14th World Puzzle Championship

 

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Day 5: October 12, 2005 - Part 1
The most excited part of the Championship - Play off. The spectators are taking their places along the starting and he finishing lines (top row of the photos).

Also the Top 10 players eligible for Play off are taking their places at the starting line - from left to right in the descending order based on the points they scored for the previous 12 Puzzle parts (second row of the photos). Ulrich Voigt of Germany (the leftmost) - with the most points among them, and Byron Calver of Canada (the rightmost) - with the least. Thus, Ulrich starts first with other players starting some time later - their point differences to each other are converted to the respective time spans.

The goal of Play off is very simple - to pass through the ten desks. The one who can do that first wins. There is a sheet with puzzle lying face down on each desk. When a contestant is at the desk he flips the puzzle over and starts solving it. As soon as it is done he moves to the next desk in his line (the 3rd and the 4th rows of photos).

After that someone from the organizers checks his solution and defines whether the solution is correct or not (the middle photo in the 3rd row). Once the solution is correct the one who verified it raises his hand (the first photo in the 5th row). The sign is lucky to the contestant. In case the sign is of two hands crossed (meaning the solution wasn't correct), the contestant earns a 5-minute penalty for any following stage during which he is not allowed to solve puzzles at all. There is also one more way to earn a 5-minute penalty - to give up the puzzle. Giving up 10 puzzles in a row could bring you the victory, of course, unless someone else could reach the finishing line within that time but without total giving up. Fortunately this time the "giving-up" strategy wasn't the winning. The last two rows of the photos below show what happened at the finishing line in fact...
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Wei-Hwa Huang of US (right) has just solved his last puzzle. But in order to become the champion he has to wait until his 5-minute penalty earned at the previous stages is over. Niels Roest of the Netherlands beside him has just shaken Wei-Hwa's hand - Wei-Hwa is only several minutes apart form the victory...   But there is still Ulrich Voigt. His own penalty is over at the moment and he has less than five minutes to get the title for himself. It will happen only in case he can solve the last puzzle within that tiny time span, still left from the Wei-Hwa's penalty, and thus stealing the victory from Wei-Hwa...   He really did it! The 2005 Champion is known. It is Ulrich Voigt of Germany!
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The second is Wei-Hwa Huang.   And the third is Niels Roest.   Now as the three winners are known the entire Conference Hall is suddenly burst of applause with the snap-shot flashes of the trio all around. We join the congratulations!
Day 5: Part 2
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Last Updated: November 7, 2005 top
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Day 5: Part 1
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