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Solving Techniques 8
Simple Chain

Before considering simple chains, it’s important to understand strong links and weak links.

Strong link

As shown below, a link where only two numbers are possible in a row, column or box, is called a strong link. In the diagram, it is between [1] and [2].

Weak link

As shown below, a weak link is a link where there are more than three numbers that are possible within a row, column or box. [1] and [2] are in three possible cells, which creates a weak link.

Simple Chain

A simple chain is when you focus on a number and look for a
cell - strong - cell - weak - cell - strong - cell
or
cell - strong - cell - weak - cell - strong - cell - weak - cell - strong - cell
pattern that begins and ends in a strong link. In the intersecting point between the beginning and end of the link, that number can’t be entered (it also works when weak links are strong in the pattern).

As an example, it will end up looking like the diagram above.

If a [6] goes in the first cell, F4, it obviously can’t be in F2.

If [7] goes in the first cell, F4, then [6] will go in the last cell, I2, so again, [6] can’t be entered in F2.

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The [1]-strong-[not 1]…. pattern will end up in [not 1]-strong-[1]-weak-[not 1]-strong-[1], and so a [1] will always come in the beginning or end of the chain.

This is the technique, but it is quite difficult to find the pattern, and unless you are really looking for it, it will be hard to find.

Names of cells in Sudoku

A1A2A3A4A5A6A7A8A9
B1B2B3B4B5B6B7B8B9
C1C2C3C4C5C6C7C8C9
D1D2D3D4D5D6D7D8D9
E1E2E3E4E5E6E7E8E9
F1F2F3F4F5F6F7F8F9
G1G2G3G4G5G6G7G8G9
H1H2H3H4H5H6H7H8H9
I1I2I3I4I5I6I7I8I9

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