International Sudoku Day
By Sharon Schweitzer
For all of the Sudoku enthusiasts out there, you will notice the significance behind this holiday’s date. The goal of the Sudoku game is to fill a 9×9 grid so that each column, row, and 3×3 sub-grid contains all the digits from 1 to 9.
In 1892, the French newspaper “La Siècle” printed a game that was akin to Sudoku in that each row and column had to contain all the designated numbers, but unlike Sudoku, it involved numerals higher than 9 and engaged solvers’ mathematical skills, not their logic center. In the ensuing years, other French papers picked up on the trend with similar games, but none were strictly identical to Sudoku, and those games’ popularity waned around the time that World War I was starting.
Fast forward to 1979, circumstantial evidence points to Indiana architect Howard Garns publishing a puzzle of his own invention (at that time named “Number Place”) in “Dell Magazine” that would become the game we now know as Sudoku. Sadly Garns passed away before ever seeing the results of his innovation. In the meantime, the game set Japan’s puzzle industry on fire, gaining the name Sudoku for the first time, along with a fan base of millions of devoted players. In 1997, Hong Kong judge Wayne Gould invented a computer program that could come up with unique Sudoku puzzles. He pitched the game as a daily puzzle feature to newspapers in the U.K., and soon Sudoku was known around the world.
Today, it’s the subject of multiple documentaries and game shows, and even spawned an award-nominated original tune by songwriter Peter Levy. In 2013 The World Puzzle Federation made September 9 the official International Sudoku Day and we’ve been celebrating it ever since. Do you play Sudoku or another game? Share your thoughts below.
Photo by Premier Star Company
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.
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