Express from Cracow

Admin's picture

Foto: © Zdeněk Vodička


Jan Mrozowski, a 21-year-old student of architecture from Cracow, is a double sudoku champion of Poland (2007 and 2008) and vice champion of Internet World Championships 2006. Almost nobody doubts this young man belongs to the top world sudoku players. It is tempting to say – because of the times in which he is able to solve sudoku grids – that he, similarly to Jakub Ondroušek, who is one of the fastest players of classical sudoku in the world, has a support chip implanted.


Janek, how did you enjoy sudokucup?


That was a very successful enterprise. So far, nobody has managed to organize any internet sudoku tournament in which such a lot of players took part, even with almost all the top world players. The fact the instructions were translated into 5 languages, among other into Polish, deserves our attention. The organization of the tournament was very good except a mistake revealed during the competition; everybody knows what I am speaking about. I am convinced that organizers learned from their mistakes and that everything will be OK in next sudokucup.


Is there anything you would recommend organizers to change in the future?


I think it would be fine to prepare 2 – 3 shorter rounds instead of a long one. However, if a sudokucup will be held for other several years, there will be a lot of time for various experiments.


You were the only one who didn’t catch one grid. How much time were you short of?


I didn’t clock that, but I estimate it could be about 6-7 minutes. However, I couldn’t have been missing any time, because the tasks were definitely solvable in less than 2 hours.


Last year you were the first at Polish Sudoku Championship again, nevertheless you weren’t participated in the World Sudoku Championship in India. Why?


If it isn’t known what the matter is, it is about money. And it was the same in that case. The way from Poland to Goa to the WSC wasn’t worth the expenses, the rather that we didn’t find any sponsors and I knew the next WSC will be not far, in Slovakia.


What is your assessment of your chances at this year Polish Championship or at WSC eventually? Will you participate?


Absolutely, everybody wants to win and this is also my aim. The world championship will be much harder, of course, but if I make needed concentration, I will have a chance to be on a victory rostrum.


I know you are taking a part in the Czech Sudoku Championship in Brno, where you have qualified from sudokucup. Did you decide to get even with our players to contest the title of the champion Wink?


Haw-haw. I don’t have to get even with your players; they didn’t work anything on me. Simply, I want to set my skills in a difficult field, in a country which has the best sudoku team in the world. This will be a big challenge for me.


Who do you consider to be your biggest competitors?


Maybe nobody will be surprised that I’m afraid of double world champion Thomas Snyder most. Jakub Ondroušek, who either has a bad luck in great competitions or is too nervous in the most important moments, will be also a big rival. Although he is really skilled, he wasn’t successful neither at the world championship nor at the Czech championship. In my opinion, it is a matter of timing. It is a pity that none of them participated in sudokucup.


How do you prepare for tournaments?


I think it is similar to the preparation of other players, I solve various puzzles systematically and so I can uncover some solution ways and patterns. Apart abilities the most important role is concentration and peace, which is the thing I was missing at some moments of sudokucup, and that is the reason why I hadn’t finished all the puzzles in a two-hour time limit.


Do you have time for something else except sudoku in your free time? What about your private life?


Of course, I have. Sudoku is not the most important aspect of my being. Like other people I have my private life. But I have spent most of my time by studying. Now I am relaxing after a very hard term.


How did you get to sudoku?


Once while solving crosswords I came across sudoku. I tried to solve that and even it was stiff I enjoyed it very much. Several weeks later I learnt that there would be the Polish Sudoku Championship, so I decided to test my skills. I was the 32nd because of a silly mistake that I did in one of four puzzles. Not to be mistaken I would have been the second. Later I found web pages such as and I began to train to be better at the next championship. And you know the result Wink


What variant is your most favourite one?


Basically, there is no sudoku puzzle I wouldn’t like playing. If I could choose, they would be such variant as are Consecutive, Nonconsecutive, Killer, or Anti-Knight, Outside Sum – I don’t say the order must be the same.


I know about you that apart solving puzzles you create your own tasks. Are they available anywhere? Would you like to help us with the preparation of a next tournament?


It is quite difficult to come across my own tasks because I focus on their quality, not quantity. I regard so called twins of classical sudoku as my best one. At first sight they remind classical sudoku, but to have the unique solution it is necessary to use an additional condition, e. g. Anti-Knight, Untouchable, Nonconsecutive or my Quadro. 


In point of preparations of tournaments I prefer solving to creating tasks. Whether sudokucup is organized twice or three times a year, such change would be an interesting variety for me.  In that case I would like to be concerned in a tournament preparation, but I would like to prepare half of the tasks at least.