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Rules

Sudoku GP

Participants


Only registered WPF solvers can participate and will be included in the WPF rankings.

External aids

The participants must solve the puzzles by themselves.

The following aids are not allowed:

  • other people
  • calculators
  • solving programs (including those written by the participant)
  • reference materials for trivia (encyclopedias, search engines, code sheets)

The following aids are not allowed unless explicitly allowed by a specific puzzle:

  • scissors
  • tape
  • compass
  • rulers

A translation dictionary, for the sole purpose of translating instructions and rules to the participant’s native language, is permitted, but it may not be used to solve puzzles.

This list of aids is not intended to be complete. In case of doubt as to whether an aid is permissible, please contact the contest organizers.

Tournament

The format of the tournament will be paper-solving with transcription of solutions.
The tournament always starts on Fridays 12:00:00 (GMT +2 hours) and ends on Mondays 23:59:59 (GMT +2 hours). No solutions submitted after the end of the competition will be accepted.
The length of each round will be 90 minutes.
There will be 8 Sudoku rounds.

Each round will contain a mix of classic Sudoku puzzles and Sudoku variants.

Results



Each puzzle has its own point value. To get the points for particular puzzles it is necessary to enter the right answer – it means to enter the marked part of the solution into the ready-made answering form. In case the solution is incorrect, the participant will not get any points. If the participant submits multiple times, only the last submission within the tournament time limit will be scored (although the judges reserve the right to look at previous submissions for adjudicate claims of computer failure or other irregularities). Acquired points given for the correctly-solved puzzles are crucial for the ranking. In case a tie-break is needed with puzzles of the same point value there will be another criterion – the time in which the particular player sent the last correct solution.

No points are taken away for incorrect answers – an incorrect answer gives the same score as not solving the puzzle.

Scoring

Each Round will be out of some number of points, generally scaled to around 10 points per minute (or 1 point for every 6 seconds) of the best-projected solving times.

A participant’s Round Score for each round is the sum of points earned for solving puzzles, plus any Time Bonus as described in the next sentence. A participant who finishes early will receive a time bonus worth an additional 10 points per minute remaining, calculated to the second. To begin earning time bonus, a participant must click a "Claim Bonus" button that will confirm they are finished with the test and done checking puzzles. After “Claim Bonus” is clicked, no more submissions will be graded.

If a solver submits a 100% correct set of solutions eligible for time bonus, but fails to click the claim button, the solver will begin to earn time bonus after five minutes have passed. This only applies to fully correct solutions and no partial bonus will be granted when the claim button is not clicked. All bonuses will be calculated based on the time the player clicks the claim button, or 5 minutes after the last (and 100% correct) submission was made, whichever is earliest.

Sometimes solvers claiming time bonus may make a mistake on a puzzle entry. If, in the opinion of the competition judges, a solver has completed the test with all but 1 puzzle correct, and a typo or small mistake was made on that one puzzle, then that solver will receive 80% of the time bonus credit that they might have earned (8 points per minute). However, the solver will not receive credit for the incorrect puzzle.

Ranking

At the end of the Grand Prix, the 10 Sudoku GP solvers with the highest playoff-qualifying scores (see below) will be invited to the next WSC to play off in person. If there is a tie in the results of the top 10 solvers, the solver with the highest ranking in any individual tournament will win the tiebreaker; if there is still a tie, then the solver with the next-highest ranking in any individual tournament will win, etc. If any of the finalists decides not to attend the WSC, the next best solver (or solvers) will be invited to take part.

A participant’s playoff-qualifying score is the sum of their six highest Round Scores (including any time bonus). Unlike previous years, there will not be any normalizing of scores.

Judging

Judging will be conducted by the Grand Prix web site in consultation with the WPF/Grand Prix Competition Committee to ensure uniformity across all of the Grand Prix contests. Any protests must be submitted within 48 hours of the end of the competition to the WPF Competition Director for final review. The WPF Sudoku GP Director is Nikola Zivanovic (SRB)

Finals

The play-off to the WPF Sudoku Grand Prix 2017 is designed to be a representative and exciting finale to the online rounds. Each finalist will solve a total of 8 puzzles, with one type of puzzle chosen from each of the online rounds. The puzzles are designed to be of roughly equal difficulty, and the play-off is expected to last no longer than 50 minutes in total.

Puzzle GP

Participants


Only registered WPF solvers can participate and will be included in the WPF rankings.

External aids

The participants must solve the puzzles by themselves.

