2013 WPF General Assembly Minutes



Report on the 15th General Assembly of the World Puzzle Federation

Beijing, China, October 16-17, 2013 by Will Shortz and Hana Koudelkova


The meeting was called to order on October 16 by the WPF chairman Will Shortz. Sessions were held in the morning and afternoon on both Oct. 16 and 17. There were also an open General Assembly session on the evening of Oct. 16, at which all the contestants could take part.
The board members present were Will Shortz (Chairman, USA), Jaanus Laidna (Treasurer, EST), György István (HUN), and Vítězslav Koudelka (CZE). Apologies received from Alan O'Donnell (GBR) and Hana Koudelková (WPF Director).
There was a presentation of each WPF member. The countries present were USA (also voting for Turkey), Hungary (also voting for Romania), Estonia (also voting for Finland), Czech Republic (also voting for Uruguay), Korea, China (also voting for Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei), Poland, Slovakia (also voting for Russia), Germany (also voting for Switzerland), Croatia (also voting for Serbia), Japan, Netherlands, Greece, Italy, and United Kingdom (also voting for Canada).



The first point of the meeting was the approval of the 2013 GA Agenda. György proposed to change the order of points and to postpone the presentations of the board candidates to the next day. The vote was 12 in favour and 7. The proposal passed.

The minutes of the 2012 General Assembly were approved as printed in the WPF Newsletter 18.
The financial reports were presented by Vítězslav Koudelka on behalf of Hana Koudelková (WPF Director). Vítězslav explained the connection between the PayPal account and the official WPF account and the exchange rate conversion. The reports were approved with no objection.

2014 United Kingdom

There was a presentation done by Kenneth Wilshire, member of the UKPA team via Skype.
Ken said that it would be very helpful if the WPF would act as a guarantor of the 2014 WSC/WPC and fund any deposit that the hotel would require ahead of the event.

Provisional Dates: Sunday, August 10, to Sunday, August 17, 2014
Provisional Venue: Selsdon Park Hotel, Croydon, London CR2 8YA (4* country house hotel with spa)
Web: http://www.selsdonparkcroydon.co.uk

* 15 minutes by bus (courtesy bus available) from East Croydon Station
* Express bus from Heathrow to the East Croydon Station: approximately 1 hour 30 minutes
* Direct train to Gatwick: about 15 minutes
* Direct train to Luton Airport: about 1 hour 15 minutes (including transfer from the train station)
* Participants will be given lifts to/from the East Croydon Station at the start and end of the championships.
* Price structure: about the same as in China, with the prices set in British pounds sterling (because there is no reserve in the budget to absorb adverse exchange rate movements)
* The hotel has 200 rooms, accommodating up to 350 guests.

The schedule:
Day 1 – Arrival, WSC rules
Day 2 – WSC
Day 3 – WSC (am) + WSC playoff (pm); WPC-only arrival; WSC awards dinner
Day 4 – Sightseeing, rest day, WPC rules
Day 5 – WPC begins; WSC-only departure
Day 6 – WPC
Day 7 – WPC playoff + free time; WPC awards dinner
Day 8 – Departure

* The sudoku puzzles will be prepared by U.K. authors.
* The WPC puzzles will be prepared by an international mix of authors.

2015 Host

There is no candidate for 2015 championships. Will asked all the present WPF members to speak about their current situation and potential hosting of the championships:
CZE - three championships organised already
USA - chance to organise some future championships, most likely in the West Coast, solving (in part) on tablets as one of the potential innovations
EST - logistical problems, the company situated in smaller cities, thinking about it
HUN - willing to help future host with experiences from the past
CHN - offered future hosting, not so difficult for them to find a sponsor
POL - puzzle makers and money missing
SVK - no sponsor
GER - have enough great puzzle makers but no volunteers or sponsors
CRO - already hosted three championships; confirmed they have managed to balance the budget of the 2012 event
SRB – would consider hosting the event in the future
JPN - very expensive venues, no sponsors
NED - a lot of volunteers and puzzle makers, but no sponsor
GRE - no puzzle makers, no sponsors
ITA - no WPC puzzle makers, although enough sudoku authors; already have a nice venue, but sponsors missing
UK - confirmed that the UKPA does not have any sponsors yet for 2014, but expecting to balance the budget anyway

Later in the evening the same question was given to the remaining countries. The financial situation was put forward as the main reason preventing from hosting the championships.

