JPC/JNPC were held in May. This year, JPF selected the A-team members as follows:
(1) The best Japanese who reached the top 10 (in Japanese only ranking) and have never participated in WPC/WSC (if he/she cannot join in, this seat goes to the second man)
(2) The 3 (4 if (1) is absent) best Japanese
(And everyone with 10n rank (in international ranking) gets T-shirts of Japanese team.)
As you can see here, the members in A-team for WPC are (1) Yuki, (2) Hideaki, Kota and me. Happily, I still have the chance for the playoff.
WPC/WSC are held in August this year and overlap with summer vacation. It is difficult to get plane tickets, so no B-team. But seat (1) still remains because JPF wants to open WPC/WSC for newcomers. This is a good decision, I think. By the way, I know the discussion about last year’s WPC result in Tom’s blog. Tricky selection shows we haven’t selected “best” team intentionally (at least this year). Here is my opinion about how WPC and national qualification should be. I don’t know the history or the object of WPF well, so this is based on what I know.
It seems that some wants to treat WPC as if Olympic games. Deciding the champion should be a purpose of WPC, of course. But there is a big difference: in WPC, each country can send 4 (or 8) solvers irrespective of their capabilities. This is not a bad thing, because this leads to extend puzzle communities. Well, I think this is another object of WPC.
Now let’s think about first one. Puzzle is different from other sports: our contest can never be in the same condition. It depends on authors, contest style, and… so on. In WPC, we solve at least 2 days, but such period is very difficult to realize in national qualifications. Almost all has only 1 round, so there is no chance to recover. For example, in Japan, with so many good solvers, it is almost impossible to determine the best team. To say more, regardless of the style of qualification, many world-class solvers cannot go to WPC, though they can participate in online contests and have great results. So WPC is truly “world championship”?
In the discussion in Japan, Takeya proposed the idea that “top 50 in GP can participate in WPC without qualification”. This reminds me of the WC of Rubik’s Cube. Isn’t this similar to our genre? If each country can send 4 (or 8?) more solvers in addition to this rule (don’t think now about whether this year’s GP style is good for this purpose; this is another problem), maybe these extra seats can be used for newcomers. This is possible even now, but will be easier to do so.
Other merits exist. Organizers of national championships cannot be qualified now (like last year's Ko), but they may get their seat in GP. And for example, Yuta, who finished PGP in 7th place, couldn’t participate in JPC/JNPC because he has classes. Such sad things won’t occur using GP.
With the system, national championships don’t need to be top solver’s qualification. Again in Japan, before I know JPC, its style was not that of WPC; many puzzles depended on language. But maybe this is suitable for “J”PC. National competition can be used to determine wild cards, or A-team members.
Of course, there is a problem: limitation of capacity for organizers. What I can do by myself is just sharing ideas.
BTW, I didn’t participate in JNPC. I didn’t think I could be in top 3, and didn’t want to be 10n ranking. In this sense this system is not good. I’m looking forward to WSC, but before I go to London, I need to find time to solve JNPC.