2009 WPF General Assembly Minutes

Report of the Meeting of the WPF Board

Antalya, Turkey, November 4-5, 2009
by Will Shortz

Board members present: Valter Kvalic, chairman; Will Shortz, treasurer; Vitezslav Koudelka; and Kamer Alyanakyan. Peter Ritmeester, general secretary, was not present.

Summary of the discussion and decisions:

* Representatives of Kosovo have asked permission to compete in the 2009 WPC. WPF rules state that a country must be recognized by the International Olympic Committee in order to compete officially in WPF events. Kosovo is not recognized by the IOC. Should an exception be made? Board members expressed empathy with Kosovo but felt that the rules must be followed and urged patience by the Kosovo puzzlers.

* After discussion the board proposed the following changes in the WPF statutes, which currently are unclear or out of date or which the board felt otherwise could be improved through amendment:
1) WPF members have the right to publish puzzles from official WPF events (WPC's, WSC's, etc.) only during their years of membership.
2) WPF members do not have the right to publish puzzles from other WPF members' qualifying tests, without first getting permission from the other countries.
3) The provision in the statutes for individual WPF memberships should be eliminated.
4) Any challenges to WPF memberships should be decided by the general assembly, not the board.
5) There should be no limit on the cost of teams to participate in the WPC. However, a prospective WPC or WSC host should specify in its offer to the general assembly how much it expects the event to cost participants. If the host's offer is accepted, this figure cannot later be raised without permission from the board.

* The board is investigating:
1) the pros and cons of synchronizing membership and financial years, which are currently not the same;
2) the amount of time before a general assembly for submitting an offer to host a WPC/WSC and making a nomination to the board; and
3) specifics of the voting procedure, which are currently unclear and incomplete.

* Vita said he, Nick Baxter (USA), and others are meeting regarding the WPC/WSC rules. He said progress has been made, but that the work is not final. He said his first goal is to avoid repeating the mistakes of Zilina. His goal is to have a full proposal to present next year in Poland.

* After much discussion, the board proposed the following format for a combined WPC/WSC:

Day 1: Arrival. Welcome in the evening
Day 2: Sudoku all day
Day 3: Sightseeing all day; WSC playoff in late afternoon or early evening, awards dinner/party + opening ceremonies for the WPC
Day 4: WPC technical meeting in the morning; WPC rounds in the afternoon
Day 5: WPC all day
Day 6: WPC playoffs in the morning or afternoon; awards party/dinner in the evening (closing ceremony)
Day 7: Departure
Any change in this schedule would need approval from WPF board.

[Note: This plan subsequently was amended by the general assembly.]

On Friday evening the board held a special meeting, along with Jan Farkas and Blanka Lehotska (Slovakia), to discuss a scoring error involving a Turkish competitor at the Zilina WSC, which prevented the Turk from competing in the playoff. Previously, during the year, after protest by the Turkish competitor, the board had voted to award him a tie for 8th prize (the lowest place of the playoffs), without lowering anyone else's standing.

Jan and Blanka raised the point that Jan, who directed the Zilina WSC, wasn't consulted regarding the change in ranking of the Turkish competitor, as he should have been. Also, according to the WPF rules, any change should have been done by a committee of captains, not by the board.

The board recognized the complaint, but noted that the scoring error was not fixable after the WSC was over and that a meeting of captains was not practical between WPF events. The board felt that the result was as fair as possible and did the least harm.


Report on the 11th General Assembly of the World Puzzle Federation


Antalya, Turkey Nov. 4-5, 2009
by Will Shortz

The meeting was called to order by chairman Valter Kvalic (Croatia) on November 4 at 14:35. It was held in three sessions over two days. Other board members present were Will Shortz, treasurer (USA), Vitezslav Koudelka (Czech Republic), and Kamer Alyanakyan (Turkey). Peter Ritmeester, general secretary (Netherlands), was not present but submitted reports for his office.

The WPF member countries present for all or part of the congress were Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, and United States. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Luxembourg were represented by proxy. Also present but not voting were Greece, Kosovo, and Ukraine.


Valter opened the meeting by welcoming the participants. The delegates introduced themselves and identified the organizations they represent.

Valter welcomed new WPF members Canada and Chinese Taipei. On behalf of the board he reported on board decisions and activities during the previous 12 months [see summary in “Report of the Meeting of the WPF Board”].

On behalf of the statutes committee, Will made a report on proposed changes in the WPF statutes, which are out of date and in some cases not followed. The committee consists of Peter Ritmeester, Gyorgy, and Will. Will listed five proposed changes on which all the committee members agreed, as well as issues still being debated/discussed [see the lists in the board report].

Nick Baxter (USA) said an exact wording of the proposed changes is needed before they can be debated and voted on. Others agreed.

Nick and Vitezslav reported for the committee on WPC/WSC rules. They proposed a minimum one-year membership in the WPF before an offer to host a WPC/WSC can be made. Also, they proposed a tightening of the procedure for handling protests. More work needs to be done. They hope to have a complete proposal to be debated and voted on at the 2010 WPC in Poland.

