thomas Snyder in 2009: http://motris.livejournal.com/70037.html

    There are still a lot of things in there that can be applied and that we have to think about concerning WSC.
    I would like to talk about the 2 first sections: classic sudoku and variations.

    About variations, I think I already exposed my opinion. I found that the sentence in Thomas letter: “While I’ve written a book of Battleship Sudoku, that combines the puzzles Battleship and Sudoku, we can agree that this kind of puzzle – which rewards experience outside of sudoku – is not appropriate at a WSC.” is emblematic of the actual situation. More precisely: some authors or organizers don’t agree now with this assertion and consciously try to “extend sudoku competition and make it more puzzlish”. As a consequence, it means that to be a good WSC player, or good at these sudoku competitions, a player has now to be good at other puzzles, too.
    That’s where I would place my limits as an author of sudoku tournaments. I think it would be fair that a WSC competitor that is not aware of other puzzles than sudoku should have the same chances as, let’s say, an experienced WPC competitor.
    (I know the argument: “being good at other puzzles can improve one’s sudoku skills”, and while I agree at some degree with that, it is not my point here).
    I feel a bit embarassed to make a concrete proposal for the guidebook, as it seems to me that the only thing I’m asking is that the only puzzle that should appear in WSC is sudoku, and it sounds a bit incongruous to my ears. I’m still curious to know the limits of other organizers/authors/competitors and to learn other arguments in favor of extending the limits than “I don’t like sudoku” or “it would be boring”.

    About classic sudoku, I think the last 2 WSC had put classic sudokus on the sideline. It’s not a good welcome sign for newcomers that perhaps don’t have yet a complete picture of all the variants techniques. Having 2 easy classics at the end of each round is probably a good idea, but it doesn’t test competitor’s ability and speed to solve classic sudoku on its own, as it’s more about a choice to solve them or not.

    I propose something like that for the guidebook:

    There should be at least 2 rounds of classic sudoku at WSC, one round composed by easy/medium classic sudoku and another round composed by “fairly” hard classic sudoku. At the end of the competition, the points gained by competitors on each classic sudoku round should be added to give a “classic sudoku ranking”. The best competitor in this “classic sudoku ranking” should be rewarded as being the best classic sudoku solver of the year.

    Comments: there are a few very good classic sudoku players. Some of them have not the same level when the whole bunch of variants come into play. They will never have a chance to be well ranked at a WSC, despite their incredible talent at being fast at solving classic sudoku. I think they deserve a special ranking (I think something like that was done during WSC 2010).
    I think easy/medium classic sudoku round could be similar as the classic sudoku round of WSC 2014 or 2015. The “fairly” hard classic sudoku round should contain hard but reasonable (as described in Thomas letter) classic sudoku. If I remember correctly, WSC 2013 contained a hard classic sudoku round. I don’t remember if every sudoku were “reasonable” or if perhaps one of them was too hard (or it’s just that I lack classic sudoku techniques, what is probable).

    From a personal point of view, I would be much happier to miss the WSC playoffs because I’m weak at solving classic sudoku than because I don’t have WPC skills.

    I hope I’ll not be the only one to make comments here. It gives an “old grouch” picture of me, which I hope I’m not !
    Fred

    #7696
    Matus
    Participant

    Dear Fred!
    Sorry for leaving you alone in the discussion. Here are some of my thoughts, but they are not necessarily identical with my colleaguesˈ ones.

    I really appreciate the idea of having the Guidebook, it will be very useful for organizers in the future. However, I hope it will be treated as help, not as a restriction tool. Once it starts commanding the organizers the creative spirit disappears.

    From my point of view, the WSCs in both London and Sofia were smooth (regarding the puzzles, rounds, play-off system, etc.), but they missed any crucial point or any gradation. Most of the rounds were approximately the same length, they had a uniform layout with one sudoku per page and a few classics at the end. As for the authors, both the championships were a great parade of technically perfect sudoku reminding their blogs collections. Honestly, although the puzzles themselves were of impressive quality, such uniform competitions do not bring me any kind of emotions.

    The uniformity might guarantee the quality but after some time, it becomes boring. The WPF Grand Prix rounds and LMI monthly tests are definitely the best sudoku projects so far but I do not mind omitting some of their parts because I am aware of their preset standard. This is the reason why I am strongly against ordering how many classic sudoku rounds should be at WSC or how many contestants are eligible to the play-offs.

    I am not sure whether the answer areas worked well or not. I personally have not ever used them and that is why I am not comfortable with the case where my complete solution is worth the same number of points as some other’s incomplete one. On the other hand, the reduced points’ distribution for sudokus with some minor mistakes seems fairer to me, mostly because they are given to each affected competitor without any exception.