The following aids are not allowed:

  • other people
  • calculators
  • solving programs (including those written by the participant)
  • reference materials for trivia (encyclopedias, search engines, code sheets)

The following aids are not allowed unless explicitly allowed by a specific puzzle:

  • scissors
  • tape
  • compass
  • rulers

A translation dictionary, for the sole purpose of translating instructions and rules to the participant’s native language, is permitted, but it may not be used to solve puzzles.

This list of aids is not intended to be complete. In case of doubt as to whether an aid is permissible, please contact the contest organizers.

Tournament

The WPF Puzzle GP is an 8-round tournament, with one round held every four weeks, with a playoff round held at the World Puzzle Championships.  The puzzles will be released in PDF format; it is expected that participants will print out the PDF locally, solve the puzzles on paper, and submit answers online that illustrate that they have solved the puzzles correctly.

There are three separate divisions, lettered A, B, and C.  Each division will have a separate set of puzzles to compete in each round.  Participants are segregated into three classes, also lettered A, B, and C, based on their current and past results.  All participants are eligible to compete in Division A.  Class A participants may not compete in Division B (but may compete unofficially).  Class A and Class B participants may not compete in Division C (but may compete unofficially).  The following chart may make this clearer:

 

Division A

Division B

Division C

Class A

OK to compete

(unofficial only)

(unofficial only)

Class B

OK to compete

OK to compete

(unofficial only)

Class C

OK to compete

OK to compete

OK to compete

A participant’s Class may potentially change during the year (see details below).  If that happens, the eligibility for competition, including playoffs, may change retroactively.  Generally, we expect highly-competitive participants to be in Class A, experienced participants to be in Class B, and inexperienced participants to be in Class C. Unofficial results of all participants will be listed separately on the website.

On the Friday of the round, 12:00:00 (GMT +2 hours), the puzzles become available to each participant.  The participant chooses a Division, and has 60 minutes to submit the correct answers to as many puzzles as they can.  They may then choose to attempt the puzzles for as many other Divisions as they wish, whereupon they will have another 60 minutes to submit the correct answers to as many puzzles as they can.  The competition officially ends on the following Monday, at 23:59:59 (GMT +2 hours). No solutions submitted after the end of the competition will be accepted, even if the competitor started that Division’s puzzles at later than 22:59:59.

Puzzle Types


Division A
Division A will consist of puzzles that a competitor might encounter at a modern World Puzzle Championship (“WPC-style”).  The puzzles are usually on a grid and require the solver to write information in the grid subject to given information and logical constraints.  They can often consist of new types or new variations, and may be harder than the puzzles in the other two divisions.

Division B
Division B will consist of the 70 or so most commonly-encountered “WPC-style” puzzle types.  These puzzle types are usually called “classics” or “evergreens” at the World Puzzle Championship. The puzzles are usually on a grid and require the solver to write information in the grid subject to given information and logical constraints.  The rules for the puzzle types will be familiar to most WPC veteran competitors.

Division C
Division C will consist of puzzles that are understandable and solvable to a general audience.  The rules to the puzzles are generally not complicated and can be understood by almost anybody.  It is possible for puzzles in Division C to require some bit of external knowledge (such as simple English vocabulary, world facts, etc.) or be culturally advantageous to some players (knowledge of letter frequency distributions, familiarity with the Latin alphabet, aware of “aha” trick questions, etc.)  If a puzzle requires external knowledge, generally this will be described in the instructions.

Eligibility

Only WPF solvers with a registered account on www.gp.worldpuzzle.org can participate.  Registration is free, but you must provide a valid e-mail address, name, and country.

Class A participants are those who qualify for at least one of the following conditions:

  • Finished in the top 10 ranking for the 2014 Puzzle GP
  • Finished in the top 25 ranking for the 2015 Puzzle GP
  • Finished in the top 50 ranking for the 2016 Puzzle GP, Competitive Section
  • Competed in at least one of the first four rounds of the 2017 Puzzle GP, Division A, and has one of the top 100 average scores
  • Class B participants are those who qualify for at least one of the following conditions and do not qualify for any of the conditions for Class A:

  • Finished in the top 100 ranking for the 2015 Puzzle GP
  • Finished in the top 250 ranking for the 2016 Puzzle GP Competitive Section
  • Competed in at least one of the first five rounds of the 2017 Puzzle GP, Division B, and has one of the top 200 average scores (not including unofficial scores for Class A participants)
  • Received a score of more than 0 in at least 20 rounds of the Puzzle GP within the last three years (2014, 2015, and 2016).  The Competitive Section and Casual Section in the 2016 Puzzle GP are counted separately, so there are 30 potential rounds for purposes of calculating this qualification.

    Class C participants are any participants who do not qualify for any of the conditions for Class A or Class B.

