Three Filipino Sudoku champions were among those 54 of the world’s best Sudoku grand masters from 18 countries that came face to face in the recently concluded 2011 Beijing International Sudoku Tournament (BIST) held in Beijing, China on May 19 – 22, 2011.
The participants ranging from below 18 years old to above 40 years old came all the way from Australia, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and the host country, China. Thirty five of the participants belonged to 18 to 40 age group, around 9 puzzlers were above 40 years old and only 10 were below 18 years old.
More often than not, the most important skills in this number puzzle game are speed and accuracy which the Philippine contestants had brought along with them as they took the challenge of the 2011 BIST.
Sarah Jane Cua, 16-year old and a two-time international Sudoku champion in Singapore, was presented with a special award for ending up as first placer in the age bracket 18 below, receiving a cold cash of US$500 (Php20,000 plus) and a trophy while Timothy James Tan, 14- year old, 3rd year high school of Trinity Christian School-Bacolod City and the 5th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge Sudoku (PSSC) champion received US$400 (Php 17,000 plus) and a certificate for making it second placer in age 18 below group. Kaye Janelle Yao from Grace Christian College, another 5th PSSC champion (Wizard Category) was ranked 7 in the 18 below group.
This year’s winners were Jakub Ondrousek of Czech Republic and Jan Mrozowski of Poland who grabbed the first and second places and brought home US$6000 and US$5000 respectively. The competition conducted from 9 am to 6pm started with a preliminary contest composed of six rounds on Saturday and another preliminary contest with one round for the Semi-final from 9 am to noon time on Sunday. The final round was held on Sunday afternoon.
Dr. Simon Chua, MTG President, the head of the Philippine delegation was pleased at how the Pinoy Sudoku puzzlers fared in the contest. “Our participants did very well and they made us all proud again”, Dr. Chua said. He continued, “Having seen the potential of our 3 Filipino puzzlers, I can say that we will have a place in the sun”.