“I like this side of ‘Dinner of idiots'”, confesses the French Sophie de Goncourt, best player in the world

It is an activity that some practice to relax. Almost everyone has already played it, but few with a competitive spirit. This Thursday June 23 marks the starting gun of the World Puzzle Championship in Valladolid, Spain. Three categories are on the program: team, duo and individual. Regarding the latter, the best player in the world is the French.

Sophie de Goncourt, 53 years old and daily medical delegate at the Sarthe, is triple individual puzzle world champion, a status she gladly assumes. ‘It’s funny, I like that side’dinner cons. That is to say that I have a passion that has no interest and that makes people laugh a lot.”

For me, doing a puzzle is like reading. There is always a puzzle started at home, I do it every day instead of watching TV.

Sophie de Goncourt, World Puzzle Champion

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This crazy riddle she has been doing every day since she was little. At home you can find more than a thousand boxes and hers millions of small pieces of hers that she assembles one after another: “Before competitions, I trainShe continues. We know in which brand, in which publisher the contests will be held, I take out the brand accordingly and start training a little.” A hobby that he uses, most of the time, to relax, he says.

The puzzle collection of Sophie de Goncourt and her husband.  (SOPHIE DE GONCOURT)

To win the world crown, of course, you need an effective method: aim to place a piece every eight seconds to aim to be the first to finish a 500-piece puzzle. “We always end up with the frame. The priority to make a puzzle quickly is to put it in order. We classify the colors as much as possible.he explains showing the pieces he handles. In this very colorful puzzle, the owls all have a little colorful apron. We’re going to sort them by covers, to have as many pieces as possible, and then put them together.”

La Sarthoise also holds a duo world title as well as a world record in the category, both won with her husband, Patrice de Goncourt. The two puzzle enthusiasts also met at the French puzzle championships in the 1990s. “He was a formidable opponent. ! They were competitions in pairs at that time, the girls had won, I played with my little brother. The only way to beat her was by getting with her.”her husband smiled.

Like her, he ended up liking the competition and its environment. “What is impressive is the silence before the start signal. You hear the sound of the plastics, the coins, the boxes flying and then another silence, and then just the sound of the coins rolling in the boxes.”

Thanks to her status as the best unifier in the world, Sophie was also able to see the doors of the cinema open. She thus has her name in the credits of a handful of films and in particular in Name, with Patrick Bruel and Valérie Benguigui. For the movie set, she had to make a 9,000-piece puzzle.

Sophie de Goncourt, quadruple puzzle world champion – report by Pierre-François Plessis


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