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Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 experience by Rajesh Kumar



Indian Sudoku Championship 2017
Indian Sudoku Championship and Sudoku Mahabharat Offline Finals were held in Quality Inn, Chennai on 29th July, 2017. Qualification to this Offline finals were through the 4 online Sudoku tests of Sudoku Mahabharat 2017 which were conducted at Logic Masters India website which took place from January 2017 to April 2017. Top 3 scores of these four tests were considered to rank the participants and then top 50 were called for the offline finals. My rank was 14th on these online rounds and I was looking forward to improve upon my rank in the offline finals.
Indian Sudoku Championship and Sudoku Mahabharat
Before I start writing my experience in this championship, let me first clarify briefly the difference between Indian Sudoku Championship (ISC) and Sudoku Mahabharat (SM). ISC is open to all the participants irrespective of age and experience in Sudoku solving and this championship is used to select the Indian Sudoku team for the World Sudoku Championship (WSC). However SM is to encourage the new participants. Experienced Sudoku players who has earlier participated in WSC are not eligible for SM playoff and SM prizes. As I came with experience of participating in many World Sudoku Championships, so I qualified only for ISC 2017.
Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 and Sudoku Mahabharat Participants
Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 and Sudoku Mahabharat Participants

Travel to Chennai
The championship was starting on 29th July, 2017 and I reached Chennai from Bangalore along with Harmeet, Rohan Buragohain, Prasanna and Sai Karthik Burra. Thanks for Harmeet for booking our train tickets and Rohan Rao for booking for hotel stay in Chennai. Many other participants coming from Mumbai and Hyderabad were staying in the same hotel.  After reaching hotel we quickly took dinner in the same hotel as it was raining outside and then immediately after dinner I went to sleep.

Registration for ISC and SM
Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 Identity Card
ISC Identity Card
Next day morning 9:30am event was starting. I reached on the Quality Inn on time and did the registration. Each of the participant was given Goody bag which contained personalized Pen, Writing Pad, Note book, Identity Card (printed on both sides), Championship Badge, Pen/Pencil with Logic Masters India printed on it and file container. Thanks for Sumit Bothra for taking care of logistics to get this goody bag and other things printed.  

Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 Trophies
Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 Trophies
It was not only the designs of Goodies which looked great, but it was also the design of the trophies for Indian Sudoku Championship (ISC) 2017. of  I liked the way in which trophies of ISC 2017 were designed. There was three trophies for the winners of the championships. One for the Indian Sudoku Champion 2017 and other two for the runners up in this championship. All three trophies has Sudoku puzzle on it which can be solved and each of the trophy is having a number written on it with the given numbers of the Sudoku puzzle.

Then there was quick introduction of each participants followed by Questions and Answers (Q & A) session in which participants cleared their doubts regarding the championship. Offline final was divided into four parts as mentioned below
Round 1 - The Classic begins
Round 2 - Trip down memory lane
Round 3 - Battling the Samurais
Round 4 - Octopus Link

Let me talk about each of the round
Round 1 - The Classic begins
In this round there were 12 Classic Sudoku puzzles to be finished in 35 minutes. Puzzles were arranged in the increasing order of their difficulty with the first one being very easy one and last one being the tough one. I started with round from middle and found first Sudoku which I solve quite smooth finish and then I moved to the next Sudoku till I reached the second last Sudoku which was of 62 points and was very tough. I have to make the guess two times to continue in this Sudoku and at last was able to complete this puzzle. However this Sudoku took most of my time and after this I started an easy Classic Sudoku but could not complete it as time was over. At last I could complete 5 puzzles out of 12 in this round. However all these puzzles were of high points and I ended up being standing 5th in this round after scoring 209 points which was quite good for me as Classic Sudoku has been always my weakest point in Sudoku solving :).
Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 Competition Hall
Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 Competition Hall

