History of Sudoku

The SuDoKu was most likely created from the works of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), a famous Swiss mathematician. This would not have created the game itself but would give the guidelines for the calculation of probabilities.

Some sources indicate that the origin of the game may be in New York (USA) in the late 1970s. Then it was not called SuDoKu but only Number Place (the place of the numbers), being published in the magazine Math Puzzles and Logic Problems (Puzzles mathematical and logical problems) of the company specializing in puzzle Dell. The name of the designer of the first puzzle of this type is unknown, although it was probably Walter Mackey, one of Dell’s puzzle designers.

Subsequently, Nikoli, Japanese company specializing in hobbies for newspapers, exported to Japan by publishing it in the paper Monthly Nikolist in April 1984, under the title of “Suji wa dokushin ni kagura”, which can be translated as “the numbers must be alone” (literally, “celibate, unmarried”). It was Kaji Maki, president of Nikoli, who gave the name. The name was shortened to SuDoKu(so = number, doku = solo); since it is common practice in Japanese to take the first kanji (characters used in Japanese spelling) of compound words to shorten them. In 1986, Nikoli introduced two innovations that would ensure the popularity of the puzzle: the number of numbers given would be restricted to a maximum of 30, and the problems would be “symmetrical” (i.e., the cells with given figures would be arranged symmetrically). After minor variations to the formula that is so popular today, the SuDoKu spread through the Japanese press and began its Jump to the rest of the world.

The first computerized version was registered in 1989 by Loadstar Softdisk Publishing, with the name DigitHunt, published on Commodore 64, in what appears to be the first computer version. In 1997, Wayne Gould, judge of the Hong Kong court. During a vacation in the Japanese country, he found a Sudoku magazine, a game that had a massive acceptance among Japanese citizens. This is the beginning of the arrival of SuDoKu to Europe. The publication offers came to The Times in London, which published the first pastime on 12 November 2004. Three days later, The Daily Mail copied the game, and after it almost all of the British press.

Another hobby company, Kappa, reprinted, Nikoli’s SuDoKu in Games Magazine under the name Squared Away. Several national American newspapers currently publish the puzzle on their pages. Even the original company, Dell, edits two specialized magazines: original SuDoKu and Extreme Sudoku.

What is clear is that 2005 is the Year of Sudoku. In the summer we came to television. The British Sky One channel made the first broadcast. Nine teams with nine players each. Viewers could also participate, interactively. However, the show did not have the expected success, highlighting the difficulty of adapting this hobby to a television broadcast.

What he did get was to make the world’s biggest SuDoKu on a hill near Bristol. 84 meters long.