The color and mischief of March contests

4 min read

This post is going live today, but do not let that fool you. 🙂 We had just turned four the other day, and let us tell you once again that these have been four good years. And we celebrated too. 🙂 With the party behind our back, it was now time for us to focus on our future engagements. Being the beginning of a fresh year for us, we thought of presenting some new exciting changes to you. Let us take you through our March Long Challenge 2013, which had one of these changes.

Beginning on our Budday, the March Challenge 2013 was decorated by our problem setters xcwgf666, pieguy, vamsi_kavala, witua, iscsi, pieguy, Rubanenko, tuananh93, vinayak garg, and kaushik_iska, while anton_lunyov and gamabunta played the tester and editorialist. This time around, we introduced the ‘Interactive Problem’ for the first time in our long challenge. And with that, we had things in place for a glittering contest.

Our expectations were slightly held back, as we had only eight problems to start with. But soon, we saw a flurry of submissions on APPROX and TOTR. The initial frenzy was further fueled up with the addition of ZENCALC and LECOINS. With all the problems on the platter, we were set to enjoy the ride. And so it began. The submissions steadied and sanity ensured.

However, it was difficult to not miss the absence of our regular winner ACRush. What this also meant was an opportunity for the rest to stake a claim on the top spot. And indeed, there were people going all out to carve a place for themselves atop the rank table. We saw scli and balajiganapath dominating the global and Indian charts almost all through the contest. The rank tables were pretty much the same right from the beginning until the end.

The top ten international winners are:

The top twenty Indian winners are:

A special mention to the users with highest scores for the Challenge problem (apart from the winners). For those who do not know why, you may find more about it here.



A big round of applause for all the winners! The overall numbers this time around were not as high as we have seen in the past, which might reflect upon the difficulty level of the problems. After a prolonged discussion with our panel, we arrived at the conclusion that some problems like ZENCALC and LECOINS were easier than what the contestants found out and our panel felt that more number of contestants should have solved them. Delay in uploading the problems could also have been a reason for lesser success rate of these problems. Do feel free to tell us whether you agree or disagree with our panel. And also have a look at the editorials here.

The stats of the contest are as under:

  • Total Users: 3165
  • Total Submissions: 48158
  • Number of distinct users with correct submissions: 2795
  • Total users from India: 2504
  • Total users not from India: 661

An incident worth mentioning, is a case of reported cheating during the contest. We investigated and found some users guilty. Needless to say that it made us very sad. Cheating kills a contest. It spoils the hard work put by so many people who are involved in the making of a contest. We do not consider ourselves holding any moral authority over anyone and hence we have not been taking any strong action against the cases of cheating in the past. However, to not spoil the efforts of the people involved, the least that we can do and will be doing is to suspend a user from participating in any future contest to be hosted on CodeChef, if we can find any kind of suspicious behavior from his/her account. And it will be disappointing for us to do so. We believe that the fun lies in playing it fair and we urge each one of you to play honestly and have fun while doing so. And, please report to us any cases of malpractice that you may find happening during a contest.

After the tough-to-crack Long challenge, we started sailing towards the Cook-Off featuring Tuan Anh donning the problem-setting hat for his very first Cook-Off. Our go-to-guy Anton Lunyov was in his elements in doing what he does best and Shilp Gupta wore the editorialist hat once again. That formed the star cast for an enticing Sunday and we were certainly excited!

This contest had one major fix that (happily for us) none of you noticed. In the break between the Long Challenge and the Cook-Off, our team was working hard to fix the connectivity issue of heavy load that has given us company very loyally since the last few months. This time, the team had managed to replicate the load and nail down the problem of lost connectivity during high load. So, with excitement, there was this nervous anticipation and crossed, nail bitten fingers. After all, high load problems may be fixed off line but they can only be tested live.

As things were about to go smooth, the approaching Holi, and April fool’s day fever caught us up, without us even knowing it. Hence, the unintended mischief at the beginning of the contest. However, we did respond in a jiffy and the real contest started in about 7 minutes from the scheduled start. And we wished that there wouldn’t be anymore.

The debutant problem setter Tuan Anh cooked up some absorbing problems that we hope pleased your taste buds. While we had TAVISUAL attracting flurry of submissions, there were some tough nuts to crack in TABUS and TABISHOP. Overall, the problem set seemed to be a well-balanced one after quite a few very hard Cook-Offs, which was a welcome change.

While, submissions kept growing, we had two of our problems unsolved until the very last stage of the contest. We got the first user to solve all the five problems in uwi, without any penalties, followed by EgorK in the last minutes of the contest. The numbers, though not mind boggling, did suggest that it was a well fought one. Let us take you through them.

The final figures of the contest are:

  • Total Users: 1123
  • Total Submissions: 4266
  • Number of distinct users with correct submissions: 876
  • Total users from India: 911
  • Total users not from India: 212

Just as the nature of the contest, the rank table for our March Cook-off was also rather steady with no major twists and turns. Securing the podium by the end of the contest was uwi, as the contest winner, followed by EgorK and yeputons as the first & second runner up. The final standings for the contest are here:

The March Cook-Off 2013 was filled with healthy competition and a well balanced and testing problem set which are the key ingredients of any successful contest. For that, we would like to thank our superb panel of problem setter, problem tester and our editorialist. And more importantly, to you all for making it successful by your participation. The editorials for the March Cook-Off 2013 have been published, this time right after the contest (we know how much eager you get to view them); you can check them all here. 🙂

Now as we write this, we move towards the April Challenge 2013. We have an incredible line up in our panel and that promises a mouthwatering contest. We are sure you wont want to miss it. So mark your calendars and join us on the first Friday of April, i.e. on 5th April, 2013 at 15:00 hours IST. Check your time zone here.

As of now, that is all from us here. And we are sorry; we could not fool you this time! But we are sure there is a little fool in all of us and let us wish each one of us a very Happy April Fools day! 🙂

See you all at the contests.

Team CodeChef

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