The 28th WPC and 14th WSC took place in Kircheim, Germany last week. The outstanding results from my point of view were Ken Endo’s surprise win of the WSC individual competition, and Philipp Weiß’s amazing win over Ken Endo of the WPC individual competition. Congratulations! My own individual performance was rather disappointing, with offical ranks of 43 (sudoku) and 17 (puzzles), rarely feeling that I was puzzling at speed.
And then there was the WPC team competition, where Michael Ley, Hartmut Seeber, Philipp Weiß and I won the silver medal with a nominally weaker team than in past years, missing out on the likes of Sebastian Matschke, Markus Merker and the Voigt brothers. In a very exciting team playoff (for the players, at least – I don’t know how much the crowd saw), we came from behind to do well on the team puzzles, overtaking Japan and Slovakia and managing to hand in an intuited almost-solution to the final Slitherlink puzzle in the last seconds, giving new world champion USA a proper scare. They were a good half-way through their final Fillomino puzzle at that point – saved by the bell! Congratulations to all the teams, particularly team USA for a deserved win.
Some results can be found on the tournament website, though at the time of writing, the team playoff results are still missing.
I doubt I’ll analyse this championship in as much detail as last year, but expect a few of my preparation puzzles over the next few weeks. At this point I’d like to extend a big “thank you” to organizers and authors for a very well done set of competitions.
While analyzing the WPC result for my review series (starting with WPC 2018 review, part 1), I made a couple of pretty graphs, which I’d like to share here. To make these, I scraped the result PDF into a spreadsheet; I hope it’s useful to you.
To start with, a visualization of my scores per round, relative to the 10th best score. This is what I based my analysis on. A very flat Thursday, peak for the Paths round, Friday afternoon dip and then a strong finish.
My score per round relative to 10th best
Next a couple of graphs of how the positions developed over the course of the tournament. As a base-line for each of these, I chose the sum of n-th best scores per round, for a suitable n. First you can see just how much stronger Ken Endo is than anyone else, then that things were more exciting behind him than the first graph shows. And finally a top 20+ graph.
Top 10 relative to the sum of 5th best scores
Same graph (relative to 10th best), but excluding Ken Endo
Top 20+ without Ken, relative to 15th best
I’d love to see what else you can get out of the data!
Welcome back, to the final episode packed with puzzles and drama. For the morning, we had the last two preliminary rounds on the schedule. By this time I knew where I was at: Around 14th place, which is a decent result for me relative to past performance. I managed to decide to be ok with it, particularly with not having come in to the competition in best shape.
Time for the next batch of puzzle rounds at the 2018 WPC, with Friday afternoon, which had a focus on novel types and variants. Besides three individual rounds, we met the first team rounds. (The previous parts of this sequence: part 1, part 2, part 3.)
On to Friday morning. Read about Thursday in part 1 and part 2. The day started with a round playing to my strengths:
Second part of my review, with the afternoon of day one. I wrote about the morning in part 1. The afternoon was made up of three long rounds (60 minutes and twice 90 minutes), starting from 14:00. One of the really nice things this year was the consistent and relaxed schedule, with a regular long lunch break from a few minutes past 12 to 14, long enough breaks, and precise starting times. (Besides that first round of the WSC which started 3 minutes early, but… people were consistently on time after that!) I felt that things had been a bit packed and rushed the last three years, so this was a very welcome change to me.
The 27th WPC is over. Like the last time I did this, there’ll be some criticism (as there would have been for the two past years), so let me thank the authors and organizers right away for the terrific job they did. I’ll go through the competition round by round again, covering rounds 1 through 3 (morning of day 1) in this post.
Like last time, I’ll compare to the 10th best score of each round. That value is reasonably unaffected by the out-of-this-world scores at the very top.