It is an undeniable fact that Sudoku is a worldwide game. Compared to other trendy online/offline games such as Scrabble or crossword puzzles, you don’t have to speak English or be able to read the English alphabet in order to play Sudoku. There is no culture-specific understanding that you should be equipped with to be able to solve Sudoku puzzles. Simply, anyone can play Sudoku anywhere in the world, no matter what language they speak or what culture they’re from. So is there such a thing as competitive Sudoku?
Is there any Competition for Sudoku?
The vastly increasing popularity of Sudoku led to the emergence of different Sudoku competitions that will test your skills against other Sudoku enthusiasts. What started as a simple exercise that helps people optimize their thinking and become more adept at problem-solving has now become a global sport where hundreds of thousand compete in competitive Sudoku and try to see who’s better.
What you can Expect at the World Sudoku Championship
The most popular competitive Sudoku competition is the World Sudoku Championship (WSC). WSC is a competition supervised by the World Puzzle Federation (WPF). The WSC is a Sudoku international tournament that is held yearly and hosted by various countries. It started in 2006 in Lucca, Italy where 20 countries participated. The first ever World Sudoku Champion, named Thomas Snyder, hailed from the United States. Players at the Sudoku World Championship solve a variety of Sudoku puzzles with a range of skill levels – easy, medium, and hard. Every puzzle is timed and has corresponding points depending on the level of difficulty. The fastest puzzle solver with the correct solution wins.
So how can you join the WSC? A lot of countries also have their own National Sudoku Competition, where players compete to see who is best and who will most likely represent the country when an international tournament opens up. For example, India, which has a lot of Sudoku fans, also has the Indian Sudoku Championship, which is usually organized by Logic Masters India (the subsidiary of the World Puzzle Federation in India).
The Asian Sudoku Championship
Another competitive Sudoku event that was just recently established was the Asian Sudoku Championship (ASC). The ASC is an annual international Sudoku competition organized by a member of the World Puzzle Federation (WPF). The first official event was held on Jeju Island, South Korea in 2018 and the latest event was also held there in January 2023. National teams are determined by local affiliates of the WPF. As with WSC, the competition typically consists of several classic Sudoku puzzles and variations to be solved by all competitors over multiple timed rounds.
Are there Online Sudoku Competitions?
Since Sudoku gained more popularity online, it is fitting that the WPF create an online Sudoku event so that Sudoku fans can take part and compare their results with the world’s top players without leaving the comfort of their home. This online competition is called the WPF Sudoku Grand Prix (WPF Sudoku GP).
In WPF Sudoku GP, puzzles are created and prepared by different authors from all over the world. There will be eight Sudoku rounds wherein one round will be played per week. The format of the tournament will be paper-solving with transcription of solutions and each round will be open during the whole weekend. The length of each round will be 90 minutes. For more detailed rules, go to the WPF website. This online tournament is currently in its third round. Do not worry because you can still join. This tournament is free so take your chance and test your Sudoku skills!