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Child chess champion in lead to represent NZ in World Sudoku

Child chess champion in lead to represent NZ at World Sudoku Championship

Child chess champion Alphaeus Ang is leading puzzlers taking part in a nationwide Sudoku contest to determine who will represent New Zealand at the World Sudoku Championship in London later in the year.

Play began online on 10 January and will culminate in the New Zealand championship final to be played in person at the New Zealand Festival of Mindsports in Thames over the weekend of28 February—2 March.

Alphaeus leads overall with an outstanding total of 9780, from Lewis Howie with 8183, Wendy Eames with 7521 and Ben Davis with 7047.

A student at Liston College, Auckland, 11-year-old Alphaeus is a New Zealand Under-12 chess champion and junior Chess Power National Inter-schools champion. He is a member of the Waitakere Chess Club.

The winners of the Open and Under-18 grades will be guaranteed selection in a four-person national team to contest the world Sudoku championship.

The championship is being contested in four divisions – Open, Under-18, Under-16, and Under-14. Entry in multiple divisions is automatic for age-eligible puzzlers. “It is entirely possible that a thirteen-year-old could be the first New Zealand Sudoku champion,” says organiser Bob Gandal.

Puzzlers can book their place in the finals any time in January and February as online qualification has commenced at Contestants have 45 minutes to solve as many puzzles as possible, with the best scores achieved in four sudoku and two vaki puzzles being added together to provide an overall score.

"New Zealanders are comfortable with the internet, and almost everyone has access,” says Mr Gandal. "This has allowed us to run an electronic championship rather than trying to interpret hurried scribbles on pencil and paper with the inevitable arguments and delay in announcing results."

The Sudoku Championship is part of the NZ Festival of Mind Sports taking place in Thames over the weekend of 28 February—2 March. This will include the NZ Mind Sports championship, featuring six of the traditional mind sports: Bridge, Chess, Mah Jong, Scrabble, Draughts and Backgammon. The Pentamind gold winner will be the player who scores the most at any five of these disciplines.

NZ Festival of Mind Sports

Friday 28 February—Sunday 2 March 2014


For more information about the New Zealand Festival of Mindsports, visit


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