Puzzle Championships Across the World!

I’ve written plenty about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in the past, since it’s one of the best known and most prestigious puzzle events in the land.

But, as a proud member of PuzzleNation, a sovereign country in its own right, I know that the ACPT is just one part of a marvelous international puzzle community that spans the globe.

So when the folks at the UK Puzzle Association let me know about some upcoming puzzle championships, it seemed like the perfect thing to share with my fellow PuzzleNationers!

This weekend is the 2014 UK Sudoku Championship. A two-hour contest featuring puzzlers from across the globe, this is a print-and-solve challenge pitting you against numerous sudoku variants. (Here’s a PDF instruction booklet featuring examples of possible puzzles.)

There is also the 2014 UK Puzzle Championship later this month, but no details have yet been posted about it. (Apparently, instruction booklets and details are only released 1 week before the contest.)

Based on the 2013 contest, this is also a print-and-solve challenge, tackling all sorts of pen-and-paper puzzle styles. From deduction and mini-Scrabble games to Minesweeper-style maps and encrypted math puzzles, the 2013 booklet spans an impressive swathe of the puzzling world.

And these contests could be wonderful practice sessions for the 2014 World Puzzle Championship (23rd year!) and World Sudoku Championship (9th year!) this August! (This is the first time the UK has hosted the event.)

Open to members of the World Puzzle Federation — check out the roster of member countries here — each country sends teams to the championship based on qualifying rounds held in participating countries. (As it turns out, the U.S. contact for the World Puzzle Federation is none other than Mr. Will Shortz himself.)

As we get closer to the contest date, I’ll get more details on the specifics of how the tournament is conducted, but sufficed to say, this is a bit more tense than the UK counterparts I mentioned above.

This is pretty much the Olympics of puzzles, according to their website. I’m still holding out hope for synchronized sudoku at the 2016 Summer Olympics, myself.

In any case, it’s cool to get a glimpse of puzzle-solving and competition in other puzzle-loving lands. It really adds a PuzzleInternational feeling to the PuzzleNation community.

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