    Trying to define the border between Sudoku and Not Sudoku types is not a pleasant topic. I respect your opinion on magic squares and puzzlish sudoku variants. However, are these issues essential or just resulting from your frustration? Yes, in Sofia, there were at least two sudokus that definitely omitted one of the basic Sudoku rules but I am not sure whether their caused the main problems of the championship. The 4th round – Straight was very questionable for me because of its unreasonable point distribution, not the surplus/deficit rules. I am quite disappointed that this decision did not generate any public debate at Q&A session. I do not see any sense of these “against all” rules and I would be very glad if the contestants exercised their veto power.

    Of course, we will not force you to solve dozens inappropriate puzzles that are trying to look like sudoku. Please be sure that all of us are experienced sudoku solvers and authors and our goal is to prepare the best possible World Sudoku Championship. We are also familiar with some other topics you mention, so please try not to reveal any other surprises that might be prepared for all of you at WSC 2016 🙂

    Matus

    #7697
    Fred76
    Participant

    Hi Matus,

    Thanks for having answered me, despite the fact that you should be quite busy with next WSPC organization.

    Just a few words (EDIT: finally it’s not so short).

    First on the guidebook: I fully agree with you that it should not be a restriction tool. I see nothing in my propositions that are restrictive and would curb the creativity of the organizers. I’m not a fan of rule which set a maximal percentage of innovations, for example. Lot of things can still be done in another way that it has been done before.
    But I think the guidebook should give the foundations of what are WPC and WSC. Once we know what it is about, it’s easier to innovate without having the fear to be out of context. In my opinion, it’s not satisfying to say that the competition has to end up with play offs without saying for which purpose it is and without clarifying what it should be (this can be done without fixing the play offs system, so that organizers have still room to make it the way they want).

    I don’t understand your point about uniformity. You speak about layout for example, it’s just done in a way that it’s comfortable for players. You need a minimal size so players can write notes in cells (I remember a hard rossini sudoku in WSC 2011 which was too small to play it in a convenient way in my opinion), and if it’s too big it’s also not convenient (round 1 of WSC 2012 had perhaps too big grids). I hope you don’t think that putting illisible font is a fun way to make a puzzle harder. About uniformity of rounds length: While most of the rounds in WSC 2013 and 2014 were timed between 45-60 minutes, I don’t agree with you: we had also short rounds 20-30 minutes and long rounds 80-90 minutes. But finally it’s up to organizers to propose a balanced schedule, knowing that some players don’t like too short rounds (especially those which contain only one puzzle) and others don’t like too long rounds. I don’t think guidebook should fix rounds length.

    About classic sudokus: WSC is born thanks to sudoku boom in 2004. (As a player, I’m also a kid of the sudoku boom and I think I would never have heard about WPF without it). While the puzzle world and the WPC model provided great things to WSC (top-quality handmade sudokus, WPC model with rounds being timed and each sudoku being tested and assigned with points, etc..), and helped the WSC to be a perennial (I hope) competition, we shouldn’t forget what are the origins of WSC and we should not fear that the WSC can be slightly different from WPC. That’s why I think the guidebook should define what should be the role of classic sudoku in WSC. I could imagine a WSC without classic sudoku: I surely would have fun, but I think it would not really be a World Sudoku Championship. In my opinion, the World Champion must have 2 skills, that are related but still are a bit different: He has to be one of the fastest classic sudoku solver in the world and he must have skills to solve (fast) all the type of sudoku variants. Thus, even if the nowadays champions have both skills and without having classic sudoku rounds the ranking would probably not change that much, I think both aspects of the competition must be present in a WSC.

    @Matus wrote:

    Trying to define the border between Sudoku and Not Sudoku types is not a pleasant topic.

    I personally feel that we are taking a way on which it’ll soon be essential. Some authors consciously create sudoku variants that integrated puzzle things that are not related to sudoku. The reason is perhaps they like puzzle competitions and want to treat sudoku competitions the same way? Then sometimes the result (to my inexperienced puzzle player’s eyes) is a puzzle tournament on the theme of sudoku and not a sudoku tournament. I think about some tournaments on LMI. They are probably great tournaments and I’ve no problem with that, I only regret that nobody have the courage to classify them as puzzle tournaments and not sudoku tournaments.

    @Matus wrote:

    I respect your opinion on magic squares and puzzlish sudoku variants. However, are these issues essential or just resulting from your frustration?

    I would say no pun that my frustration comes from the fact that I consider these issues to be essential. I can ensure you that I can make a difference between my frustrations that are due to my poor performances (and I was in no way speaking about that here), and my frustrations of seeing inappropriate puzzles while discovering instruction booklets.

    @Matus wrote:

    Yes, in Sofia, there were at least two sudokus that definitely omitted one of the basic Sudoku rules but I am not sure whether their caused the main problems of the championship.

