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Puzzlers descend on Philly for World Sudoku Championship

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Today puzzlers from around the world are coming to Philadelphia to compete in the World Sudoku Championship.

The last time the city hosted a Sudoku major puzzle tournament it was marred by cheating. This time the puzzlers have found a solution.

This is the World Sudoku Championship – which is being held in the United States for the first time. Last year’s cheating debacle happened at the National Sudoku Championship. The difference is not only in scope, but money. The Internationals are akin to the Olympics: greater bragging rights, but no cash.

If nobody is getting rich off this, the theory goes, nobody will be tempted to cheat.

Nevertheless, the tournament is taking care to ban the use of all electronic devices.

“We certainly learned something,” says Nick Baxter, one of the tournament’s organizers. “By allowing electronic devices we made it much harder to detect somebody doing something they shouldn’t do. This is a smaller competition. It’s the world’s elite. Nobody is going to come from Belarus to cheat, and get caught, and get thrown out.”

In last year’s national competition, the third-place winner was suspected of wearing a headset under his hoodie sweatshirt, allowing him to communicate with an accomplice with a laptop computer.

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