Sunday, March 17, 2013

ACPT13 Recap

I had a great year at ACPT -- I was as fast as last year, but didn't make any mistakes, so I ended in 24th place out of 570 solvers (just about where I would have been last year had I not made any mistakes).  And amazingly, I was exactly two minutes shy of the B finals -- which is exactly how far out of the B finals I would have been last year had I not made any mistakes.  How weird is that?
  • Puzzle scores: P1 - 1205, P2 - 1520, P3 - 1730, P4 - 1265, P5 - 1475, P6 - 1945, P7 - 2370
  • Puzzle times: P1 - 4 min, P2 - 7, P3 - 14, P4 - 5, P5 - 17, P6 - 7, P7 - 13
  • (Fastest puzzle times by any solver: P1 - 3, P2 - 4, P3 - 6, P4 - 3, P5 - 9, P6 - 4, P7 - 8)
  • Overall score: 11,510
  • Overall ranking: 24th
  • B division ranking: 5th (B division includes all players who haven't been in the A or B finals in the last 7 years)
  • Mid-Atlantic ranking: 3rd (top female solver in the Mid-Atlantic)
  • Rank among female solvers: 7th
Note that those top two B solvers now move into the A division, clearing out some of my competition.  (Of course, I know of at least two B solvers who normally beat me soundly who made one or two mistakes this year, so it's not as though my path to the finals is without obstacles...)

Here's an interesting observation:  8 of the 9 finalists in the A, B, and C finals were men, including all three B finalists.  But the next two were women (as are the two B solvers I referred to above).  So you never know -- there is a distinct possibility of an all-female B final; how cool would that be?

Over the course of the seven puzzles, I moved from tied for 12th, to 21st, to 34th, to 29th, to 29th, to 23rd, to 24th.  Pretty consistent performance across the tournament, which is a nice change from my usual ricocheting from great scores to lousy ones.

I've been focusing recently on solving the hardest puzzles I can find (even if I have to put them aside and come back to them later), and on solving really large Sunday-sized puzzles.  Those both seem to have helped, although I still think I could work more on stamina and strategy for the big puzzles (my P7 time actually went up compared to last year, from 10 minutes to ... -- I don't think that was because it was harder; I think I was just less focused than I needed to be.  I probably could have gotten my two "B finals minutes" on that puzzle if I had had a better day).