Use “first” as a prefix and suddenly everything becomes special. Be it the first bike, the first mobile, or the first videogame – they all have a special place in our heart even today. When we sat down for our “first Cook-Off” of this year, we were all keyed up and encouraged and almost frozen (Oh, the winter! Don’t you love it?). Pulling up our socks and hoodies, we began the first Cook-Off of the year featuring Hiroto Sekido as the problem setter, Anton Lunyov as the tester and Ashar Fuadi as the editorialist.
The beginning kept all 0f us glued to our screens, as we got the first submission of the contest from mikhailOK, within three minutes from the start! This was soon followed by the first successful submission from ivan100sic – and this time inside five minutes! The starting few moments of the contest were enticing, as our problem setters found the ACM ICPC 2012 Champion, mikhailOK, getting tricked by the examples in CIELDIST .
The continually growing amount of participation not only swept us all off our feet, but also did the same to our servers. Sadly, for machines, the idiom “sweeping off the feet” does not mean the same. The machines crash! Not that they actually did, but this resulted in intermittent connectivity problems, which many of you faced during the contest. Our team of engineers had to leave their pizzas mid way to get back to work and try and fix this. By the time it got addressed, we had already received several emails and messages citing issues that you faced while submitting. It is needless to say, that we must have anticipated the growing numbers in each contest and have planned for it. Not that we are not. In a few week’s time, if all goes well, CodeChef should be moving to much more scalable systems.
As the contest progressed, the submissions on problem CIELDIST and MANYCHEF began mounting, while the remaining three problems were untouched. This made our problem setting panel realize that the problem set was harder this time around. Some more time into the contest and we got first the accepted submission on DEFACING from raveman (Phew!). However, this problem did not see the flurry of successful submissions as the other two. All this while, CIELKARA and AWDVAST did not see any accepted submission, and this remained so till the end.
In between, due to the issues that occurred and also sighting the tough problem set, the panel decided to extend the contest duration by 20 minutes. However, this did not change anything for the two unsolved problems – they remained unsolved. This made the January Cook-Off 2013 the first ever Cook-Off to have two unsolved problems! Yet, despite the tough problem set and technical glitches, it got an overwhelming response as we saw over 1300 users making more than 10,000 submissions (highest ever in a Cook-Off) as we will see that in the numbers in a while.
The January Cook-Off 2013 gave us a night full of action, drama, and thrill and there was more to come. The biggest shocker came after the contest was over, as mikhailOK figured an inconsistency in AVDWAST which can be found here. Anton was quick to admit the same and he added an additional constraint in the problem statement which now at least makes the problem correct. Again, needless to say how very upset this made the problem setting panel, considering the amount of effort that they had put in making and testing each problem. However, as humans, we can only do so much and hope that such errors do not recur! Let us all thank them for the huge effort that went behind making an interesting problem set.
This contest was indeed far from being perfect and though this does not excuse us from being responsible for those glitches, we must tell you that we are embarrassed and deeply apologetic for the glitches that occurred. And, as it has been with you, every contest has been a big learning experience for each one of us too and hopefully we will only improve from here.
The top ten winners of the January Cook-Off 2013 are:
And some stats:
The editorials for January Cook-Off 2013 can be found here. We have made all the solutions for the problem set public and have moved the problems to our practice section where you can now submit your solutions.
That is all about the January Cook-Off 2013. We have always appreciated any and every suggestion and feedback you send, so please keep them coming to firstname.lastname@example.org. They help us serve you better.
In the end, we thank you for being there in spite of the glitches, making it the biggest Cook-Off ever hosted in terms of submissions and once again a sincere apology from the entire team for the errors that occurred.
We will be back soon. In between, we hope you are enjoying the replay of the ACM-ICPC Amritapuri onsite regionals 2012 this weekend.
If only there was a time machine, we all would have wanted to go to times where we have been and where we want to be. Sadly, it is still a far cry. However, though we don’t have a time machine, yet this weekend we will take you on time travel with the reply of ACM-ICPC Amritapuri onsite regionals 2012.
We are conducting another programming contest this weekend, featuring the problem set from ACMC ICPC, Amritapuri site. This is your chance to give a shot at the problems from ACM ICPC regionals.
We are thankful to Prof. Anand Shenoy for providing us the problem set used during the onsite contest. The details for the contest are given below.
So, here’s a chance for you all to give a shot at the ACM ICPC problem set. We cordially welcome you all to be part of a blast from the past, this weekend.
In anticipation of a great weekend ahead, adios everybody.
It was that time of the month again when we sit down at our desks and watch the best programming minds around the globe lock horn with each other. And like always we were all excited about our first contest of the year, the January Challenge 2013. Amid the flooding Happy New Year messages and people making all those “New Year resolution” jokes (are they still funny?) we began our contest on a pleasing note. However, up until then, like anyone, we were unaware of what lies into the future. And we are glad that we weren’t. After all what’s the fun in knowing that. But now that it’s all over, let us take you back to the days of January Challenge 2013, which was nothing short of a roller coaster.
Starting a contest on the first morning of the year always has its complications (you know them) and we had ours; as we had only six problems to start the contest. However, that did not put us off, as our problem setters were working briskly on the remaining four. The problem setting apron for the first contest of the year was donned by Vitaliy Herasymiv, David Stolp, Khadar Basha, Vitalij Kozhukhivskij, Vinayak Garg, Ivan Zdomsky, Anton Lunyov, Vivek Hamirwasia, Kaushik Iska and Hiroto Sekido, while the multitasking Anton Lunyov, who also set one of the problems, did the duty of problem testing and editorials.
