Board Meeting: Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Attended by: Will Shortz (Chairman), Zoran Tanasic (Treasurer), Gareth Moore, Yuhei Kusui, Haijun Zhang (Board Members), and Prasanna Seshadri (Director)


The matters discussed and actions taken were as follows:

Puzzle Licensing Rights
According to current rules, each WPF member has the exclusive right to license and reprint puzzles from WPF-organized events within its own country. Recently Gareth put together and published a book of WPC puzzles in Britain, and following the above rule, he had to pay the UKPA entirely for its licensing. That felt odd to him, as the UKPA had nothing to do with either the puzzles or the book. He thought the WPF should have gotten at least a share of that money.
Decision: After a short discussion it was decided the board would raise the issue at the General Assembly (GA).

KenKen Partnership
The owners of the logic puzzle KenKen have approached the WPF with two requests: 1) to sanction the annual KenKen International Championship as a WPF event, and 2) to allow the Chinese KenKen Association to become a WPF member. 
Decision: After discussion it was agreed that the WPF’s promotion of KenKen would be mutually beneficial. Initially the WPF will sanction the KenKen International Championship for three years — and request that KenKen promote WPF events and activities in return. As for #2, it was pointed out that the WPF is modeled after the International Olympic Committee, with membership limited to one national body per country, so KenKen membership in the WPF is not possible.

“What Is a Sudoku?” Panel
Background: The panel appointed at the 2017 GA to write a report on this topic did not finish its work, despite repeated inquiries from Prasanna and Will.
Decision: It was decided to dismiss the old panel and select a new one at this year’s open meeting.

Other Topics:
• John Park of Korea had shared information about a Sudoku Test for Beginners he had put together. Haijun said they have a similar test in China. John wanted to make it available to other members. It was decided to give him a platform at the GA to put his proposal to members. The proposal has been mailed to WPF members as well. 

• There was a brief discussion about China’s offer to host the 2020 WSC/WPC in Shanghai — the only offer for 2020.

• Zoran proposed that there be playoffs for the U-18 and O-50 categories at the WSC/WPC, in addition to the regular ones. The rest of the Board generally opposed the idea, because of the limited number of participants in these categories as well as the limited time at the event. 

• Prasanna shared a member’s suggestion that there should be just four “main” team members for U-18 and O-50 categories as there are for the general competition. These four members would not have to be the same as a country’s A-team. The Board agreed unanimously that this was a good suggestion. It was decided to raise the topic during open meeting.

• Prasanna noted that transporting the WPF Newsletter from India to different WSC/WPC venues is cumbersome. Gareth suggested doing away with the printed Newsletter and having just online distribution. But other Board members thought the Newsletter was worth the effort and expense, as a promotional tool, a historical document, and a souvenir for participants. In the future, though, it was agreed that the copies of the Newsletter can be shipped from India to the WSC/WPC hosts rather than being hand-carried by the Indian team members. 




Open Meeting: Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Overseen by: Will Shortz (Chairman), Zoran Tanasic (Treasurer), Gareth Moore, Haijun Zhang (Board Members), and Prasanna Seshadri (Director)


The matters addressed were as follows: 

Honoring Vitezslav Koudelka
The Board and the Czech hosts honored Vitezslav Koudelka, a co-founder of the WPF, a Board member for many years, and the organizer of several WPCs and WSCs. Will spoke about Vita’s long history in promoting puzzles and building the puzzle community. Will and Jan Zverina presented Vita with gifts. A visibly moved Vita gave warm thanks.

WSC/WPC 2019
On behalf of the hosts of the 2019 World Sudoku & Puzzle Championships, Katharina Bauernschmitt (Germany) presented plans for the 2019 WSC/WPC to be held at Hotel Seeblick, a lakeside resort in Kirchheim, Germany. The dates are 29 September to 6 October. She said that the number of rooms is limited, and that for now countries will be limited to A and B teams. There are some nearby houses that can be rented for large teams. The website for the event is: wspc2019.de.

