The 7th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge (PSSC) is hosted by SM Supermallls in cooperation with Mathematics Trainer's Guild Philippines (MTG)

I'm pretty sure most of us know how to play SUDOKU, right? It's one of the pages/ sections we seek for in a broadsheet or newspaper ;-). But, have you ever thought what Sudoku means and what was its history?

According to Wikipedia, it's a logic-based combinatorial number-placement puzzle. Its objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 sub-grids that compose the grid (also called "boxes", "blocks", "regions", or "sub-squares") contains all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which typically has a unique solution.

Completed puzzles are always a type of Latin square with an additional constraint on the contents of individual regions. For example, the same single integer may not appear twice in the same 9×9 playing board row or column or in any of the nine 3×3 subregions of the 9×9 playing board.
The puzzle was popularized in 1986 by the Japanese puzzle company Nikoli, under the name Sudoku, meaning single number. It became an international hit in 2005.


 Number puzzles appeared in newspapers in the late 19th century, when French puzzle setters began experimenting with removing numbers from magic squares. Le Siècle, a Paris-based daily, published a partially completed 9×9 magic square with 3×3 sub-squares on November 19, 1892. It was not a Sudoku because it contained double-digit numbers and required arithmetic rather than logic to solve, but it shared key characteristics: each row, column and sub-square added up to the same number.
On July 6, 1895, Le Siècle's rival, La France, refined the puzzle so that it was almost a modern Sudoku. It simplified the 9×9 magic square puzzle so that each row, column and broken diagonals contained only the numbers 1–9, but did not mark the sub-squares. Although they are unmarked, each 3×3 sub-square does indeed comprise the numbers 1–9 and the additional constraint on the broken diagonals leads to only one solution.
These weekly puzzles were a feature of French newspapers such as L'Echo de Paris for about a decade but disappeared about the time of World War I.
According to Will Shortz, the modern Sudoku was most likely designed anonymously by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old retired architect and freelance puzzle constructor from Indiana, and first published in 1979 by Dell Magazines as Number Place (the earliest known examples of modern Sudoku). Garns's name was always present on the list of contributors in issues of Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games that includedNumber Place, and was always absent from issues that did not. He died in 1989 before getting a chance to see his creation as a worldwide phenomenon. It is unclear if Garns was familiar with any of the French newspapers listed above.
The puzzle was introduced in Japan by Nikoli in the paper Monthly Nikolist in April 1984 as Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru (数字は独身に限る?), which can be translated as "the digits must be single" or "the digits are limited to one occurrence." (In Japanese, dokushin means an "unmarried person".) At a later date, the name was abbreviated to Sudoku (數獨) by Maki Kaji (鍜治 真起 Kaji Maki?), taking only the first kanji of compound words to form a shorter version. In 1986, Nikoli introduced two innovations: the number of givens was restricted to no more than 32, and puzzles became "symmetrical" (meaning the givens were distributed in rotationally symmetric cells). It is now published in mainstream Japanese periodicals, such as the Asahi Shimbun. (Taken from Wikipedia)

Just recently, SM Supermalls inks an agreement with Mathematics Trainer's Guild, Philippines (MTG) to host the 7th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge (PSSC).

The 7th PSSC will kick off through a regional elimination rounds which will be held simultaneously on October 14, 2012 at different SM Supermalls in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and NCR serving as regional centers. Regional champions will compete in the national finals on January 27, 2013 at the SM North Edsa Annex.

Millie Dizon, SM Supermalls Vice President for Marketing and Communications

SM Supermalls Vice President for Marketing and Communications Millie Dizon gave cognizance to Sudoku as a good exercise in developing the minds of the youths towards global excellence in Math and Sudoku not to mention that the event also promotes camaraderie among participating students coming  from both the public and private schools. And that SM, in consonance with its Social Corporate Responsibility thrusts, takes pride in hosting this activity as part of their contribution to educational development of our youths.

MTG Philippines, headed by its President Dr. Simon L. Chua, develops every year different types and structures of Sudoku puzzles to serve different categories of contestants to wit: Sudoku Grand Master (professional level), Sudoku Wizard (secondary level) and the Sudoku Whiz Kids (for kids below 12 years old). The MTG prepares the puzzles with graduated difficulty and of varied types in order to familiarize the participants in time for the national finals of Sudoku competition.

Sudoku activities aim to illicit interests among students in math and Sudoku noting that with SM Supermalls  venues, the contestants grew in number ever year. The grand champions for each category at the national level will take home cash prizes and trophies and can become the official representatives to the World Sudoku Contest held every year. Our Filipino contestants usually come home with their winning medals and trophies bringing honor and pride to our country, their respective families and schools.

I guess, from our end, we really have to give our utmost support to the 7th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge (PSSC). Kudos to SM Supermalls and MTG for promoting these kinds of competition which produces top Filipino representatives and winners. 

Special thanks to my blogger/ friend Jenny Roxas of

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