    Without speaking about organizations issues that could have been pointed out during this championship, I think the 2 main problems of this WSC were the cancelled team round and puzzles that were not sudoku. Other competition aspects were nice and fair: The quality of sudokus was globally good, the point distribution for each sudoku was globally fair and rounds were nearly well timed.
    I understand that lot of players that are experienced puzzle players don’t bother that much about puzzles not being sudoku. But I would have more trouble to hear from an organizer that having non-sudoku puzzles in his sudoku competition isn’t an important issue. I also think it can give a poor image of the discipline at the outside.
    Yes, 4th round had unreasonable point distribution. For me it’s an issue that is far less important that the fact that it’s questionable to be a sudoku (and for me it’s clearly not a sudoku).

    @Matus wrote:

    Of course, we will not force you to solve dozens inappropriate puzzles that are trying to look like sudoku.

    I’m only half reassured, because I’m not sure we understand the word inappropriate in the same way. On your blog, you made an announcement of next WSC/WPC: http://www.slovaksudoku.com/en/blog/2015/11/world-sudoku-puzzle-championship-2016.html.
    (I’m not sure it will really be useful to practise the archive of your blogs as mentionned, because the championship will surely not be “great parade of sudokus reminding your blog collection”, but that’s not the important point).
    You mentionned the online competitions you organized in the past, and that’s where I begin to fear because I found that some of these sudoku competitions contained a few non-sudoku puzzles (for example, I’ll never consider a puzzle where I’ve to draw a closed fence as being appropriate in a WSC).

    Sometimes I feel a bit like a stranger as a sudoku player in the puzzle community, perhaps all these stuffs are my own problems and I’m just not in the right place.

    Fred

    #7698
    Fred76
    Participant

    Hi,

    I know the deadline for discussion concerning the guidebook was end of January, and I know the guidebook was not published since end of March.
    But the discussion that had started here incidentally restarted on my facebook wall when I said I’ll not take part in WSC 2016. My facebook wall isn’t the appropriate place to discuss about it, so I allow myself to copy this discussion here. I don’t know if the WPF board still feels concerned about WSC.

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    I don’t want to expatiate here, but just wanted to clarify that this confusion was just a small element added to my feeling of kafkaesque world of WPF.
    I still have no answer to all of the questions I asked after WSC 2015 (basically on the WPF forum if you don’t understand what I mean). WPF promised a guidebook (it was “the top priority” for this year – GA minutes 2015) to be finalized before end of March. Where is it???
    That make me think the WPF just want to use sudoku to promote general puzzling, they don’t care about WSC and promoting sudoku, and now I think the WPF is not a good organization to supervise the WSC. Think about that: nor the WPF neither WSC 2016 organizers are only able to state that WSC has to be 100% about sudoku. Of course they fear the consequence that is: to define what is a sudoku… The only constraint coming from the WPF about puzzles for WSC is that they should be “cultural – and language-neutral”. Lot of authors are now using this lack of regulation to make the sudoku tournaments fun for puzzle players who are “bored to solve sudoku”. Please puzzle authors, don’t be hypocritical, we all know it’s so easy to take a non-sudoku puzzle and put a bit of sudoku inside to argue this is a sudoku… Don’t feign that you don’t see the difference between a kropki sudoku and a tripod sudoku.
    I think now the WPF should make a clear choice: either the purpose WSC is to designate the best sudoku player(s) in the world, either it is a warm up tournament for WPC players, and the hope is that the WSC will help WPC to be more popular.
    This led me to decide a few months ago not to take part in WSC this year and I think I’ll not take part in this competition in the future unless there are some big changes inside the WPF or some strong guarantees from the WSC organizers. The only sudoku thing that is working now from the WPF is the sudoku GP.
    If you have some comments, please use the WPF forum or send me an email, here is not the appropriate place to debate.

    @Tiit Vunk wrote:

    I don’t take this so seriously, but totally understand your point. The idea of having WSC with sudokus only is something that must be in my opinion. We already have a puzzle championship. Having sudoku variants can keep it exciting enough and having non-sudoku puzzles rather scare sudoku-lovers away. And unfortunately having few difficult and high rated non-sudoku puzzles in a contest can affect the results too much and unfairly.
    Unfortunately It clearly affected your result in the last WSC, I know it and I understand how you feel, but I hope you consider participating again because it’s always good to meet and compete with you. And I believe in Slovakian team and Indian team who are doing it next 2 years. They will create excellent sudoku-puzzles and quality WSC.
    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    Thanks, Tiit. For me the question is more important than my result, that’s what I want people understand. Of course I was not happy last year after WSC, although I still had fun because lot of sudoku were of high quality. But what affects me more is the absence of reaction from what should be the captain of this ship, the WPF.
    I wish you lot of success in Slovakia

    @Jan Novotný wrote:

    I would like to say, shortly, that people with an opposite opinion also exist in the community.
    I am sad when somebody is building a wall with a barbed wire between sudoku and puzzles. I am sad when puzzle-like sudoku is disappearing from sudoku competitions. I am sad when sudoku-like puzzles are disappearing from puzzle competitions.
    I am sad when organizers of sudoku & puzzle competitions are frightened and restricted rather than encouraged and supported.
    @Tiit Vunk wrote:

    I think no-one is building a wall between sudoku and puzzles. And having a WSC doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be sudoku puzzles in WPC. Sudoku is one of many puzzles and is defined quite clearly and it has a championship of its own. I think it’s more like about a principal issue which makes some people emotional and scares some people who are not familiar with non-sudoku puzzles away. There is no reason why True puzzle lover should feel sad if there are only sudokus in WSC though. In my opinion it may actually bring more people more together.

    @István György wrote:

    The main question is: which disturb more people:
    – having just sudokus on WSC (serving hardcore Sudoku-lovers like Fred)
    – or having some non-sudokus on WSC (in order to serve other, who don’t like – especially hard – Sudokus, because they don’t want to specify to just ‘one’ type).

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    Jan: I know opposite opinion exist and I was hoping a discussion on WPF forum last year… I’m a bit sad to see that the discussion comes only when you’re saying “I don’t take part in WSC this year”.

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    István György: I totally agree. I’ll add that a competition having “non-sudokus in order to serve players that don’t like sudokus” ….
    Well…
    I’m sorry but I’ll not label this one as “World Sudoku Championship”…
    Perhaps it’s just the wrong name.

    @Yuhei Kusui wrote:

    As a long-time puzzle lover, I might have slightly different opinion from you but I expect WSC fill the role of taking sudoku lovers into the puzzle community.
    However, it has nothing to do with sudoku types presented in WSC; hosting WSC and WPC continuously would be enough to achieve my desire. In fact, many WSC participants stay after the WSC then take part in WPC.

    @Tom Collyer wrote:

    Having non sudoku in a world sudoku championship is plainly ridiculous – the clue is in the name. But I agree there is a grey area. I think the problem is that puzzles in this grey area are often the most difficult, have the most points and therefore become crucial to the whole competition. One of the only bad points about the American WSC round was the last round, which contained exclusively guessing puzzles. My problem was not necessarily the inclusion of guessing puzzles (although they are certainly not to my preference), but that they were given so many points.

    Perhaps one solution for people who want to include “non traditional” sudoku variations is to reduce their importance to the competition by giving them half points?

    @Tom Collyer wrote:

    I’d also add in defence of puzzle-ish sudoku variants that some puzzles have very successfully combined with sudoku. For example: kropki, skyscrapers, star battle, futoshiki, maybe even battleships. I would argue there has to be a space for authors to be creative with new ideas.
    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    I hate this word: “puzzlish sudoku” or “puzzle-ish” sudoku, because it can mean so many different things.
    My complaint is absolutely not about some variant coming from other puzzles. And Kropki and Skyscrapers are absolutely fine for me. They are sudoku variants, because they obey sudoku rules and you don’t have anything else to do than placing digits into cells according to extra rules that are some contraints for the placement of these digits.
    The big problem, as described by Prasanna below, is when you have other object to place in the grid, or other things to do for solving the puzzle, like fiding the limit of the regions, shading some cells, etc…

    @Tom Collyer wrote:

    Most odd/even variants are most helpfully thought as shading variants I would argue, and I don’t think there is anything particular about skyscrapers which fits naturally with sudoku. And for me, most skyscrapers sudoku are pretty tedious and don’t come close to realising the potential of the best skyscrapers puzzles.

    I don’t think there’s an easy definition beyond (generalised) rows/columns and a third regional constraint. Even with regards to placing objects, what if the objects are configurations of numbers, as in figure sudoku?

    I think you have to be very careful when you think about imposing rules, and the unforeseen limits on creativity that follow on from that. I don’t think you should hope for the rigid guidance you are apparently seeking.

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    Tom: Ok you have the point about imposing rules. And I’ll try to believe it is possible without imposing rules. There are so many sudoku tournaments that are 100% about sudoku, including some on-site championship like German and Polish sudoku championship, it should be possible for the WSC, too. It was the case in WSC 2014 and I don’t think there was some criticism about the championship being 100% about sudoku (or “puzzlish sudoku” not being represented).

    @Prasanna Venkatesh Seshadri wrote:

    I think the last point Tom made is an important one to consider because you want to have innovative variations at a WSC. And unless there is a dedicated review team, ideally consisting of primarily Sudoku solvers, I don’t know how the organizing team can always be right or give assurances of whether or not the new ideas will be received well universally.