WSC/WPC 2020
For the 2020 WSC/WPC, Haijun Zhang and colleagues made a presentation for Shanghai, China. The information in it will also be mailed to members. It was the only offer for the 2020 championships. It will be voted on at the GA on Wednesday.

Also, Will asked for tentative expressions of interest to host the WSC/WPC in 2021 and beyond, but there were none.

“What Is a Sudoku?”
It was announced that last year’s panel on this topic did not submit a report. Wei-Hwa Huang (USA) said that no one took the initiative to suggest topics and facilitate discussions. Will asked for volunteers for a new panel. He made it clear that one person would have to take the lead and be the driving force of the discussions — organizing comments, setting deadlines, and being a general point of contact. Tom Collyer (UK) volunteered to take up this role. Wei-Hwa ofered to help in a secondary capacity. There were no other volunteers — but Tom said he welcomed anyone’s involvement at any time.

Will announced that the WPF will be engaging in some cross-promotion with the organizers of KenKen, who are hosting their 9th KenKen International Championship in New York in December.

Board Candidates
There was one vacant position for the Board this year, as Gareth’s tenure was coming to an end. The two candidates were Vladimir Portugalov (Belarus) and Gareth himself. The two gave short speeches. Will said that the election would take place at the GA on Wednesday.

WPF Website
Prasanna noted that the WPF website has become increasingly unreliable, that the hosts are difficult to reach, and that the technical information for it is in Czech and, thus, difficult for him to use. The Board has authorized a search for someone to develop and maintain a new WPF website. Anyone interested should submit a proposal to Prasanna including his or her plans, experience, and payment desired.

Prasanna said that two important parts of the new website should be to share more puzzle content regularly and to promote the sale of material in the archives. 

• Will announced that the Newsletter will in the future be shipped from India to the hosts before the WSC/WPC. 

• Will briefly described the issue of licensing rights to the puzzles in WPF-organized events and said that this would be discussed in detail at the GA.

• Prasanna noted that the WPF plans to have future U-18 and O-50 team categories, to be eligible for official ranking and prizes. The members need not overlap with the regular teams. 

Will concluded the proceedings by thanking the Czech organizing team for a well-run WSC/WPC. 




Members’ General Assembly: Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Overseen by: Will Shortz (Chairman), Zoran Tanasic (Treasurer), Gareth Moore, Haijun Zhang (Board Members), and Prasanna Seshadri (Director)

Attended by: Belarus*, Bulgaria, Canada*, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Korea, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia*, Switzerland, Thailand**, Turkey, UK, USA.  *Personal members **By proxy


The discussion and business were as follows:

Board Member Elections
As discussed, there were two candidates for the one open board position — Gareth Moore (UK) and Vladimir Portugalov (Belarus). Twenty countries voted. The results were 12-8 in Vladimir’s favour. Will thanked Gareth for his time with the Board and his contributions to the WPF, and he welcomed Vladimir to the Board.

WSC/WPC 2020
There was one offer to host the 2020 WSC/WPC — in Shanghai, China. By a show of hands, the offer was accepted unanimously.

Financial Report
The financial report was emailed to members prior to the championships and circulated again during the meeting. Prasanna noted that there was a large amount of money both in and out, simply due to the transfer of the WPF accounts to the new Transferwise Account handled by Wei-Hwa Huang. Also, personal memberships received after 30 September were not included, but will be included in next year’s report.

Publishing Rights
Will recapped the current rule regarding publishing rights: Each WPF member has the exclusive right to license and reprint puzzles from WPF-organized events within its own country. He said this rule is becoming outdated, as publishing becomes increasingly international. Also, print media itself is declining.

After discussion and amendments, the Board offered the following proposal: Starting in 2019 [or 2018, if the WSC/WPC hosts agree], the WPF has the nonexclusive right to license puzzles from WPF-organized events starting 12 months from the time they are made available to members, with 50% of the proceeds to be shared with the host country or countries whose puzzles are used.

This proposal will be discussed and voted on by the full WPF membership.

Prasanna noted that there were a few years in the WPF archives in which the WSC/WPC puzzles aren’t for sale. He sought to find out why and to fill in the gaps. 

