how to improve the ranking

So you’ve been playing a lot of time on your favourite Sudoku website, and and you want to climb the ranks of the leaderboard.

In most cases, the only way to do that is by achieving a better time.

How can you save time while solving a Sudoku online?

Mouse & Keyboard are your Pencil & Eraser. Use them both if you can. Many online solvers allow you to operate with right mouse button to quick up some operations. Others have keyboard shortcuts with which you can highlight numbers, select candidates, correct mistakes. Learn the interface, get acquainted with it, and use the tools you are given at your advantage.

While training, always time yourself. Almost every software does that for you, but if you are training on your desk you’ll need a stopwatch. Stop the clock right after you write down the last digit, and before you check the solution (that is because the computer automatically checks for the correctness in a fraction of a second.).

Timing also shows you directly your progresses and you’ll feel that training was worth doing.

Keep in mind how hard the Sudoku is. If you are solving an easy Sudoku don’t lose your time looking for a Hidden Triples and focus on Full Houses or Hidden Singles. If the grid is hard, you know that at least one advanced solving technique will be embedded in the solving process.

Knowing in advance what kind of challenge the Sudoku bears reduces the challenge level itself. use this information at your advantage.

Play rated games when you feel in the mood. You know best than everyone else. Are you a quicker solver in the morning? Or are your performances better before bedtime? Know your habits and your skills and prefer playing sudoku when you can be concentrated. Your results and your rank will improve greatly.

How to teach sudoku

You have been talking to a friend and you mentioned sudoku, of which you are expert in.

“Ah, but I don’t understand math”, this is the most common reply I got from my acquaintances.

A lot of people believe that since there are numbers on the grid, the game is about math.

Of course you know that’s not entirely true (but not entirely false, there is some involvement with the set theory…).

Eventually, you manage to have your friend sit next to you with an easy grid you found online.

Tip: pick a nice and easy sudoku! There’s plenty of grids available, so print out a simmetrical one. They are aesthetically pleasing and appealing.

Give him pencil and rubber: he is controlling the game. Use your own pencil to point at cells while explaining, but let him do the dirty work.

Explain that in every cell goes a number and that in every column, row, and region there must be all numbers from 1 thru 9. There is only one possible solution. That’s all.

First things first, point a cell and ask him which are the candidates for that cell. This is the basic to ensure he will be able to see if a mistake was done.

When he feels confident with this rule, but it happens that it is not enough to solve the sudoku, you can start explaining Full Houses and Last Digits. Address a column almost filled with numbers and ask something as easy as “Which of the numbers 1 to 9 are missing from Column 6?”

Help your friend to narrow down possibilities until you can enter another digit.

Now it’s time to teach the Hidden Single Technique: explain how rows and columns interact with each other. Use the pencil shafts to hide rows and columns as you explain the exclusion processes and show the leftover cells. Let him write the first numbers, and instruct him to double-check that the number does not appear again in the same row, cell, region.

In short time he will be able to solve a basic sudoku on his own, and hopefully learn new tricks to teach you in return.

Have fun in teaching sudoku!



Sudoku Techniques

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.

Sudoku champion

Short Biography

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.

sudoku online game

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!