    Its just important to define the problem here. From what I understand from discussions with Fred, his particular problems are of two kinds.
    1. Where the base rules of 1-X in row, column and region are drifted away from.
    2. Where there is an external puzzle type as a variant which does not mesh well with the Sudoku rules and requires a person to have the skill of solving that puzzle type too.

    Both points have a gray area, and will cause differences in opinion. That is all fine, and unavoidable.

    The important thing here is, does the WPF consider these as issues, and if so, they should define to what extent it is an issue. OR, the WSC organizers of a given year can define to what extent they consider it an issue. This will give solvers like Fred good insight to make an informed decision on whether the WSC matches with their personal goals or not, and therefore whether they will participate or not.
    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    That’s it !
    I invited the Slovak team in the discussion on the WPF forum. I had an answer of Matus (not in the name of the organizing team…) Some of these points were not very clear to me, or at least was not clear about what the Slovak team wanted to do about WSC, so I decided not to take part this year.

    @Tom Collyer wrote:

    I think it is definitely a mistake to have innovation at the WSC simply for the sake of it. I think the WSC is relatively mature now and people have a good feel for what sudoku is, even if it hasn’t been written down anywhere. The innovations have to make sense.

    For example, when I was in charge of the WSC on 2014 I had some criticism for not including many novelties. However, the novelties that were introduced, such as eliminate, were those that I judged felt like sudoku.

    Such judgements are clearly subjective, and I think the governance structures of the WPF are hopelessly inadequate in terms of being able to provide guidance. Until the WPF has a proper executive committee (not the board, and more than just Hana) together with a properly qualified advisory panel armed with a deadline I think the only option is to leave this to the discretion of the individual organisers.

    All that said, from my own experience as an organiser, I was certainly very happy to be trusted to do a good job rather than be burdened with an extra layer of WPF bureaucracy.
    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    I agree with you concerning innovation.
    However I’ll dispute at the higher point that this discussion is about innovation. This would mean the only innovation possible now comes from
    1. mixing sudoku with other puzzles
    2. stretching more and more the basic sudoku rules.
    I totally disagree with that, even if I’m not an author that innovate much. Of course it’s hard to innovate with sudoku, because so many things have been done. However I see that some authors are continuously finding new ideas. For example the series “A or B sudoku on Bram de Laat’s blog.
    But of course if you’re not able to stay in the sudoku field when you innovate, your puzzle should not appear in WSC.

    @Prasanna Venkatesh Seshadri wrote:

    Fred Stalder The problem here is, no matter how mature the WSC is, there will always be some gray area there. Look up at this same thread. Tom has mentioned his list of puzzle types which became Sudoku variants, and he says “maybe even Battleships” whereas you were very strongly against Battleships Sudoku, if I remember correctly. So its not that easy to just say at the time of innovation that “this” is where the line is drawn. Not unless there are some definitions at the start going in.

    Maybe we say that shading/loop types are off limits from a point Jan made below. Thats concrete. Its something which can’t be argued upon if set. No gray area there. Then maybe we say that the line “1-X in row, column and region” has to be there. Again that’s something concrete. but then you have Surplus, Deficit, Blackout, etc. going out of the definition.

    In the end I’ll make a point as an author – any puzzlish variant can be made more Sudoku-ish by an author. Its just about the logic that drives the start and then the bulk of the puzzle – this logic should be Sudoku logic or a simple non-puzzle-like logic (e.g. consecutives/odd-evens). For example look at the two Disparity Sudokus here – http://logicmastersindia.com/lmitests/?test=M201411S . Personally I’d say that the top one is Sudoku-driven whereas the bottom one is puzzle-driven (i.e. the Region Division puzzle genre).

    @Tom Collyer wrote:

    You both misunderstand me. The question isn’t about deciding what is or isn’t acceptable as sudoku now. It’s very clearly subjective and will differ from person to person. Even the apparently 100% concrete definitions you lay out prasanna I definitely disagree with (odd labyrinth sudoku is my immediate counter example)

    The question is about WPF guidance on the subject. I don’t doubt Fred’s ability to disagree with even an expert advisory panel but the point is we are nowhere near that. Until then we are in the hands of the organisers. And to be honest I don’t think we have anything to worry about with Slovakia. Any progress with the WPF is essentially dependent on volunteers so I don’t see things changing significantly anytime soon.

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    Prasanna I agree it can be a grey zone, for common variants as well for innovation. Concerning your example, I agree and I think I gave my opinion in the thread of this tournament. But my point is that not all innovations are in the grey zone or “puzzlish”. Some innovations are clearly sudoku and I would like to see more of them (but it’s the harder to acheive, as always).

    @Prasanna Venkatesh Seshadri wrote:

    My point wasn’t that these definitions would work but that they are something concrete. The definitions can differ and my point is more that there should be “some” definitions of this sort because its a very valid problem here.

