The World Puzzle Championship (commonly abbreviated as WPC) is an annual international puzzle competition run by the World Puzzle Federation. All the puzzles in the competition are pure-logic problems based on simple principles, designed to be playable regardless of language or culture.
National teams are determined by local affiliates of the World Puzzle Federation. Of the 26 championships (team category) held thus far, 14 have been won by the United States, 7 by Germany, 3 by the Czech Republic, and 2 by Japan. The most successful individual contestant is Ulrich Voigt (Germany) with 11 titles since 2000.
The latest WPC was held in November 2018 in Czech Republic. The next WPC will be held in October 2019 in Germany.
The World Puzzle Championship was the brainchild of Will Shortz, who wanted to create an event where puzzlers from different countries could compete on an even playing field. Previously, the International Crossword Marathon was the major international competition for puzzle-solving, and Shortz had attended it every year, but because participants used their own language and crossword rules, it was not a very good basis for comparing raw puzzle-solving skills across cultures. Shortz created the WPC to overcome these flaws. As described by Nick Baxter, co-director of the U.S. Puzzle Championship, the challenge of the competition is speed.
Currently, 34 countries are official members of the World Puzzle Federation. Individuals may also take part if their country is not already represented by a national team. In the 2017 WPC, 169 contestants from 27 countries participated. The United States has won the championship 14 times, followed by Germany with 7 championships. The Czech Republic has won three times and Japan has won twice. Ulrich Voigt of Germany has been the most successful individual contestant, winning the gold medal eleven times since 2000. Wei-Hwa Huang of the United States won four of the first eight championships in the 1990s.
|1992||New York City||United States||David Samuel||Darren Rigby||Daniel Johnson||United States||Argentina||Poland|||
|1993||Brno||Czech Republic||Robert Babilon||Wei-Hwa Huang||Pavel Kalhous||Czech Republic||United States||Canada|||
|1994||Cologne||Germany||Ron Osher||Pavel Kalhous||Pero Galogaza||Czech Republic||United States||Croatia|||
|1995||Poiana Brasov||Romania||Wei-Hwa Huang||Gyorgy Istvan||Pavel Kalhous||United States||Czech Republic||Hungary|||
|1996||Utrecht||Netherlands||Robert Babilon||Zack Butler||Wei-Hwa Huang||United States||Czech Republic||Turkey|||
|1997||Koprivnica||Croatia||Wei-Hwa Huang||Ron Osher||Robert Babilon||Czech Republic||United States||Hungary|||
|1998||Istanbul||Turkey||Wei-Hwa Huang||Akira Nakai||Zack Butler||United States||Japan||Hungary|||
|1999||Budapest||Hungary||Wei-Hwa Huang||Zack Butler||Niels Roest||United States||Netherlands||Czech Republic|||
|2000||Stamford||United States||Ulrich Voigt||Wei-Hwa Huang||Niels Roest||United States||Netherlands||Germany|||
|2001||Brno||Czech Republic||Ulrich Voigt||Robert Babilon||Zack Butler||United States||Czech Republic||Belgium|||
|2002||Oulu||Finland||Niels Roest||Roland Voigt||Ulrich Voigt||Japan||Germany||United States|||
|2003||Arnhem||Netherlands||Ulrich Voigt||Wei-Hwa Huang||Roger Barkan||Germany||United States||Netherlands|||
|2004||Opatija||Croatia||Niels Roest||Ulrich Voigt||Roger Barkan||United States||Germany||Hungary|||
|2005||Eger||Hungary||Ulrich Voigt||Wei-Hwa Huang||Niels Roest||Germany||United States||Japan|||
|2006||Borovets||Bulgaria||Ulrich Voigt||Wei-Hwa Huang||Maho Yokota||United States||Germany||Japan|||
|2007||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||Pal Madarassy||Thomas Snyder||Ulrich Voigt||United States||Japan||Belgium|||
|2008||Minsk||Belarus||Ulrich Voigt||Mehmet Murat Sevim||Roger Barkan||United States||Japan||Czech Republic|||
|2009||Antalya||Turkey||Ulrich Voigt||Peter Hudák||Mehmet Murat Sevim||Germany||United States||Japan|||
|2010||Paprotnia||Poland||Taro Arimatsu||Ulrich Voigt||Hideaki Jo||United States||Japan||Germany|||
|2011||Eger||Hungary||Palmer Mebane||Ulrich Voigt||Thomas Snyder||United States||Germany||Japan|||
|2012||Kraljevica||Croatia||Ulrich Voigt||Thomas Snyder||Palmer Mebane||Germany||Japan||United States|||
|2013||Beijing||China||Ulrich Voigt||Palmer Mebane||Thomas Snyder||United States||Germany||Japan|||
|2014||London||United Kingdom||Ulrich Voigt||Palmer Mebane||Florian Kirch||Germany||Japan||United States|||
|2015||Sofia||Bulgaria||Ken Endo||Ulrich Voigt||Palmer Mebane||Germany||Japan||United States|||
|2016||Senec||Slovakia||Ulrich Voigt||Palmer Mebane||Ken Endo||Germany||Japan||United States|
|2017||Bangalore||India||Ken Endo||Ulrich Voigt||Kota Morinishi||Japan||United States||Germany|||
|2018||Prague||Czech Republic||Thomas Snyder||Ulrich Voigt||Ken Endo||Germany||United States||Hungary|
|2019||Kirchheim||Germany||Philipp Weiß||Ken Endo||Walker Anderson||United States||Germany||Japan|
Starting from 2013, titles have been awarded also for the best players in two age categories, Under 18 and Over 50 years of age.
|Under 18||Over 50|
|2013||Beijing||China||Qiu Yanzhe||Jakub Bahyl||Zuzana Hromcová||Stefano Forcolin||Nick Baxter||Jouni Juhani Särkijärvi|||
|2014||London||United Kingdom||Qiu Yanzhe||Olivier Garçonnet||Mehmet Durmuş||Stefano Forcolin||Jiří Hrdina||Nick Baxter|||
|2015||Sofia||Bulgaria||Qiu Yanzhe||Olivier Garçonnet||Pavol Kollár||David McNeill||Stefano Forcolin||Zoran Tanasić|||
|2016||Senec||Slovakia||Qiu Yanzhe||Pavol Kollár||Olivier Garçonnet||Taro Arimatsu||Stefano Forcolin||Miklós Mócsy|
|2017||Bangalore||India||Walker Anderson||Pavol Kollár||Kang Hyunmo||Taro Arimatsu||David McNeill||Michael Smit|||
|2018||Prague||Czech Republic||Walker Anderson||Tantan Dai||Ivan Georgiev||Taro Arimatsu||Cedomir Milanovic||Michael Smit|||
|2019||Kirchheim||Germany||Walker Anderson||Ryotaro Chiba||Péter Gyimesi||Taro Arimatsu||David McNeill||Cedomir Milanovic|
Incomplete list, in alphabetical order:
The 27th World Puzzle Championshipwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).