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NZ Sudoku Champion Is Eleven Years Old

NZ Sudoku Champion Is Eleven Years Old

The New Zealand sudoku champion is eleven year old Alphaeus Ang, a year seven student from Liston College in Henderson. The national sudoku championships were held as part of the Thames festival of mindsports. As well as winning the sudoku, Alphaeus won the draughts tournament, and was second in the chess, beaten in a play-off by former New Zealand champion Bob Smith.

Alphaeus is no stranger to mindsports. He is the country’s top ranked under twelve year old chess player and last year placed second in the under twelve World Amateur Blitz Chess championship held in Romania. He has also completed NCEA Level One mathematics with merit.

New Zealand Puzzle Association chairman Rhys Cullen says ‘Alphaeus is very fast. He makes decisions very quickly and the vast majority of them are correct. When we set the competition format of six puzzles in 45 minutes we were told it was too difficult. It is tough, but this is a national competition.’

Under 16, under 18, and veteran (over 60) grade competitions will be held in Thames later in the year. ‘At least Alphaeus won’t win the veterans division’ says Mr Cullen.

Alphaeus has been solving sudoku since he was four years old. ‘I just saw a puzzle and got interested in it’ he says.

‘The boy is tiny but he is intimidating as hell’, says Mr Cullen. ‘There were a number of folk who qualified for the finals but didn’t turn up. They had seen Alphaeus, watched him play, and had second thoughts about mixing it up with him.’

NZ Festival of Mindsports: website


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