BirkerÝd, July 2nd, 2004
Martin Toft Madsen
I was born the 20th of February,
I have just
graduated from the gymnasium (high school) MKS in Farum (
I have played
table tennis for about 6-7 years, but havenít played the last year (but maybe I
am starting again soon). I also like to bike. The last couple of years I have
biked about 16-
Of non-minesweeper related stuff I do at
the computer, I can mention video and sound encoding as one of the mayor things.
Therefore I often visit www.doom9.org, which has a lot of guides and news
about that subject. A site I also often visit, which is probably more useful to
many of you, is www.imdb.com (the Internet Movie DataBase), which
has taglines, plots, ratings, etc. of almost every movie you can think of. Give
it a try before watching your next movie ;)
The very first time I tried minesweeper was when I was about 9-10 years old, as I recall. I didnít know the rules back then, so I just made the board as large as possible with 10 mines on it, and see how fast I could finish it. Sometimes it only took one single click :) I think I was seeing some other play the game, but Iím not sureÖ
The first time I ďreallyĒ played the game was in 8th grade when I was 14 or 15 years old. It was in late 1999 or maybe early 2000. Two of my friends were playing together on a board (intermediate I think) at a computer at my school. They were really slow, discussing whether or not there were a mine here and there. Anyway, I asked what the game was about, and they told me the rules. I remember my record on intermediate was 73 not long after.
Then I started
playing regularly. I donít know exactly how much I was playing, but I think it
was a couple of times a week or so, mostly when I was doing something else at
my computer, i.e. copying files or something similar so I couldnít do much else
on the computer. I havenít got any records of my best times, but I remember
bragging about my expert record of 145 to my cousin at a Christmas party, so I
think that was my record at Christmas
I got my best after installing Windows XP on my computer late 2001, the 23rd of March 2002 which was a 91. Iím not sure that was my record at that time, but I think it was just about the same as my prior record on my Windows Me.
Here are a list of what I think was my records after that (some of them may not have been my records, since I havenít any 100% evidence; Iím just looking at screenshots dates and trying to remember what my records were):
88, April 27, 2002
84, June 18, 2002
81, July 23, 2002
As I remember my records were: 92 -> 89 -> 84 -> 81, but I canít find any screenshots of a 92 or a 89, so it could just be my memoryÖ
Meanwhile I had got a new intermediate record: a 27 on the 16th of May, 2002. I havenít got any screenshots of intermediate games prior to that, since I thought that expert were the only important level, but nevertheless I was very proud of my 27 (I think it was my first sub30), so I took a screenshot of it, and have taken screenshots of intermediate games since then as well.
After the last
expert record (81) I (like many others) thought I was the best in the world (so
did some of my friends Ė the one of the two friends that taught me the rules
were at about 200 at that time, as far as I rememberÖ heís gotten to about 140
by now, but very seldom plays). Therefore I started to search on the web to
find out if there were anyone out there that were at least almost as good as me
;) The only page I found were Wacharin Wichiramalaís expert record list, which
wasnít updated anymore (I donít know why I didnít found Damien Mooreís site).
The expert world record on that list were a 51 by Chris Paradise, so I was a
little bit devastated, but at least I would be on the list as number
About that time I started to look after other sweepers on the web again. The first thing I found was Lasse Nyholmís site. D*mn! I was shocked. Only 42 seconds to finish an expert game?!?! That was almost twice as fast as me! I didnít know if I dared to believe it, but after all he had tons of videos so I couldnít easily rejct him as a cheater. Not long after (I actually think it was the same night) I found Damien Mooreís site with all the ďfamousĒ players as Lasse, Damien, Dan, Matt, Owen, etc. I slowly began to realize I wasnít that fast after all.
At that time I found out about the double-clicking technique. All my records were done with marking mines and clearing empty spaces as two separate things. I couldnít really get used to the double-clicking. One of my friends (one of the two who taught me the rules Ė not him with the 140 on expert, but the other (who also has gotten better in the last couple of years and has a 39 on intermediate as his best)) suggested I shouldnít place any flags at all. I thought about it, but quickly rejected the idea as simply impossible if one was going to be among the fastest in the world. A little later some weeks I think, I saw a non-flagger video by Stephan Bechtel: a 66 on an easy board (about 120-130 3BV, but I didnít knew anything about 3BV before a little later, so I didnít knew it was an easy board), and I thought it didnít look that fast, so if he could do it, so could I! It was then I became a non-flagger (NF), November (or maybe December) 2002. Not long after I found the Yahoo! Group, learned about 3BV and also found out that Stephan Bechtelís record wasnít the 66 that was placed in the list at Damien Mooreís site, but 55. Later (I donít know exactly how long after, but maybe a few weeks, maybe some months), I found out that the NF world record was 50. Nevertheless, I knew that I was able to do as good as Stephan Bechtel in his 66 video, and I would also be able to do a 55 if he was able to. So I practiced and practiced and this is my NF expert record list:
75, January 14, 2003 (160 3BV)
70, January 24, 2003 (146 3BV)
63, February 18, 2003 (137 3BV)
59, June 22, 2003 (136 3BV)
57, September 19, 2003 (135 3BV)
55, September 20, 2003 (130 3BV)
Now I had reached my old goal of 55. All of 2003 I had played almost every day from half an hour to several hours a day. I kept playing that much for the rest of the year, but I didnít get any new expert record.
Since my 22 on November 4th, 2002, I had improved my intermediate alongside:
19, December 18, 2002 (I donít think this was playing NF yet)
18, February 7, 2003 (39 3BV) (First NF intermediate record, I think)
17, April 5, 2003 (37 3BV)
16, June 14, 2003 (43 3BV)
15, June 21, 2003 (36 3BV)
13, December 30, 2003 (40 3BV)
So this was all
up to 2004. Since the start of this year (2004), I havenít played nearly as
much as I did in
The desire to play minesweeper decreased during the last half of 2003, and thatís why I didnít play much in the beginning of 2004. Luckily for me, the Minesweeper Clone was developed by Rodrigo Camargo, and that has given me some more desire to play again, tough not as much as it was one and a half year ago. My current record of 51 was made using this new clone, and it was set the 29th of March, 2004 on a 141 3BV board. Iím very glad that Iíve gotten this record, since it brings me alongside in the world ranking with the other great NF players Stephan Bechtel, Eduardo Cros and Vincent Yeh.
My goals for the future will be to sub 50 (hopefully as the first NF) and then, if I still have the urge, it would be nice to go sub60 total :)
Now, if I had more time I would read it through and correct it and maybe write a little more, but because Iím late (which I always am) I have to stop here and hope you all can forgive my typing errors :)
Happy sweeping! Ė And remember: itís just a game, although many of us (including me) probably often forgets this ;)
†- †Martin Toft Madsen