    I was just giving examples of concrete definitions versus saying “Sudokus with puzzle elements and puzzle solving” which just can’t be worked with because it is completely subjective. Of course there is a process of discussion here to word those definitions better and consider their implications. But I think it is possible, and a discussion about defining things is worthwhile since as you said we do not have any signs of an expert advisory panel happening yet.

    Once things are defined (and again, the definitions themselves can be much more lenient and differently worded than the examples I gave) it will be easier for Sudoku specialists to make a decision on whether or not the Championship is for them. At least the decision to make is based on consistent factors to an extent, rather than, as Fred is saying now, not being clear on the opinion on the other side.

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    Tom: I agree with you. But the WSC organizer has to decide what is or isn’t acceptable. The WSC is now the result of the vision about sudoku of organizer. In his message on the WPF forum, Matus said things like “Trying to define the border between Sudoku and Not Sudoku types is not a pleasant topic.” or “There were at least two sudokus that definitely omitted one of the basic Sudoku rules but I am not sure whether their caused the main problems of the championship.” I didn’t know how to interpret that. Adding to that the fact that their advertising contained links to previous tournaments like “logidoku” (I have nothing against this competition, but in my opinion it’s clearly not 100% about sudoku). If you don’t think we have anything to worry about with Slovakia, you may have more information than me.

    I think the WSC organizer would be kind to share his vision of sudoku before the event, so that players like me, who don’t like to take part if this vision is far from mine, can take an enlightened decision about participation. And next year I hope Indian organizers will be able to share their view very early before the championship, so that I’ll be able to take the right decision.

    @Jan Zvěřina wrote:

    If you make a sudoku specialist solve sudokish puzzles with a weak region constraint, I see no reason why he couldnt cope with it. After all, you use sudoku techniques to solve latin squares.

    However, I agree with you when it comes to puzzlish sudokus. If you have a masyu sudoku in a sudoku competition then its clearly unfair to those who never played masyu.

    A common argument is the precedent of sudokus with puzzle origin like kropki and skyscrapers. It is no wonder that some latin square puzzles were adopted into sudoku but it cant be used as justification for adopting for example object placement puzzles or shading puzzles. Moreover, there is no difference between kropki and genuine sudoku variants like consecutive or XV. And though the solving of skyscrapers might feel puzzlish, if you write the rules as follows: “numbers outside the grid indicate the number of increasing numbers in that direction” then it really sounds like a sudoku.

    I would agree here that anything that requires you to draw anything inside the grid is not sudoku (this interpretation covers tripods, psycho killers, battleships, tapa sudoku, masyu sudoku etc.). I would still make some exceptions here. For example, star battle sudoku is still ok (for example on one chinese website you can find this sudoku type with numbers 1-7 and two 8s where the absence of objects makes it even more sudoku), and arrow sudoku with missing circles (as it was presented in the Serbian LMI test) would still be ok.

    Even though I think these puzzles dont belong to a sudoku competition I still dont protest if I see them. I know there will be a whole round of puzzlish sudokus in this year´s Czech championship and I dont mind it. But I understand that some players get irritated. I get irritated by other things. For example very strange time bonus system in the Polish championship is one of the reasons I would probably never attend this competition. And I think this year´s GP (which you praise for being pure sudoku) was more damaged by non-existing normalization and strict and arbitrary partial bonus rules than any amount of non-sudoku puzzles can do.

    I appreciate you put pressure to WPF as it would be good to have these things clarified but I am not sure it is a good idea to boycott Slovakian WSC (I attended Slovakian national championship this year and may confirm the puzzles were 100% sudoku according to your criteria).
    @Yuhei Kusui wrote:

    The boundary between common variant sudoku and puzzlish sudoku might be like a sort of “national selection”, frequency in other words; more or less for a sudoku of new rule, its first appearance gives some feelings of discomfort, but as it appears many times the discomfort eventually diminishes and that sudoku recognizes as a common variant sudoku.

    @Christoph Seeliger wrote:

    There is so much personal taste in this discussion. I for myself would draw a clear line between Tripod and “Naked” Killers and the other puzzly types you mentioned. These are clearly types that set people at an advantage who have experience in constructing Irregular Sudokus by hand. Why is that not a skill you want so support in a contest/championship? As some people mentioned, it’s also a matter of difficulty. If you make the innovations easy, they feel uninteresting and somewhat pointless. If you make a nice and medium to hard instance, they get too much influence fast compared to the classic variants.

