MANILA, Philippines – A 14-year-old student emerged as the Philippines’ newest Sudoku Grandmaster, after topping the 5th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge national finals held last Saturday at SM City North EDSA in Quezon City.
On his way to bagging the title, Timothy James Tan, a 2nd year high school student from Trinity Christian School in Bacolod City, outlasted 28 other contestants including professionals in the Grandmaster Division.
Tan, who finished 1st place in the 2010 Sudoku Wizard Division in the 4th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge, solved the 5th and final Sudoku puzzle in just 6 minutes.
He garnered a total of 1,576.33 points.
For his feat, Tan won P60,000 in cash prize and a plaque.
Tan was followed by Alvin Ian Chan, a student of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) at 1st runner-up; and Matthew Chris Chan, also from ADMU at 2nd runner-up.
Meanwhile, Marielle Dee of Quezon City and Frederick Ong of Bacolod City finished 3rd and 4th runners-up, respectively.
The sudoko competition commenced late last year with 7,000 participants in the regional eliminations.
Only 164 players, however, managed to reach the finals which was categorized into: Whiz Kid, Wizard and Grandmaster.
In the Sudoku Wizard Division (for high school students), Kaye Janelle Yao of Grace Christian College in Quezon City won 1st place.
Yao was followed by Ma. Czarina Lao, of St. Jude Catholic School, and Jemima Sawey, of Baguio City National High School, at 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
Bryan Joseph Borlongan, of St. Mary’s College of Baliuag, and Cybelle Liana Go, of Bethany Christian School in Cebu City, completed the top 5 set.
In the Sudoku Whiz Kid Division (for elementary students), Bryan Russel Esperanza, of St. Louis University Laboratory Elementary School in Baguio City, won 1st place.
Esperanza came before Rhina Coleen Manabay, of Sto. Angel Elementary School in Laguna, and Gerald Dalan of Olongapo City, at 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
Meanwhile, Bryan Pocholo Miguel Illana of Cavite and Romeo Enguerra II of Binan, Laguna ranked 4th and 5th, correspondingly.
Dr. Simon Chua, president of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG), the organizer of the contest, said the winners will represent the Philippines this year in the World Sudoku Championship in Hungary, BRAND’s Sudoku Challenge 2011 Asia Pacific Open in Singapore and the 5th BRAND's Sudoku Thailand International Open 2011 Princess Somsawali Cup in Bangkok.