China looks strong for Sudoku world championship

Updated: 2013-09-23 22:13

By Liu Yiran (

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China has a great chance of winning the minor individual Sudoku championship this year, says Chen Cen, the chief designer and referee of the 8th World Sudoku Championship, which will be held alongside the 22nd World Puzzle Championship from Oct 12 to 19 in Beijing.

The two events each have four categories - the traditional individual and team contests and the newly added minor and 50-and-over individual championships. The latter two were added to encourage people of all ages to take part in the contest.

The Chinese team has the largest number of young players, with 5 of 8 contestants aged under 18. The youths had an excellent performance in the National Sudoku Championship in August. They are Jin Ce, 15, from Hangzhou Xuejun High School in Zhejiang province; Sun Cheran, 13, from the Affiliated High School of Peking University; Qiu Yanzhe, 15, from the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Beijing; Chen Nuo, 14, from Huayu Middle School in Shanghai; and Ma Menglei, 16, from Beijing 101 Middle School.

Chen Cen is also confident of the overall team performance.“We are making progress every year and are very likely to have a breakthrough in the team competition this time,” she said.

?The Chinese team won third place in last year's World Sudoku Championship in Croatia, which was won by Japan with the Czech Republic taking second place, in China's best achievement since joining the championship in 2007.

?Sudoku is a simple number puzzle, in which players fill a nine-by-nine grid with numbers so each column and row contains numbers one to nine, with no duplicates.

Since March, when applications opened, 275 players from 36 countries entered for the two championships, setting a new record for participants.