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    Jan: Please don’t use the word “boycott”. I’m not boycotting anything. I decided not to take part because I was not sure it’ll be a competition for me. I’m not sponsored in any way. Taking part in WSC is a non negligeable amount of money for a musician living in Switzerland (no, I’m not a banker), I’ve to pay fees at the swiss puzzle federation, the trip and the fees to take part. This year I decided to take a week’s holiday in Italy in summer instead of spending my money to take part in WSC.
    I’ve seen the sudoku of Slovakian national championship and yes, they are 100% about sudoku according to my criteria. That’s not a guarantee for me, national champ. of WSC organizer are often published, and believe me, it’s sometimes far to be the same competition (but in lot of cases this is better).
    Of course I would have liked that their answer was “We agree with you and we’ll do a WSC that is 100% about sudoku”. Apparently they’re not, at least from what I understood in Matus message on WPF forum, or at least they don’t want to say they are (if the WSC is 100% about sudoku, that will probably mean they are) so what other choice I have than not take part?

    @Fred Stalder wrote:

    Yuhei : I totally disagree, or at least I was not using puzzlish in the same way (well, I’m not using puzzlish at all, because it can mean anything). Seeing a lot of tripod sudoku will not make it less puzzlish in my opinion. It’s always not about filling digits in cells, even if in the end the solution is a sudoku. If you want to embarass a sudoku player, the tripod sudoku of the Italian round of sudoku GP 2013 will be perfect.
    Some variants that have nothing “puzzlish” might have been seen very rarely.
    I say again that for me the problem has nothing to do with novelty or innovations.

    #7699
    Matus
    Participant

    Dear friends,

    As we were mentioned several times in the ongoing discussion, I would like to write a statement on behalf of the WSC organization team. Please, note that we are fully engaged in WSC&WPC organization which will start in 10 weeks and there is so much work to be done prior to championship. We are not very thrilled of being involved in such a hateful discussion, so please, respect our right to remain silent. If the discussion proceeds, we can join after the event.

    The puzzles for the 11th WSC are ready and we guarantee all of them are absolutely appropriate for this competition. I personally feel very sad to be judged by one forum post rather than the actual work we have done and also, I am very sorry for anyone deciding not to take part in our championship for such reasons.

    No, we do not think publishing the Instruction Booklet before the registration is closed would be appropriate. The reason is that it would not be fair if some participants could study the booklet and practice longer than the participants who qualify and register later (and may not see the booklet). Needless to say, it might be an issue for most of the organizing teams to have the puzzles, examples and points ready and tested for such a long time in advance.

    Also we do not think we are eligible to state what exactly a sudoku is and where exactly a border between a sudoku and a puzzle lies. If such a definition would be made by the WPF, we would fully respect it. But as this is not the case, we think it should be remained to the WSC authors’ judgment to prepare a set which is fully appropriate for the World Sudoku Championship.

    As we are not to define the borders, I am afraid you cannot possibly know our opinion on every possible sudoku/puzzle ever created. The only thing I can do now is to react to some of the examples mentioned above. However, we do not think our opinion must be correct and do not think everyone will agree with it.

    · We do think Skyscrapers Sudoku and Kropki Sudoku belong to the classic variants and therefore are suitable for the WSC.

    · We do not think the 1-9 and full regions rules are so crucial. In our judgement, the puzzle in the Round 4 at WSC 2015 was appropriate for the WSC. As I mentioned before, the scoring of the round was the trouble here but this is not the topic.

    · We do think Battleship Sudoku, Fence Sudoku or other puzzles used in the LOGIDOKU contest are interesting puzzles completely suitable for an LMI test. At the same time, we realize using such puzzles at a WSC might be questionable, if not controversial. If we wanted to use such puzzles at the WSC, we would make sure the “sudoku” element is crucial for the solving as being the best sudoku solver in the world should not require having other puzzles solving skills.

    · We do think a “logical” element should not be restricted in the sudoku variants. Drawing the regions into the killer does require a bit of logic but it does not make it less sudoku.

    We believe WSC authors should not be restricted on the number of puzzles of different category to create. For example, the WPF Sudoku GP is a great project but the rounds are not so memorable as some LMI tests as too much requirements might kill the creativity. If the authors is experienced enough, they should be able to create a balanced set of puzzles, so that the rounds are interesting, points distribution is balanced and there is a fair number of classics vs. variations and well-known vs. new puzzles.

    We are confident our WSC authors are experienced enough to create such a set. Personally, I am proud of ourselves – I think the WSC rounds are both interesting and quality and I cannot wait to see your reactions and experiences with them.

    Shall you have any questions regarding the upcoming WSC and WPC, please contact us directly and do not discuss our opinions without us. Examples of the appropriate places to ask us are WPF forum – WSC&WPC 2016 thread, Facebook page, Twitter page, the official or our personal email addresses.

    Thank you very much for your opinions, we are looking forward to see you in Senec.

    Best regards,

    Matus Demiger,
    WSC & WPC director

    #7700
    Fred76
    Participant

    Dear WSC organization team, dear Matus,

    First let me say a big THANK YOU to finally answer clearly to my message posted on 25th October 2015. ALLELUIA ! Even if very late, I hope you’ll believe me when I say I’m very happy to finally know your opinion on the subject.

