Dan Cerveny


I am one of the elders of the minesweeper community.I am 29 years old and Iím from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA.††† I started playing minesweeper in 1996 when I temporarily left school and got a job as a mail clerk at a local computer software company.I had an old, slow computer running Windows 3.1 on my mailroom desk, and I had quite a bit of free time.One day I noticed a game called minesweeper so I started playing it as a way to combat my boredom.It didnít take long to become hooked on the game.I told one of my co-workers about the game and we ended up in a competition for about a year until I left the company.I remember initially getting expert times near 150, but my record improved to about 90.Around that time I bought my first PC which allowed me to play at home as well.In August of 1997 I went back to school, so of course I spent too much of my free time in my dorm room playing minesweeper.I did take a couple fairly long breaks from playing while in school, but I still managed to improve my speed significantly.If I remember correctly, my best expert time was in the 50s by the time I got my degree in 2000.I have continued to play since then, although my playing time has been reduced significantly over the past year or two.I doubt Iíll ever quit playing minesweeper completely, but lowering the amount of time I spend playing has certainly been a good thing.I think the main reason I donít play as much anymore is that my records have been lowered to the point that I doubt Iíll ever be able to beat them.My current intermediate record is 11 which I have accomplished three times, twice on boards I had never seen before and thus had no knowledge of.As far as I know nobody else in the world has been able to match that feat.My current expert record is 44.That was done quite some time ago and I have not been able to do any better than 46 or 47 since then.Even upper 40s games for me are few and far between these days.


As for sweeping strategy, I am and have always been a flagger.I would estimate that my best games occur when I flag 65 to 75 mines.Iím pretty sure that is about the most efficient flagging ratio possible, although a few less flags may be a bit better.Sometimes I find myself developing bad habits, like over-flagging, that causes my games to become slower.When that happens, I like to switch to a no-flagging style for a little while to try to undo those habits.I have noticed a slightly different flagging style when watching videos of the three or four players who are capable of playing as fast or faster than me.They mark about the same number of flags, but they sometimes flag and doubleclick different squares than I do.I can tell their games have a little bit different flow to them.Maybe their style is slightly more efficient than mine.That said, I have been using my own style for several years and it is pretty much set in stone.


Outside of minesweeper, my main interests include sports and weather.I donít have the opportunity to play sports anymore, but I do watch a ton of sports on TV.I watch a lot of pro baseball, pro and college football, and college basketball.My favorite teams are the Atlanta Braves in pro baseball and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes in college football and basketball.I got my computer science degree from Iowa State University, but I donít give a ratís ass about their sports teams.I was born an Iowa Hawkeye fan and that is what I will always be.A couple of other sports I like to watch on TV are golf and bowling.Weather has always been a huge interest of mine as well.I love all kinds of bad weather including hurricanes, severe thunderstorms(flooding, hail, lightning, tornadoes), and snowstorms.Here in Iowa we get most of the weather extremes excepthurricanes.I would love to experience a hurricane sometime.I spend a lot of time sitting at my computer surfing my favorite sites, reading articles about politics and sports(et al), and doing a lot of analysis of weather stuff like radar and satellite images and computer model forecasts.One cool website I like to check out is http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov. Every day that site has a new, high resolution satellite image of a region of Earth.


For those of you who do not already know, I am the guy who does the actual updating of the Active Ranking site.


Good luck all,