We would like to thank everyone who participated in our July contest despite the problem of exposed solutions. It only goes to reinforce our belief that there are those among us who love to solve problems and love to compete, irrespective of the prize money and irrespective of who cheats. You are the guys we built CodeChef for. You rock!
Secondly, we have identified the account TeamCyclone, thanks to our diligent Sysad team. We regret to announce that it belongs to our long-term associate Varun Jalan, and Pratik Tandel. The evidence trail points at Varun Jalan, who, upon questioning, named Pratik.
We have always trusted Varun, had problem-setting contracts with him, and welcomed his counsel regarding CodeChef on occasions. At his request, we revealed the solutions of the problems LCM and HAPPY to him. We view his behavior as a serious breach of trust and contract. We had sponsored Pratik for the ACM ICPC finals. We are disappointed that in a misguided attempt, they have tried to undermine our efforts to run the last few contests.
We have spoken to both of them, and they have acknowledged their involvement. They have admitted the error of their ways. We do not want to take any action against them, in the hope that they will not repeat such a gross mistake. Since this is also a legal matter, our legal team will be investigating the issue fully and will be deciding on a course of action to safeguard Codechef’s interests in the long-term.
Meanwhile lets put these events behind us and look forward to having a great time! We are excited at the launch of our new short contest format.
The Codechef Team.
PS – We harbor no grudges against anyone. If anything we feel disappointed. We hope both Varun and Pratik see the demerits of their actions and use their potential for the benefit of the community going forward.
Blog Updated: The acceptance and apology mails sent to us after we spoke to them:
This is to formally apologise for being involved in the Stefan incident. I am sorry for my actions.
I was a part of the idea all along. Pratik had created the codechef/fb accounts, however I had login details for them. For the problem LCM, Pratik had asked me help on a similar problem that he discussed with a friend. I did now know immediately how to solve it. So I asked Anup for a solution to the LCM problem, and on seeing it, I could explain Pratik the solution then. I have not posted the solutions to the problems myself, but have been aware of it in collaboration with Pratik all along.
I would like to conclude by mentioning my motives in being behind it, which were clearly not monetary gain. With the particular format of the contest, cheating in the contests is rampant. Without strong motivation to learn, its easy to get carried away by small monetary gains and make easy and fast money. In my opinion, spending 10 days on 4-5 problems is not exactly the best way for a beginner to learn. That is not the way I learnt, but its my mistake in trying to force my ideology on anyone. I am sincerely sorry for my actions, and assert that they will not repeat. I m aware of the amount of damage it has caused to Codechef’s reputation and am sincerely sorry for it.
Prateek says: “I, Pratik Tandel, admit to being an accomplice to Varun Jalan in the public disclosure of solutions to the recent monthly contests on Codechef. The reason for my actions it that I strongly resented the fact that many used unfair means to win in contests. Very little or too lenient action was taken against them. They used to come back the next month and cheat in better ways. This was the main reason for the deplorable actions of mine.
The plans for this activity was discussed with Varun and he had agreed and contributed to the ideas. He was aware of the login credentials of all accounts created for this purpose. He had also helped with some of the harder problems.
I strongly regret the outcomes that this actions of ours have caused. After my discussion with Anup and Bhavin, I have been convinced that my misguided actions have undone a lot of hard work put in by many people working on the Codechef team and the problem-setters. After discussions I have concluded that these means do not justify the reasons that I have stated. I apologize to the community for any inconvenience caused, and I understand that it must be a very hard time for all of you. I hope that you will forgive me over a course of time, for these wrong actions.”