There was a short discussion of problems at the 2009 WSC in Zilina, starting with a Turkish competitor who was wrongly omitted from the playoff round. It was not possible (or practical) to fix the error after the fact. During the spring the board voted to award the Turkish competitor retroactively a tie for 8th place, which was the lowest place in the playoff, without reducing anyone else's ranking. The board felt this result did the least harm.

Jan Farkas and Blanka Lehotska (Slovakia) requested a captains' meeting to replace the board's decision regarding the Turkish competitor, as the WPF rules specify. But given the passage of time, and the absence of any obviously better alternative outcome, this was not felt necessary.

Another problem was a protest during the Zilina WSC playoff, made to the WPF board, which was not acted on at the time. Gyorgy asked the board to learn from this mistake.

Combining the WPC and WSC

Will presented the board's proposal for a combined WPC/WSC [see the board report]. Discussion ensued.

Nick pointed out that this plan reduces the WPC competition by half a day, which he did not like.

Gyorgy said that hotels may not give good rates for different numbers of rooms on successive nights. Also, he said there may be extra costs for travel that doesn't include a Saturday night stay.

After a recess, Johannes Susen (Germany) proposed the following alternative scenario for a combined WPC/WSC:
Day 1: Arrival, technical meeting
Day 2: WSC
Day 3: WSC + playoff & awards ceremony + welcome party + technical meeting
Day 4: WPC + departure day for WSC
Day 5: WPC
Day 6: WPC finals + awards ceremony
Day 7: Departure
In sum, this proposal provides more competition, less socializing, and no sightseeing.

Juha Hyvonen (Finland) said he would like to extend the championship by two days, starting on a Saturday and ending on a Saturday. Nick said he would like to extend the combined event by one day from the board's proposal.

Valter called for a vote on the format — 7 days/6 nights versus 8 days/7 nights. The result was 9 votes each way. It was decided to await proposals from the potential WPC/WSC hosts.

Will presented the WPF financial report as prepared by Peter. He said it would appear in the next newsletter and online.

Election of a Board Member

For the election of a board member to fill Kamer Alyanakyan's seat, only one nomination had met the deadline (Kamer), according to the WPF statutes. The assembly voted to allow late nominations. Two new candidates, Gyorgy Istvan and Blanka Lehotska, were nominated. Each candidate spoke about himself and his or her reasons for wanting the position.

The vote was as follows: Kamer — 11, Gyorgy — 10. So Kamer was elected to a full three-year term.

Site Selection for the 2011 WPC/WSC

For the site selection of the 2011 WPC/WSC, only one nomination had met the deadline (Bulgaria), according to the statutes. The assembly voted to allow late nominations.

Gyorgy asked for the vote on the site selection to be delayed until January or February and be conducted by email ... or, alternatively, to be delayed until April and be voted on at the WSC in Philadelphia. This motion was defeated 18-2.

There were three offers to host the event:

Deyan Razsadov (Bulgaria) offered Albena, a resort town on the Black Sea, at either the end of September or the start of October. He said he is prepared to host both championships — eight days (two more days than the current WPC). The price per competitor would be no more than 500 euros. Up to eight competitors would be allowed per country. The puzzles would be made by Bulgarian puzzlemakers with some foreign contributions.

Zoran Tanasic (Serbia) offered Belgrade, with a seven-day championship sometime in October. The price per competitor would be 500 euros. The competition puzzles would be made mainly by Serbian puzzlemakers.

Gyorgy Istvan (Hungary) offered Debrecen, with an eight-day championship, probably in October, and a cost per competitor not to exceed 550 euros.

The vote was: Hungary — 13, Serbia — 5, Bulgaria — 4. Hungary, having an outright majority, was selected.


Riccardo Albini (Italy) said he would like the WPC/WSC instruction booklets to be presented online sooner — at least 14 days in advance of the event, in order to give participants more time to prepare.

Gyorgy said he would like a more active WPF website, with, for example, the contents of all past WPF newsletters, sample puzzles from past WPC's, and full results from previous championships. He would also like more regular reports from the board of officers regarding its activities and decisions.

Jan Lamm (Netherlands) said he would like the Rules & Regulations committee to establish rules for the combined WPC/WSC — how many people per WSC team, what time of year the combined event will be held, etc.

Riccardo said he would like to see stricter guidelines for the WPC/WSC puzzles, to limit the role of lucky guessing. He would also like more oversight of the scoring rules for both events.

The pros and cons of allowing “B” teams at WPF events were again discussed.

Statements from the 2010 WPF Event Organizers

Will and Nick made a presentation on the 5th WSC to be held in Philadelphia, USA, on April 29 - May 2.

Jacek Szczap (Poland) made announcements regarding the 2010 WPC to be held in October or November (date uncertain) near Warsaw.


Will offered thanks to Kamer, Ferhat, Zafer, and the rest of the Turkish WPC organizers for hosting an outstanding championship.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned on November 5 at 17:40.