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World Puzzle Championship quarter-finals as they happen - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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October 16th, 2004

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11:18 am - World Puzzle Championship quarter-finals as they happen
Ley     (2) v Gaspar (8) v Uppelschuten (12) : Ley     2 v Gaspar 2 v Uppelschuten 1
Barkan  (4) v Calver (6) v Madarassy    (10) : Barkan  2 v Calver 2 v Madarassy    2
Horvath (3) v Roest  (9) v Osvalt       (13) : Horvath 2 v Roest  3 v Osvalt       2 
Huang   (5) v Leroy  (7) v Ito          (11) : Huang   2 v Leroy  3 v Ito          1
1000: Down just in time for the start of the first quarter-final, but I need to find a copy of the official results from the first two days to type up. No spares in here, so I shall leave the room (dashing out before Nick's laptop starts to play the Radio Sweden jingle he has as his Windows Open music... ah, thankfully, it's muted) and copy down the positions.

1017: Back in time for the conclusion of the first quarter, and the result. 2-2-1 may well be fairly typical. Glad to see Michael Ley make it to the semi-finals; semis without the #2 seed would have been a failure of the system.

1022: Quarter-final two under way now, but for me, down to editing the raw results into a presentable format.

1028: Just as a reminder, the play-offs aren't organised as a race this year. Simply whoever gets the most puzzles right within 13 minutes wins the tie, regardless of time taken. If there's a tie then the higher seed from the first two days breaks the tie. Accordingly, all the top seeds in each match need do is at least tie their opposition and perfection will guarantee the win, no matter the speed of the full score. Lower seeds need not only perfection but for their higher-seeded competitor to err. (Or to get in through the "best second place", of course.)

1033: Posted. We're live now.

1038: A two-all draw and two does seem to be rather the par score in the quarter-finals. (This means the line-up of semi one will be Voigt/Ley/Barkan. Wow!) This also means that the remaining non-top-seeds need to score 3/3 in order to make the final, and if there's a multi-way tie on 2/3 for the wild card, #6 Byron Calver will get the place.

1040: Big cheer for Laszlo Osvalt in the third quarter-final! Not only is it amusing to see someone from a United Nations team make the play-offs, it's even better that he was my team-mate. Very tough draw, though - his Hungarian team-mate and 2002 champion Roest. (It's worth noting that he isn't on the HUN team only because of their qualifying system, which has to be regarded as questionable. I'll look up to see whether HUN might have taken second or first if they had had Laszlo on their team rather than the fourth-placed HUN finisher.

1045: Hard to tell how the competitors are doing - even though they're solving on giant display boards, we can't see the lines they're drawing and the letters they're writing. However, we can assess body language, and Niels Roest doesn't look happy with his solution to puzzle number 3, "Join The Circles", and now he has switched from pencil to pink highlighter, presumably to correct an earlier mistake. (Small sympathetic laugh from the audience.) At least we can see his writing more clearly now.

1051: Niels is checking his solutions now, so at least he has answers to all three puzzles, while the others are still solving their third puzzles. Upset potential? (Not that Niels Roest winning would really be an upset...)

1052: Game over! Hearty round of applause for all three.

1055: NIELS HAS ALL THREE! Another round of applause for our first perfect solution. Horvath and Osvalt both score 2. The result is that Roest is guaranteed to be in the final and Zoltan Horvath adopts the "best second place" position, displacing Byron Calver. It also means that the fourth quarter-final participants need to get all three right in order to qualify.

1056: Damn, I've cocked up the semi-final brackets - I've got the winners of the semi-final brackets the wrong way round. The truth is:

(best second place in quarter-finals) v (Winner 2/8/12 quarter-final) v (winner 4/6/10 quarter-final)
(winner 3/9/13 quarter-final) v (winner 5/7/11 quarter-final) v Voigt (1)

So currently that's looking like:
WILDCARD (?) v Ley   (2) v Barkan (4)
Roest    (9) v Q/F 4 (?) v Voigt  (1)
...with Zoltan Horvath the best-placed of the 2/3 solvers, as third seed, leading the wildcard race.

1057: The Japanese captain has asked for their solver's easel to be lowered. The Japanese team do all look about fourteen years old.

1058: Underway now. Wei-Hwa is strongly fancied here, but the Japanese competitor in last year's quarter-final was tremendous.

1101: Beebeebeebeebeep! Beebeebeebeebeep! Beebeebeebeebeep! Beebeebeebeebeep! Has someone left their mobile phone on? Not a competitor... we had two very loud minutes of fire alarm during day one of puzzles and the status of fire alarms is such that people kept doing their puzzles rather than jumping up and leaving the building

1103: Wei-Hwa has left puzzle one for last and completed puzzles two and three first, while the others are still struggling with puzzle one. Interesting (and unusually wise) strategy, but he doesn't look very pleased with puzzle one to me...

1110: Stick a fork in Wei-Hwa's puzzles, they're done and he's just checking them. Stick a fork in Belgium's Sebastien Leroy - he's just turned around and shrugged at the audience, knowing that he's going no further.

1111: All through now, and so to the marking - and the re-erection of the easel formerly used by the Japanese quarter-finalist.)

1113: Shows how much I know - Sebastien Leroy wins the quarter-final with 3/3! Wei-Hwa has 2/3 and Jun Ito just the one.

1114: Hang on, this means that Wei-Hwa is out!

1115: So this means the semi-final line-up is as follows:

Ley (2) v Horvath (3) v Barkan (4)
Voigt (1) v Leroy (7) v Roest (9)

The first semi-final might look the higher-seeded of the two, but the second one may be the stronger of the two: Voigt has been in outstanding form over the first two days and his two opponents both scored 3/3 in the quarter-finals.

1117: Time to upload...
Current Mood: artisticlive (and kicking)

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:October 19th, 2004 10:30 am (UTC)

Ah, so that was what you were doing... :)

I was sitting just down the row from you during all this, and noticed you were blazing away on your keys, but decided against interrupting you just to blithely ask your purpose. Not to mention my attention was somewhat hooked by all the puzzling action. It all makes sense now.

When it was Byron's turn on stage I wanted to get through the row to get an angle to take pictures, and I almost decided to try to force my way past you, but now I'm glad I didn't. I can imagine what you would have written then...

Very nice recap btw. I didn't even know why they were suddenly lowering one easel just before the Japanese competitor stepped up to it.

John Wetmiller (Canadian captain)
[User Picture]
Date:November 7th, 2004 09:56 am (UTC)

Re: Ah, so that was what you were doing... :)

:-) I would have been understanding. One day when Britain gets a solver into the final, we know what it'll be like!

Glad you enjoyed reading the summaries, John, and I hope you also saw my write-ups of the semi-finals and the final.
Date:October 21st, 2004 09:44 am (UTC)


Just a quick note - Hungary A finished about 100 points behind 2nd placed team Germany. Had they had their bottom-most player replaced with Laszlo, they still would have trailed the Germans by a single point!

(this comment is from another member of that team)

great reports
[User Picture]
Date:November 7th, 2004 09:58 am (UTC)

Re: Laszlo

Someone else has asked whether he would have been able to help you more in the team rounds than your actual fourth-placed member, though; perhaps he might not only have contributed 100 individual points more but also more in the team rounds. We'll never know!

Glad you enjoyed reading the summaries! I hope you too also saw my write-ups of the semi-finals and the final. I would be very interested in attending Hungary next year just to work on the web site and attempt to provide this sort of coverage while the championship is in operation.

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