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KenKen is the new Sudoku for young minds in UAE

Bernd Debusmann Jr. (Chief Reporter)/Dubai
bernd@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 14, 2016 | Last updated on September 14, 2016 at 07.06 am
KenKen is the new Sudoku for young minds in UAE
In KenKen, the goal of each puzzle is to fill a grid with digits so that no digit appears more than once in any row or column.

This year's UAE edition of the KenKen International Championship (KIC) saw over 6,000 students from 60 schools participate.

Over 3,000 young mathematicians will compete this weekend in a competition based on 'KenKen' - a grid-based numerical puzzle system.

KenKen - which means 'Wisdom Squared' in Japanese - uses basic math operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, while at the same time using logic and problem-solving skills. As with the wildly popular Sudoku, the goal of each puzzle is to fill a grid (which can range from 3x3 to 9x9) with digits so that no digit appears more than once in any row or column. 

According to education experts, KenKen helps stimulate the brain and improves cognitive abilities, as well as logical thinking, problem-solving, and numeracy skills. 

This year's UAE edition of the KenKen International Championship (KIC) saw over 6,000 students from 60 schools participate. 

On Saturday, about 3,800 of these - 3,100 in Dubai and 700 in Abu Dhabi - will participate in the 'Emirates' level of the competition, from which about 1,000 students will proceed to the 'National Competition' on October 22. From the national competition, 10 students will be selected to travel to New York to compete against KenKen players from around the world in December. 

Several UAE educators noted that the KenKen competition is a unique opportunity for local students. "The Kenken representatives visited school to explain to the children what the puzzle was all about. They got them both motivated and excited to sign up and have a go," said Fiona Nicholson, the Assistant Principal of Jumeirah Primary School. "Because of this, we have over 100 children trying out for the school level test including all levels of mathematicians attempting the test. which is phenomenal." 

Benjamin Atkins, Regent International School's Deputy Head of Secondary, added, "There are not many affordable Dubai- and UAE-based international puzzle challenges that schools and students can enter. I believe there are none for mathematics except this one." 

bernd@khaleejtimes.com

author

Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Originally from Mexico City, I've been in Dubai since January 2015. Before arriving in in the UAE I worked as a general news reporter in TV and print in Mexico City, NYC and Washington DC. I'm interested in defence issues, politics, technology, aviation and history. In my spare time i enjoy traveling and football - I'm a keen fan of Chelsea FC. I developed an interest in the Middle East traveling through Jordan and the West Bank. I have a BA in Political Science from Dickinson College in the USA and an MA in International Journalism from City University London.





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