We started the contest bang on time and like the New Year messages, the submission started flowing. Getting first submission within 5 minutes into the contest and over 200 submissions within an hour, hinted a promising contest ahead and we were all set for it. As the contest progressed, the number of submissions started barging in for problems SALARY and CVOTE, which made it evident that those were the comparatively easier ones among the first six. By the time the first day got over, we had around five thousand submissions from over one thousand users and the race to the top was on.
The second day brought to us, the seventh problem of the contest, ANDOOR. And as soon as it was served, the submissions started to flow in. However, after a plethora of wrong submissions, first accepted submission came from the mighty ACRush, on the third day. By this time, we had seven problems listed and the contest was nicely stirred. The addition of eighth and ninth problems, CUCUMBER and THREEDIF respectively, further elevated the excitement of the contest. Up to now, we were half way down the proposed 10-day duration of the contest.
With nine problems on the list, the contest was nicely placed featuring ACRush comfortably sitting atop the global rank list and djdolls on the Indian side. And yes, for all those who are still wondering about the mystery surrounding djdolls, we would gladly like to inform that he isn’t a mystery any more and you can read all about it here.
While we were busy playing Sherlock Holmes, a lot was happening at the top of the table, with Damians and mugurelionut constantly challenging the persistence of ACRush. In between, we got the tenth problem, the HOB, a couple of days before the scheduled end of the contest. Now, considering the fact that there were some irregularities from our side in serving the problem set (which we are very apologetic about) and only a couple of days left to go before the contest got over, we, in agreement with our problem setting panel, decided to give the contest an extension of three days covering another weekend.
Extending the contest over another weekend brought mixed reactions of rage and excitement from all quarters, as the eagerness for the editorials was soaring high. However, we strive to do what is fair and that is what we tried, by giving everyone some more time to have a fair crack at all the problems. The second weekend went smoothly with plenty of pleased participants enjoying another exciting weekend of the contest, though there were some sparks flowing here and there. But a weekend without some action is not a good weekend. Is it?
Going into the weekend we did expect some shuffling of positions in the rank list, but what we got was least expected and far from all that we had in our minds. And for that matter, it will not be wrong to say that it was beyond any one’s expectation. The long reign of ACRush at the top was put to an end by a sudden resurgence of Indian juggernaut rudradevbasak (did we hear some cheer; we think we did). And like many of you, we were stunned as well. After all, we had last seen him participating in COOK20!
The sudden rise of rudradevbasak to the top had us all thinking (read applauding & smiling), but while we were praising his potential, we came across a shocker which changed the whole context of the contest. His glory came on account of an uncaught bug (yes, we know, another apology is needed) into the problem statement of KILOWHAT. Thus, we braced ourselves for all those “unprofessional behavior” and “thrashing” posts and comments, as we hopped onto fixing the bug. Our problem tester and setter fixed the bug in a jiffy, thus putting an end to rudradevbasak’s reign at the top.
The last minute detection of the bug in the problem placed us at the receiving end of the rage of all the participants. However, while we are gravely apologetic about it, all we can say is that as humans we all are entitled to make some mistakes. Aren’t we? Even rudradevbasak, who benefited from the bug admitted of it in one of his comments here. We don’t want to use that comment in our defense, but all we can say is we would try harder to present to you an even more streamlined contest in future. With all those ups and downs, in the end, the contest shaped up nicely giving amazing results with three Indian coders namely balakrishnan_v, rudradevbasak, and djdolls in the global top ten rank. So, all we can say is all’s well that ends well.
Now, let’s take you through to the contest rankings.
Top ten ranker globally were:
The top twenty rankers from India were:
Some other key figures for the contest are:
In the end, we thoroughly enjoyed the January Challenge 2013 and hope that you did the same. We’d like to thank our problem setters, the problem tester and editorialist for putting their hearts into every problem and editorials, who gave us such a nail biting contest. As we move forward, we take a lot of learning from the January Challenge 2013, all of which will be put into presenting to you even better contest next time around.
After putting up this question and receiving your feedback, we have already acted upon it and we announce that from now on the Long Challenge will be conducted on the first Friday of every month in place of starting from the 1st of every month. This is to ensure that participants from most of the countries can have 2 weekends to participate in the contest.
If you still have some suggestions, queries, or just a pat on the back, you can always right to us at email@example.com
Till next time, so long everybody.
EDIT: We’ve updated the list of top 20 Indian winners featuring seven contestants sharing the twentieth spot.
Let us confess, winters are not our favorite time of the year. They make us lazy and bring us a lot of work! And they also make us present to you something that we had launched way back in 2012 and you are already using!
The “submissions” feature will let you view every single submission ever made on CodeChef, since the beginning of the time! Well, okay, since the inception of CodeChef. The archive of all the submissions ever made on CodeChef (and that is over 1.5 million and counting!) is now available for you to search, sort, see and learn. It might sound too tempting to be true, but it is. And isn’t that awesome? Let us brag a bit and say yes it is. And hold on, the awesomeness does not end there.
In addition to seeing all the submissions, it also allows you to:
If you have not already explored it, check it out right now here and let us know how much you love us for this.
If you have used it and are in awe, we are dying to hear some praises And if you still want to play picky, and want us to fix another bug, we will have to hear that too!
In any case, we will be eagerly waiting for your review and feedback as we always do, so please keep them coming.
Till next time, Adios Everybody!