    Submitting answers


    Each puzzle has one intended correct solution.  Since the solution is often difficult to enter into an online form, the participant will be given instructions to derive one or more answers from their solution.  The method of deriving an answer is given in the instructions, and is also illustrated in the puzzle’s examples.  This step is not intended to be tricky or puzzle-like; if the process is unclear or ambiguous, please send a request for help to the organizers at puzzlegp@worldpuzzle.com.
    To get credit for solving a puzzle correctly, the participant must enter the correct answer(s) into the on-line form and then submit the form.  It is possible to submit the correct answer while having a mistake in one’s solution; however, the answers are usually chosen so that this is unlikely to happen by random chance.  It is also possible to submit an incorrect answer despite having the correct solution; the participant will not get credit for such puzzles except in extreme circumstances, so please be sure you understand the answer derivation rules correctly!
    If the participant submits multiple times, only the last submission within the tournament time limit will be scored (although the judges reserve the right to look at previous submissions for adjudicate claims of computer failure or other irregularities).

    The participant’s score for the round is the sum of the point values of all puzzles with correct answers, with any adjustments as listed below:

    Penalty Adjustment for Wrong Answers: For Divisions A and B, an incorrect answer scores the same as an answer left blank.  In Division C, points may be taken away for incorrect answers to discourage guessing; such puzzles will be indicated as such.

    Time Bonus for Finishing Early: All Division A and Division B puzzles, and most Division C puzzles, are eligible for time bonuses if the participant solves them before the end of the 60-minute time period.  When the participant believes that they have solved all (bonus-eligible) puzzles in the Division, they may click on the “Claim Bonus” button.  After clicking on the button, the participant may no longer submit any answers to (bonus-eligible) puzzles.  

  • If the participant has indeed solved all (bonus-eligible) puzzles, they will receive ⅙ point for each second under 60 minutes when they clicked on the “Claim Bonus”.  
  • If the participant has solved all but one (bonus-eligible) puzzles, and that puzzle, is, in the opinion of the Judges, almost correct except with a typo or small mistake in answer derivation, then the participant will receive 2/15 points for each second under 60 minutes when they clicked on the “Claim Bonus”.
  • If the participant’s last submission has correct answers for all (bonus-eligible) puzzles, then they will receive time bonus points based on as if they had clicked on “Claim Bonus” five minutes after their last submission.

    Note that in Division C, some puzzles are not eligible for bonus.  These may be puzzles that may require insight to solve, puzzles that might take some solvers without specific knowledge a very long time to solve, or puzzles that cannot be done quickly and methodically.  Participants who think they might be claiming bonus may want to work on eligible puzzles first.

    Playoffs


    After all 8 rounds, the 10 participants with the highest Division A qualifying scores (see below) will be invited at the next WSC/WPC to play off in person. If there is a tie in the results of the top 10 solvers, the solver with the highest ranking in any individual tournament will win the tiebreaker; if there is still a tie, then the solver with the next-highest ranking in any individual tournament will win, etc. If any of the finalists decides not to attend the WSC/WPC, the next best solver (or solvers) will be invited to take part.

    A participant’s qualifying score is the sum of their six highest scores (including any time bonus).

    Each finalist will solve a total of 8 puzzles, with one type of puzzle chosen from each of the online rounds. The puzzles are designed to be of roughly equal difficulty, and the play-off is expected to last no longer than 50 minutes in total.  Players who have higher playoff-qualifying scores will receive a time advantage at the playoff, scaled such that the 1st-place solver would have a two-minute advantage over the 10th-place solver.

    There is no play off for Divisions B and C.

    The details of the playoff rules are subject to change.

    Competitor Awards


    The top three finishers at the playoffs will receive certificates and awards.  The top three Division B qualifying scores (see above) and the top three Division C qualifying scores will also receive certificates, either digital or given in person at the WPC/WSC.

    Puzzle Awards


    The WPF would like to honor exceptional puzzle designs by choosing the best puzzle or puzzle design in each of the three Divisions (over all rounds).  Any participant may choose to nominate a puzzle or group of related puzzles in the competition.  Send your nomination to puzzlegp@worldpuzzle.org , along with an explanation as to why you think that puzzle is deserving of the award.  We also encourage you to post your nominations on on-line forums to discuss with other solvers.

    Protests and Judging


    Judging will be conducted by the Grand Prix web site in consultation with the WPF/Grand Prix Competition Committee to ensure uniformity across all of the Grand Prix contests. Any protests must be submitted within 48 hours of the end of the competition to the puzzlegp@worldpuzzle.org. (Please note that solving the puzzle but entering the wrong answer is not enough to receive credit -- see the
    "Submitting answers" section above for more details. The Puzzle GP Director is Wei-Hwa Huang (USA).