Timothy James Tan, a 14- year old and 2nd year high school student of Trinity Christian School in Bacolod City bested 28 other Sudoku grandmaster finalists in the 5th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge (PSSC) held at SM North EDSA last January 29, 2011.Tan overwhelmed the four other contestants in the final round when he finished the competition by solving the Mixed Standard Sudoku, a mind-boggling Sudoku puzzle variation, in less than six minutes out of the 30-minute time allotment, giving him a stunning 1,576.33 points. He took home Php60,000 cash, a glass trophy and several gift items.Last year, Timothy defeated the 74 other contestants in the Sudoku wizard category by wrapping up the final round and taking with him the P50,000 plus trophy and gift items.Other major winners of the grandmaster division were two students of the Ateneo de Manila University- Alvin Ian Chan of Vigan City (1st runner up) and Matthew Chris Chan of Metro Manila (2nd runner up), taking home Php40,000 and Php20,000 cash prizes respectively plus glass trophies and gift items. Making it in the top five and taking the 3rd runner-up was Marielle Dee still of the Ateneo de Manila University and the 4th runner-up was Frederick Ong, a CPA in professional from Bacolod also.In the Sudoku Wizard category, Kaye Janelle Yao from Grace Christian College in Quezon City defeated the 91 other participants by winning the championship round and taking with her the P50,000 plus trophy and gift items. Standing next to her was the 1st runner-up, Ma. Czarina Lao from St. Jude Catholic School in Manila and the 2nd runner-up, Jemima Sawey from Baguio City National High School who won Php30,000 and Php20,000 respectively plus glass trophies and gift items from sponsors. Bryan Joseph Borlongan from St. Mary’s College in Baliuag, Bulacan, and Cybelle Liana Go from Bethany Christian School in Cebu City were slated 3rd and 4th runners-up respectively.Bryan Russel Esperanza from St. Louis University Laboratory Elementary School in Baguio City finished the championship round earlier than his 4 other challengers. He was declared champion in the Sudoku Whiz Kid division, taking home Php20,000 cash prize, a trophy and some gift items. The other winners wereRhina Coleen Manabay from Sto. Angel Elementary School in San Pablo City andGerald Dalan from the Center of Excellence in Olongapo City who ended up winning the 1st runner-up with Php10,000 cash prize and 2nd runner-up with Php5,000 cash price respectively. Bryan Pocholo Miguel Illana from Divine Light Academy in Molino, Cavite was placed 3rd runner-up and Romeo Enguerra IIfrom Colegio San Agustin in Biñan, Laguna was slated 4th runner-up.The 5th PSSC was participated in by 161 students and professionals, all winners in the regional elimination rounds held in several schools and 15 SM malls across the country.The major winners in the three categories will have the chance to represent the Philippines in any of the following international Sudoku contests:
1. BRAND’S® Sudoku Challenge 2011 Asia Pacific Open in Singapore
2. 2011 World Sudoku Championship in Debrecen, Hungary
3. 5th BRAND’S SUDOKU Thailand International Open 2011 Princess Somsawali Cup in Thailand
Furthermore, Sarah Jane Cua, a 4th year student of Pangasinan Universal Institute was elevated to the Hall of Fame for winning the major title in the PSSC for 3 consecutive years and for her victory as champion BRAND’S® Sudoku Challenge Asia Pacific Open in Singapore in 2008 and 2010 and as 1st runner up in 5th BRAND’S SUDOKU Thailand International Open 2009 Princess Somsawali Cup in Thailand.Dr. Simon Chua, MTG President congratulated the winners for the remarkable show of great skill in Sudoku. He said that the winners put speed and accuracy in action of which were the essential elements of winning in this number puzzle. Dr. Chua with the MTG officers thanked Dr. Leticia V. Catris, OIC of DOST-SEI for her message and for gracing the opening program.The MTG family is also grateful and appreciative to Ms. Millie Dizon, Vice President for Marketing and Communications of SM Supermalls for her presence, message in the closing program and for unremitting support and cooperation. Mr. Armando Codera, Chief Technology Officer of TechFactors Inc. was guest speaker in the closing program who commended the all national finalists and the winners as well.The success of the 5th PSSC was attributed to the following sponsors SM, SM North EDSA, People’s Journal, People’s Tonight, Phoenix Publishing House, Inc., Tetra Pak, Number Works in Words, EC Pay, Dental B, Wilma Cruz Tapalla, San Miguel Brewery, Holcim, Pilot, Soda Stream, Binalot, Go’s Brother Construction Company, TechFactors Inc. and Vital Purified Bottled Water. Media partners: Manila Bulletin, Business Mirror, Commuter Express, Philippine Graphic, 105.1 FM Crossover, Tribune and Malaya Business Insight.