Estonia’s Tiit Vunk proves once again that he’s the man to beat in this year’s Sudoku Grand Prix, taking first place in the third round of eight for the online Sudoku Tournament.
Vunk handily outpaced his competitors by earning 855.7 pts in 1:04:26, almost 46 pts ahead of his closest competitor Seungjae Kwak of South Korea who came away with 809.8 pts. The Estonian would have a finishing time four-and-a-half minutes ahead of Kwak and a little over 10 minutes from India’s Prasanna Seshadri third place. Seshadri would rack up a total of 746.7 pts.
Each of the top-ten solvers would go on to solve the fourteen puzzles from the competition successfully. They would include Classic Sudoku, Diagonal Sudoku, Fortress Sudoku, Fuzzy Arrows Sudoku, Lonely Number Sudoku, Mathdoku, Pointing Differents Sudoku, Odd Sudoku, Nonconsecutive Sudoku and Overlapping Sudoku.
Top 10 Finishers For Round 3
- Tiit Vunk: Estonia – 855.7 pts.
- Seungjae Kwak: South Korea – 809.8 pts.
- Prasanna Seshadri: India – 746.7 pts.
- Thomas Snyder: USA – 743.8 pts.
- Bastien Vial-Jaime: France – 738.8 pts.
- Jan Mrozowski: Poland – 690.3 pts.
- Keisui Okuma: Japan – 655.8 pts.
- Matus Demiger: Solvakia – 643.7 pts.
- Kota Morinishi: Japan – 640.5 pts.
- Takuya Sugimoto: Japan – 633 pts.
Repeating his winning performance of the first round, Vunk’s success in the third round has tightened his hold on the overall competition earning 2471.7 pts., placing him in a commanding lead with just over 320 pts. Thomas Snyder, a backer of Puzzle Pile, from the U.S.A. has taken second place with 2148.8 pts., while Jan Mrozowski of Poland stands in third amassing 2103.7 pts.
Vunk had a tiny stumble in the competition’s second round, falling to China’s Sheyu Chen by 34.7 pts. Fortunately for Vunk, that round had a lower point total than the others, causing the damage to be smaller than if there had been more points at stake. Even with the mishap, competitors get to throw out two of their lowest point scoring rounds, giving Vunk more of a upper hand, letting him choose where and when to apply further pressure to the other challengers. Certainly providing much more piece of mind for the Estonian solver.
After experiencing a burst of success from her performance in the second round, which catapulted her from outside the top-ten to fourth place, Chen has fallen to ninth overall.
Top 10 Finishers For Tournament
- Tiit Vunk: Estonia – 2471.7 pts.
- Thomas Snyder: USA – 2148.8 pts.
- Jan Mrozowski: Poland – 2103.7 pts.
- Tantan Dai: China – 2097.7 pts.
- Seungjae Kwak: South Korea – 2079.6 pts.
- Prasanna Seshadri: India– 2076.8 pts.
- Kota Morinishi: Japan – 2069.9 pts.
- Hideaki Jo: Japan – 2018.8 pts.
- Shiyu Chen: China – 2004.9 pts.
- Takuya Sugimoto: Japan – 1987.3 pts.
Competitors from the top-ten online tournament rounds will be invited to the Sudoku Playoffs, held at the World Sudoku and Puzzle Championships in Bangalore, India.
Hosting duties for the fourth round of the Sudoku GP fall to the U.K. and will be held from April 7 – 11.