The Kenken International Championship, the world’s biggest Mathematical Puzzle Championship, which was held at New York, proved to be a cakewalk for participants from India, with four of them emerging victorious.
Held at New York’s Pace University on May 31 this year, it involved four gruelling elimination rounds – school, state, national and international. Total 35000 Indian students from 200 schools and 16 states; it was a difficult but exciting journey indeed.
The championship was held for three categories-Delta for students of Grade 3 to 5, Kappa for students of Grade 6 to 9 and Sigma for Grade 10 onwards.
The winners from India represented in Delta and Kappa categories. Three champions were selected from each category, so in top nine, Indian participants secured 4 positions.
In Delta category, all the winners came from India, with Gaurav Pandey securing first position followed by Dhani Bhangani and Shristi Chakraborty.
Devika Pillai, from India, secured first position in the Kappa category, followed by Dorovitsine Peter from Europe and Hankewycz Zachar of Japan.
In the Sigma category, Grueskin Eleanor of United States, came first followed by Meller Mack from USA as first runner-up and Stricker Michael of Japan coming third.
Finally, for the World KenKen Champion title (across all categories), the winner from three categories competed in the final knock-off round where they all were provided the same puzzle which they solved in front of the audience.
Fifth standard student Gaurav Pandey of Ryan International School, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, did India proud by being declared the Kenken International Champion.
In the final, Pandey took less than half the time taken by any other participant to complete the puzzle. Devika Pillai of the O. P. Jindal School in Keonjhar, Odisha, was the first runner up, while Eleanor of the Winchester County School, United States, was second runner up.
Robert Furher, organizer of KenKen international championship in NY admitted, ” Everyone is super impressed with the Indian team, and especially Gaurav, who has defeated Mack Meller, the defending USA national champion from our annual December tournament.”
Five national winners from India made it to the International round, and four emerged victorious.
The other national winner, Mohammad Ali Basha of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation School in Mumbai, surmounted the initial rejection of his visa application by the American authorities to make a mark in the international event, by securing 8th position in Delta category.
Vishal JC, CEO of Grey Sim Limited said “It is a matter of great pride that our students excelled amongst the champions from around the World. It is like winning the Puzzle Olympics.”
On KenKen 2015 he said “We have got an overwhelming response and are expecting more than 2000 schools to participate this year. The best part about KenKen is that it is language and socio-economic status agnostic so students from any state or any economic strata can participate in it.”
Kenken is a grid-based numerical puzzle that uses basic Math operations, while challenging the logic and problem solving skills of participants. It is recognized by NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, USA), an independent authority, as a powerful tool to build reasoning skills in kids.
The Indian leg of the championship was organized by Grey Sim Limited, an edutainment sector company, which organizes experiential learning programmes, including 3 D printing and works with many a major schools in Mumbai and elsewhere.