In conclusion all the members were asked to discuss this topic with their teams again and present their offers by March 31, 2014.


The members discussed the future of the WPF online GP tournament. Vítězslav summarized the results of the survey sent to all the members. Only seven countries sent their responses.
The questions and answers:

  • Q1: Do you think the Sudoku GP 2014 should be free or should there be a 5 EUR registration fee?

* Should be for free - HUN, RUS (I think the main goal now is not to earn money, but invite as uch people as possible), LUX,
* Should be paid - CZE, GRE, URU (I think everybody can give a little colaboration and it means an extra aid to WPF's actions.), POL (But the  purpose of collecting money should be announced in advance),

  • Q2: Should the event be organized on the WPF site or should each tournament be on a different site?

* On WPF site to guarantee the unity. - CZE, GRE, URU, POL,
* On members' sites like LMI, Sudokucup, UKPA site, LMD, US site - HUN, RUS (I think creating new competition arena is expensive. It is better to use existing sites), LUX,

  • Q3: Should the puzzle authors from different countries be paid by the WPF?

* Yes - CZE (symbolic sum of money), GRE
* NO - HUN, URU (The authors contribute through their works. The free registration is a courtesy and a recognition), RUS, LUX, POL (There are so many great people willing to create puzzles for free. From the other hand, they should be rewarded in someway during official parts of wpc/wsc.)

  • Q4: Should there be a position of the competition director who would be responsible for: coordinating the construction and delivery of the puzzles to the WPF, conducting internal and external testing, setting the difficulties, and keeping the same level of each round?


  • Q5: Should the competition director be a paid position or not?

YES - CZE (symbolic sum of money), GRE, URU, POL (If yes, only after the competition)
NO - HUN, RUS (If there are some sponsors who a ready spend some mone for comtetition then the first priority should be some small prizes and the second - payment for author and director.) LUX,

  • Q6: Would your country like to prepare puzzles for the GP? If so, please specify for which event – Sudoku GP or Puzzle GP.

YES - Sudoku and Puzzles - CZE, RUS

YES - Puzzles only - HUN
NO, thanks - GRE, URU, LUX, POL


The same topics were discussed at the GA
Mike Colloby (UK) confirmed they have managed to find new people and new puzzlers thanks to the GP. Other countries had the same experience. According to his opinion the income from the GP might have been used for the hosts of the WSC/WPC, but on the other side it would reduce the attendance.
György proposed to prepare two leagues – one for newcomers with the majority of classic sudoku and the second one for top players.
Christos Apostolidis (GRE) suggested having the first round of the tournament be free and the next rounds paid. Mr. Xu (CHN) proposed to have the first three years be free. As for the hosting site, Mike preferred having the tournaments be on the sites of the WPF members. Hans Eendebak (NED) preferred having the whole competition on the WPF site, so that we can better control it. György asked about the cost of the new WPF event site. Vítězslav said that the cost will be about 500 EUR. The vote was 20 in favour of having the GP on the WPF site and 1 against.
The WPF GP was also discussed during the evening session. The majority of players were in favour of having the tournament be free.
On the second day of the GA, a vote was held on whether to have a GP playoff during the championships or not. 15 votes were in favour and 6 against.
In conclusion, the 2014 GP (Sudoku and Puzzle) will be free. The two events will be held on the WPF site. There will be two sudoku leagues (for beginners and advanced) and one puzzle tournament. A newly formed players’ committee will help with selecting the host countries and determining the number of rounds. There will be GP playoffs during the championships.


This year the WPF provided financial aid to countries that asked for it. Jaanus Laidna presented his idea to support only newcomers in the future if they ask for help. The amount should be half of the participation fee. This was not decided yet.


