Sudoku Techniques – How to solve faster?
Many of you are experienced players, but do you remember your first few steps using Sudoku techniques? I do. The greatest part of being a Sudoku addict was learning the game step-by-step. I recall the moments in which I discovered how to check the candidates, how to spot a hidden pair, and how to catch a swordfish in my grid.
But how many techniques are there? Hard to say. A classic, easy Sudoku for beginners requires 2 or 3 different techniques to be trashed out, but the diabolic ones could require an additional 10 techniques that are even more advanced. No worries, keep your brain sharp and your pencil ready. While playing online Sudoku you can find grids of progressive difficulty, and you’ll learn the tricks while doing so.
Raise the bar little by little
Some online solvers list up to 50 different techniques with fancy and complex-looking names. You don’t need to learn all of them to call yourself a Sudoku Master, just keep playing at your level and raise the bar little by little. Make sure you understood the Hidden Single before you deal with Hidden Pairs. Make sure you manage spotting an X Wing before you try a Swordfish (or even a Jellyfish – yes… there is a strategy bearing this name). Everything including an XY-Wing Strategy, or a harder one, is to be considered diabolic, and even top solvers struggle to solve them.
Look for the 6s first
Useful tip to increase your solving speed: Many people, while solving Sudoku, start looking for the 1s. I suggest starting for 6s. The reason? A lot of algorithms generate hard grids try not to let you put a Hidden Single in a too early stage. Looking for numbers 1-5 will lead you to nothing most of the time, so just skip this part and go ahead with the 6s.
My name is Gabriele Simionato and as far as I can remember, I have always been a puzzle enthusiast. Friends challenged me with every kind of riddle or logical question, and this encouraged my inclination toward maths. The first time I solved a sudoku was in 2005. It was love at first sight so I decided to take part at the Italian Sudoku Championship earning a third place. Since then, I attended a dozen of different puzzle & sudoku world championships, and results improved a lot. I’ve met sudoku passionates and had the chance to learn many solving tips from the best players in the world. I bring the same passion in my heart, sharing it with people who read my ebooks and enjoy solving the games I prepare. I love to find out new techniques and tricks to solve puzzles, embedding them in my games to create a new challenge every time.
SENEC – Slovakia
The 11th World Sudoku Championship just took place in western Slovakia, and – guess what? – the three players on the podium in the previous year were the same on the podium in 2016. And so did the best three teams. Just their positions were shifted, in demonstration that sudoku is a game of skill and not of luck.
The Individual Competition lasted 3 days, in which more than 200 players from 24 countries struggled to be acclaimed as the fastest solver in the world. We are now happy to celebrate the Estonian Tiit Vunk as new champion: in the last round he managed to overtake the Czech and the Japanese finalists, achieving his first gold medal ever after two consecutive silver medals in 2015 and 2014.
Among the Team Competition, the Czech players managed to leave China and the reigning champions of Japan behind them, gaining another gold medal after the first one 2008. China reaffirmed the silver medal of the previous year. (Quick Trivia: based on the given information so far, which medal did Japan win in 2015?)
Despite the competition having being held in Europe, six players out of the 10 best performers were from China, Japan or Korea, in response to the increasing appeal of sudoku competitions among Asian players. In fact Asia is going to be seat of the upcoming event: the world sudoku championship in 2017 will be hosted in Bangalore, India.
Do you want to be part of it and challenge the best players from every corner of the world? You are welcome to! Just contact your country’s federation to learn how you can be part of the team. There are categories for players Under 15 and Over 50. You will meet other sudoku enthusiasts and will learn a lot of tips to impress your friends when you’re back. Keep training!