Sudoku Mahabharat 2015 Finals: Experience of Rajesh Kumar

Sudoku Mahabharat 2015 Final Experience
Sudoku Mahabharat 2015 Final is over now. It was a great competition with a great set of puzzles. It was more fun to meet most of the puzzle friends after a long time. Thanks to organizers of this championship Deb, Rohan and Prasanna for organizing this championship perfectly. Also thanks to Sumit Bothra for all the goodies which each of participants got during this championship.  Congratulations to Amit Sowani for winning this championship. Also Congratulations to Rakesh and Gaurav who are 1st and 2nd runners up respectively in this championship. I have participated in many World Sudoku/Puzzle Championships, however, this is the first time I am writing a detailed review of this championship. Let me start with myself reaching the venue.
Amit and I were the first participants to reach the venue. We reached around 8:45am and did our registration. After doing the registration, we got our Goodies file. Thanks to Sumit for these goodies. After registration, we have enough time for Q & A session to start. Amit brought many board games along with him. So we decided to play one of these games. The game we played was Hanabi Card Game. Unlike other competitive game, this game was a cooperative card game. We played around 4-5 rounds of this game and then Q & A session started. 
Q & A Session
There was not many Question and Answers as most of the Sudoku types already appeared in 7 online round of Sudoku Mahabharat. Most of the questions were on round 4 regarding shapes/size of Sudoku appearing in this championship. Answers to this were that shapes/sizes of these puzzles could change, however, the same rules will apply on the Sudoku puzzles.
Round 1 - 45 minutes (Yudhisthira)
This round contained 10 Classic Sudoku puzzles. I could complete 8 Classic Sudoku puzzles in this round leaving two 15 pointers Classic Sudoku puzzles. Akash Doulani did remarkably well in this round by completing all 10 puzzles with around 10 minutes of bonus. I think he was the only one who completed this round. 
For me, once the results of this round were announced, it was a little disappointing for me as I had made a minor mistake in one of the puzzles to loose around 25 points.
Round 2 - 65 minutes (Bhima) 
This round contained 8 Sudoku variations. Most of the puzzles were easy in this round especially the most feared Toroidal Sudoku which was a high pointer. However, later we got to know that 8 more hints have added this puzzle to make it easier. I spent a lot of time-solving Odd-Even Sudoku. I could complete this round with 12 minutes of bonus. There were many participants who completed this round with Gaurav K Jain submitting this round with 20 minutes of bonus and scoring best in this round. 
Again in this round, I made a minor mistake in Arrow Sudoku to loose some of the bonus points as well as Arrow Sudoku points.
Round 3 - 35 minutes Arjuna
Round 3 contained 18 6x6 Sudoku puzzles with 3 puzzles linked to each other in the form of Relay i.e. one has to first solve the top puzzle which was solvable independently. I really messed up in the starting of this round by solving the first Classic Sudoku wrong. After transferring digits to second Grid, the second grid also got solved. However, when I transferred digits to the third grid, I could not solve the third grid and then realizing that I made mistake in first Sudoku. I erased everything to solve it again. Unfortunately, in the second attempt, I repeated the same mistake again. I could solve this puzzle correctly in the third try but in this process lost quite a lot of precious time and at the end, I could not solve the last four puzzles. Amit Sowani solved all the puzzles this round and earned 4 minutes bonus to take lead on others. 
Lunch Break
After the completion of Round 3, there was Lunch break and Lunch was arranged by organizers in the same hotel. Lunch was very delicious. In the Lunch break, we played another very interesting board game Love Letter brought by Amit Sowani.
Round 4 - 35 minutes Nakula 
This round was having Standard Sudoku variations like Expanded Sudoku, Overlapping Sudoku, Compressed Sudoku and Linked Classics. My target in this round was to complete all the puzzles. I started with Expanded Sudoku and it was easy. Then I started with Overlapping Sudoku. This Sudoku has a different Overlapped area as compared to the puzzle given in the Instruction Booklet. I was proceeding well in this Sudoku but suddenly realized that I had made a mistake while solving this Sudoku. So I left this Sudoku to complete other remaining Sudoku. Later I came back to correct Overlapping Sudoku, but could not correct this in time. Gaurav again did quite well in this round to pull back a good score after a bad start in 1st round.
Round 5 20 minutes Sahadeva