Members debated the format of the championships – keeping the WSC/WPC combined or separating the two events. The discussion was postponed to the open session. The great majority of members at the GA preferred to keep the current format.


As the WPF has a new flag, Vítězslav proposed having a WPF anthem as well. As only his offering was played and no other proposals were given, it was decided that a new anthem competition should be opened for the public. The conditions are that the anthem cannot conflict with any copyrights can not be longer than two minutes and should have a short version as well.


The best time to hold GA meetings was discussed. Will said that evenings should be time to socialize, and for captains to speak with their teams in preparation for the next day’s competition. Also captains should speak with their team members and represent them at the GA meetings. In past years there have been some captains competing that could not take part at the meetings. Vítězslav suggested to keep this year's format, i.e. to have one evening open session where everybody can take part. Hans suggested to start the meetings the first WSC day so that there is some spare time for a potential extra meeting. Mr. Xu proposed having everything sorted out in advance and to use the GA meeting only for voting.


Hana said that to enter associations like the IMSA, at least 45 national federations are required, and the WPF does not have this many members yet.
Members were asked to contact their puzzle-loving friends from nonmember countries and to offer them individual WPF memberships.


The WPF does not have any official, written document that can be used by future WSC/WPC hosts. This would be very useful for future candidates. This point was postponed to the evening GA session.
A players’ committee was formed consisting of the following: Thomas Snyder (USA), Wei-Hwa Huang (USA), Serkan Yurekli (TUR), Zoltan Nemeth (HUN), and Chen Cen (CHN). This committee will prepare a WPF guidebook.


This WPF-appointed person should liaise with the upcoming hosts, offering advice and checking on progress and finances. This person will report back regularly to the board on the state of progress, highlighting any problems. Vítězslav proposed letting the WPF director do this job based on the guidelines provided by the committee. It was accepted.


The complete job description was read by Will. The WPF Sudoku/Puzzle GP was added to the director's duties and also the role of contest director as described above. All the members were asked what are they expecting from this position, what they were missing, and what should be changed. Hans mentioned he would appreciate immediate info about important news related to the WPF. György would prefer more frequent regular updates to the members than once a quarter.


The Chinese team proposed to the WPF to start organising a World Junior Sudoku Championship for players 18 and under from 2015. They also proposed being the permanent host for the event. The WPF members mentioned there could be financial problems for the players to travel to China. There were proposals to call this the China Junior Sudoku Open and not a World Championship, but the Chinese delegation insisted on the name WJSC due to sponsors' requirements. The discussion was moved to the open GA session.
The majority agreed that it was a good idea, but was concerned that it wouldn't attract enough players outside of Asia. There were mixed feelings about hosting the event by one country only. The next day the vote was 21 in favour of letting China organise the WJSC. The next vote was about the number of years when China can host the junior championship. The vote was 12 in favour of keeping it in China for 3 years, 8 were against.


This year there were two open positions – Will's and György's. The candidates for this position before the GA were Will Shortz and Chen Cen (CHN). The second day, before the presentations, György added his name. Will turned the meeting over to Vítězslav to conduct the debate and vote. All three candidates made presentations. After a break Vítězslav, based on suggestions from some WPF members, offered an option to have six board members instead of five. This was approved 20-1. All the candidates were elected to be WPF board members for three years.


Yuhei Kusui (JPN) gave an informative update on the Japanese puzzle world. He told the members about the Japanese Puzzle and Sudoku championships, how they planned to revive the Japanese Puzzle Federation, and thereby achieve their vision – to spread puzzle culture over Japan. He also mentioned that one of their biggest goals was to host the world championship in Japan in the not-too-distant future. To achieve this goal, strong support by various companies and organizations will be very important.


Will Shortz thanked the whole Chinese team for the perfectly prepared championships, the Hungarian team for a great job with the complete set of puzzles for the WPC, and Hana for her work during the year.

There being no further business, the meeting was closed on October 17.