Membership Fee
After discussion, it was unanimously agreed to maintain the annual WPF membership fee as €400.

Asian Sudoku Championship
Prasanna announced that the 2018 Asian Sudoku Championship was held successfully in Korea, with many Juniors participating and some great puzzles in the open category. The WPF has endorsed this event. Prasanna also announced that the next Asian Sudoku Championship will be held in the Philippines in January.

Sudoku Test
John Park (Korea) gave a brief speech and shared some documents about his sudoku test for beginners, which has various modules testing participants on different levels, allowing them to improve their solving skills. 

Quarterly Reports
In response to comments that the WPF Director and Board have not had sufficient communication with members during the past year, Prasanna promised to resume quarterly reports of Board discussions and WPF doings.

Scoring Software
Regarding the scoring software used in the championships, Prasanna said he will check with the 2018 WSC/WPC organizing team on the software they used and get information on it for future hosts. 

There were some comments that the Newsletter results weren’t printed properly. Prasanna said he is aware of the problem and will rectify it in future editions.

• Gyorgy Istvan (Hungary) said there should be a collection of all the WPF statutes and regulations in one place online, to be updated as necessary.

• There was a request to add translations into different languages for the WPF website. Prasanna said he hopes this can be accomplished on the new site when it is done.

Will ended the meeting with a note of thanks to the 2018 Czech organizers. 




Board Meeting: Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Attended by: Will Shortz, Vladimir Portugalov, Haijun Zhang, Zoran Tanasic, and Prasanna Seshadri (Director). Yuhei Kusui was not able to attend.


The matters discussed and actions taken were as follows:

Naming of Officers
After a welcome to Vladimir to the Board, the members chose the following officers: Will will continue as Chairman, Zoran will continue as Treasurer, and Vladimir will be the Competition Liaison for 2019. 

Working of the Board
Vladimir asked how the Board works through the year. Will explained that between championships, Prasanna raises the concerns of members, as communicated to him directly or through the WPF forum, as well as other matters that come before him. The Board discusses these and conducts votes, if necessary, through email. 

WPF Forum
Prasanna noted that he had multiple personal issues through the year that prevented him from being as active as he’d liked. While he expects to be more active going forward, he asked if a second Board Member could be responsible for checking the forum and Facebook. Vladimir volunteered to share in this work. 

Sudoku and Puzzle Ratings
Vladimir asked if the WPF should start an international system of ratings as there are in chess, tennis, and other competitions. These ratings could be based on the GPs, WSC, WPC, and even open national tournaments. Vladimir and Prasanna volunteered to discuss this further. 

Licensing Rights
Will and Prasanna worked to word the proposal for the licensing rights, incorporating concerns of Vladimir and others. Prasanna and Vladimir agreed to set up a small list of clarifications along with the proposal to be sent out to the members before the end of the year.

Role Clarifications
In response to points raised by Fred Stalder on the WPF forum, Will responded as follows:

1) What exactly is the duty of the Competition Liaison? 
• The responsibility of the Competition Liaison is to check with the next hosts regularly to see that their venue is suitable and will be ready in time, to make sure that plans are on schedule, and to ask if the hosts need any help. The job does not concern the content of the puzz

2) The WPF Board has some say in whether or not playoffs happen. This may be an advantage for Board members when competing.
• Will disagreed. Knowing whether or not playoffs will be held is not a significant advantage for anyone. He said it actually could be benefial for at least some of the Board members to be WSC/WPC participants, so they experience the same issues as the other competitors. Also, he said that if the WSC/WPC organizers want to make a significant change to the format of the championships, they should get the Board’s approval first.

3) If the hosts can contact the WPF for puzzle help, doesn’t that give an advantage to them to choose the puzzle authors?
Will said that the Board does not select the WSC/WPC puzzle authors. If the hosts need puzzle authors, the Director will send the hosts’ request to all members by email, then connect all volunteers with the hosts, who will make the selections.

4) What if a competitive puzzle decision at a championship is to be overruled? 
• In such a case, the Board members who are involved as participants will recuse themselves from the discussion and the vote.