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A Czech becomes Ms Sudoku

A 31-year-old old Czech woman, Jana Tylova, became the world's top sudoku player on Saturday after winning the inaugural world championships of the gripping number puzzle in this Italian town. Tylova, an accountant for a building company in Most, beat two Americans to triumph in the final after a two-day competition, involving 85 players from 22 countries (including one from India).

india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 10:01 IST
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A 31-year-old old Czech woman, Jana Tylova, became the world's top sudoku player on Saturday after winning the inaugural world championships of the gripping number puzzle in this Italian town. Tylova, an accountant for a building company in Most, beat two Americans to triumph in the final after a two-day competition, involving 85 players from 22 countries (including one from India).

Thomas Snyder, a 26-year-old graduate student from Harvard University, was second, having led throughout the competition. Wei-Ha Huang, a 30-year-old software engineer who works for Google in California, ranked third.

Tylova's victory was something of a surprise as she finished only ninth after the first round, becoming the only woman to finish in the top 18. Women made up around 30 percent of the competitors in the championship.

"There is no difference between men and women and I tried to prove that even in logic, men and women are on an even keel," said Tylova, as she accepted her trophy from Wayne Gould, a retired New Zealand judge who discovered the game in Japan and gave it to the world. Her tip for the millions who daily toil over the puzzles? Practice.

Millions of players around the world have been playing the logic game since Gould, a 60-year-old retired New Zealand judge, made it popular. However, it is believed to have originated in the 18th century. Sudoku is now reproduced in some 400 daily newspapers in 85 countries around the world. (It was brought to India by Hindustan Times.)

First Published: Mar 13, 2006 10:01 IST