Round 2 - Trip down memory lane
This round contained Eight Sudoku Variations e.g. Consecutive Pairs Sudoku,  Extra Region Sudoku, Arrow Sudoku, Odd Even Sudoku, Skyscrapers Sudoku, Anti Knight Sudoku, Scattered Sudoku and Disjoint Groups Sudoku. All of these were standard Sudoku variation. I have not prepared any type specifically for this round and stated with Arrow Sudoku which I found easy and could quickly finish it off, then I moved to Skyscrapers Sudoku which was again my strength and could solve it fast. Then I moved to higher pointer Anti Knight Sudoku which was were tough and took most of my time. I could not proceed much in this Sudoku and I don't wanted to make a guess in this Sudoku as making the guess in this Sudoku type is very risky as one may end up solving the Sudoku incorrectly breaking the Anti Knight Sudoku rules. After doing some pencil marks I could find triplet in central square and then could proceed and finish it. However this Sudoku took lot of my time and then I moved to lower pointer to finish Odd Even Sudoku and Extra Region Sudoku. I started Consecutive Paris Sudoku after this. I could find the quick start in this Sudoku but could not complete it before the time was up. So I ended getting 237 points in this round which were below my expectation and I moved down in ranking after this round.

Round 3 - Battling the Samurais
Rajesh Kumar during Indian Sudoku Championship 2017
In this round there were two Samurai puzzles. First one was Classic Sudoku and another one was four different variations like Odd Sudoku, Irregular Sudoku, Extra Region Sudoku, Diagonal Sudoku and the central puzzle was Classic Sudoku. I started good in this round and within 10 mins I came very near to completing Classic puzzle. However I found that I am getting error in one of the puzzle. So I have to re-do almost full Sudoku to get it correct which costed me good time. However at the end I could complete this and then moved to Sudoku Variations Samurai Sudoku in which I could only complete two parts just before time. My performance in this round was below par and I got 320 points in this Sudoku which pushed my rank further down :(

Round 4 - Octopus Link
This was very interesting round and was new concept. In this puzzle there were 8 Sudoku puzzles. 4 of these 8 Sudoku puzzles were Classic Sudoku and remaining four puzzles were Sudoku variations which include Sudoku types like Diagonal Sudoku, Slot Machine Sudoku, Untouch Sudoku and Inequality Sudoku. All these eight Sudoku puzzles were linked together beautiful with each one of Sudoku puzzle sharing at least one cell in each row, in each column and in each outlined region. One has to find it out this shared cell among all these Sudoku puzzles and then solve the individual puzzles.
In all these given Sudoku puzzles Inequality Sudoku was solvable almost fully without any dependency with other puzzles. Once this Sudoku puzzle got solved then it was very easier to found  the links between the puzzles. I solve Inequality Sudoku very fast but was very slow to find the common links between these puzzles. So at the end I could solve fully only two puzzles correctly and couple of 3x3 cells filled which got me very low 158 points. After this round my rank fell to 12 which is my final rank in Indian Sudoku Championship (ISC) 2017.
Here are the results of the Indian Sudoku Championship 2017
Results of Indian Sudoku Championship 2017
Results of Indian Sudoku Championship 2017
and the winners are 
1. Rohan Rao
2. Kishore Kumar and
3. Rishi Puri
Winner of Indian Sudoku Championship 2017
Left to Right: Kishore Kumar, Rohan Rao and Rishi Puri

Once the Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 was complete, it was time for recreational event. This years' recreational event was same as last years which was Classic Sudoku Master (CSM). I will be soon writing separate post for CSM 2017.
After Classic Sudoku Master 2017, it was time for the last event of the which is Sudoku Mahabharat (SM) playoffs. SM is encourage new participants to experience and learn from playoffs and experienced player are not eligible for this tournament. One can read more details about this event from Hemant Kumar Malani's post titled "Sudoku Mahabharat & Indian Sudoku Championship 2017 by Hemant Kumar Malani". He was one of winner in Sudoku Mahabharat 2017. Also don't forget to read about these championships at the official website Logic Masters India.
I enjoyed all these events and thanks to all the organizers and Chennai people who made our stay in Chennai very comfortable. Next day event was Indian Puzzle Championship and Puzzle Ramayan. I will be writing a separate post with details about these events.  

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