This round was a fun round. Rules of this round were explained just before this the start of this round. In this round, we were shown some solved Sudoku puzzles. These puzzles were either correctly solved or there were some minor mistakes in these puzzles. We were shown the puzzles for 60 to 100 seconds and at the end, we need to mark these puzzles as Correct or Wrong. The maximum score in this round was 50 including the bonus of 2 points. Most of the participants scored quite good in this round with 5 players scoring bonus in this round. 
Round 6 20 minutes Tiles Sudoku
Rajesh Kumar's ID during Sudoku Mahabharat 2015
In fact, Sudoku Mahabharat Final consists of only 5 round. This 6th round was just a team fun round used as a recreational activity before the results being announced. In this round, we were told to make the team of 2 people. In fact name on our ID card was given some colour and based on the combination of light and dark colour combination we have to make team. My teammate in this round was Parag Jain (very promising Sudoku player). This round was Tiles Sudoku in which we have to put given tile in each cell of 6x6 Sudoku so that colours, digits, shapes and letters are not repeated in each row, column and 2x3 box. We were progressing good in this round. However, before we could complete this round there were 3 teams which competed this Sudoku correctly. This round even though was not part of Sudoku Mahabharat, however, give a very good idea of Team rounds in World Sudoku Championships.
After adding the scores of all the 5 rounds, Amit Sowani became the winner of 1st Sudoku Mahabharat followed closely by Rakesh Rai. 2nd Runner up of this championship is Gaurav K Jain who came back very strongly after not a very good performance in 1st round. I stood 6th in this championship. Here is the full result of this championship.
Sudoku Mahabharat 2015 Final Results
Sudoku Mahabharat 2015 Final Results

Congratulations to all the winners of this Sudoku Mahabharat. In fact  Congratulations to all the participants esp. to those who travelled to Bangalore to participate in this championship. Neeraj Mehrotra and Akash Doulani travelled from Shilong and Kolkata respectively to participate in the championship. Here are most of the participants and organizers of this championship. This photograph and results picture is taken from Sudoku Mahabharat discussion page @ LMI forum.
Participants Photograph during Sudoku Mahabharat 2015
Back row L to R - Jayant Ameta, Sai Karthik Burra, Prasanna, T.N. Venkatesh, K. Ravichandran, Akash Doulani, Deb Mohanty, Amit Sowani, D. Devarajan, Harmeet Singh. 
Middle row L to R - M. Ezhilarasi, Deepika Moningi, Purvi Shah, Zalak Ghetia, Ashish Kumar, Neeraj Mehrotra, Gaurav Kumar Jain, Aditi Seshadri, Shri Vasantha Senaa S, Manikodi Rathinam. 
Front row L to R - Varun R., Rohan Rao, Shaheer Rehman, Kunal Verma, Rakesh Rai, Rajesh Kumar, R. Kumaresan, Sanket Saxena.
There are many who missed being part of this great event even after qualifying for the finals. These people not only missed the great even but also increased the expanses of organizing this event significantly. After the award distribution, there was an open discussion on future events related to Sudoku and Puzzles. Maybe in future events like these participants will be charged nominally. 

Once again thanks to organizers Deb, Rohan, Prasanna and Sumit for this great event.

--------Further Readings--------
Don't forget to read more about some interesting Sudoku and Puzzle Events as mentioned below
List of Sudoku and Puzzles Events

1. World Sudoku Championship 2015: After reading about Indian Sudoku Championship and Sudoku Mahabharat 2015, its time now to read about Rakesh Rai's experience at World Sudoku Championship 2015 which was held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

2.  Indian Puzzle Championship 2017 by Rajesh Kumar: This is the experience of Rajesh Kumar during Indian Puzzle Championship in the year 2017.

3. World Sudoku Championship 2012 Quarterfinal short video: Do checkout short video taken during 2012 World Sudoku Championship Quarterfinals. 

4. The Science And Fun Learning Camp 2016: Do read about Science and Fun Learning Camp 2016 where kids are learning to solve Sudoku puzzles along with other science and fun learning projects.


Anonymous said...

I think Saheer was the first player to reach the venue at around 8:15 !


Rajesh Kumar said...

Yes, you are right Deb. We saw Saheer there when we reached the venue.

Anonymous said...

The name is not Saheer. Its Shaheer Rahman. In the certificate, my name was written right but in the lmi forum it was wrongly written as Shaheer Rehman and her also. :( :( :(

Anonymous said...

I alwyas reach any place early as just in time schedule may be risky if you get stuck in a jam anywhere.