    I don’t know exactly what you find hateful in the discussion, I hope it is not my messages, in that case I can only say I’m sorry if I hurt you, and I beg you to believe that it was not intentional. I may have seen some harsh discussions about the WSC/WPC in the past (for example here : http://wpc-2013.blogspot.ch/2013/08/around-world-in-80-puzzles-introduction.html?showComment=1376475475831#c3443236584636741128 ). I hope this kind of communication will not become frequent in the puzzle community and I hope I didn’t contribute to it.
    I reread the discussion and I’ve to say that, even if some of my comments are rough, mostly against the WPF or WPF board, and if I was very insistent, these are only the reflection of my thoughts and I hope it’s not disrespectful. And I don’t regret to have been insistent because it led to the 1rst real answer, 288 days after I ask the question. To be honest, I find that the only disrespectful comment in the discussion was against me : I’m not building a wall with a barbed wire between sudoku and puzzles. Please be sure I’ll fully support you if someone use the same kind of argument against you because you said: “being the best sudoku solver in the world should not require having other puzzles solving skills.“

    @Matus wrote:

    I personally feel very sad to be judged by one forum post rather than the actual work we have done and also, I am very sorry for anyone deciding not to take part in our championship for such reasons.

    I’m sure you’ll believe me when I say that I was not judging you and the quality of the WSC 2016 based on your previous message on the forum. You are smart enough to understand that I can judge your work only after the WSC, and I’ve to take the decision of my participation before it. I quoted your post on the forum only to explain why I took the decision not to take part. The real reason not to take part was not your post, but the absence of answer to my questions. Silence can be a deterrent. I now consider that you fully answered me and will respect your silence from now. I’m still curious to know your work on WSC 2016, and I hope I’ll be able to test the rounds once the puzzles will be available on the WPF archives. Only after, I’ll be able to have an opinion about the quality of WSC 2016. I hope you’ll not be hurt if I say you, Matus, that your first answer on this topic was not clear enough to give me the desire to spend lot of money to take part in WSC.

    While I don’t have exactly the same opinion as you concerning some puzzle types, I’ll not discuss about that now. Be sure I’m very happy to finally know your opinion on the subject and I respect it.

    I agree with you when you say that without any guideline from WPF, it’s up to WSC organizers to decide which puzzles are appropriate for WSC. I still think WPF should be clear about the goal of WSC, even if I don’t expect a strict definition of sudoku from WPF. A clear guideline could however remove some pressure on the WSC organizer, who, I can imagine, already has a huge amount of work to organize such an event.

    @Matus wrote:

    the WPF Sudoku GP is a great project but the rounds are not so memorable as some LMI tests as too much requirements might kill the creativity. If the authors is experienced enough, they should be able to create a balanced set of puzzles, so that the rounds are interesting, points distribution is balanced and there is a fair number of classics vs. variations and well-known vs. new puzzles.

    Funnily, even if I don’t totally disagree with your opinion, I think the opposite is true: The creativity of an author, if he’s experienced enough, should not be killed by these kinds of requirement. For example, being creative in building a set of classic sudoku should be the kind of challenge an experienced author will like.

    In conclusion, I want you to be sure that, even if I don’t take part in WSC 2016, my dearest wishes are that it’ll be a wonderful event for all participants,

    Best regards,
    Fred

    #7701
    Fred76
    Participant

    @Fred76 wrote:

    There should be at least 2 rounds of classic sudoku at WSC, one round composed by easy/medium classic sudoku and another round composed by “fairly” hard classic sudoku. At the end of the competition, the points gained by competitors on each classic sudoku round should be added to give a “classic sudoku ranking”. The best competitor in this “classic sudoku ranking” should be rewarded as being the best classic sudoku solver of the year.

    I never had answer on this proposal, I sadly never knew for which reason it was refused.
    Can you consider it again, and give some kind of answer. More globally, can you answer the 14 year question: What should be the role of classic sudoku in WSC.
    And even more generally, now you have a report on “what is sudoku?”, can we know how you’ll work on it? in which delay you’ll answer to the questions inherent to it (should (C)sudoku hybrids be excluded from WSC? Which proportion of (A)classic sudoku (B) sudoku variants is acceptable in WSC?)…
    All these questions sudoku fans are waiting for an answer from several years…
    I hope WPF board members understand we need answers in 2020, 14 years of stammering is enough, please consider my request that this year should be the year WPF board concentrate on sudoku questions, so we can finally have durable improvements…
    You now have the “What is a sudoku” report to help in the process.

    Sudoku fans are waiting, waiting, waiting for very, very, very, very long time !!!

    Thanks
    Fred

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
WPF