The long challenge of the short month

3 min read

The February Challenge was a special one even before it started, for it concealed our February Cook-Off 2014 during its ten days. The occurrence of two events in the course of one meant twice the fun, excitement, and work. We will try to share all the memorable moments with you from our memories.

February, the shortest month of the year, seems big with all those pre-exam season jitters and apprehension regarding the format of the question papers. Thankfully, none of those can be associated with our monthly contests. We started on the first Friday of the month and had 10 problems, like always. It became 11 by the end of the competition, but we will come to that, later. The problem-setting panel this time around featured two debutants in Shiplu Hawlader and Lalit Kundu. Both of them were greeted warmly, if the number of submissions on their problems is to be believed. Accompanying the debutants on the problem setting bench were Dima Berez, Ivan Zdomsky, Minako Kojima who also was the Mandarin translator, Roman Furko, Sergey Nagin, Surya Kiran, and Vitaliy Herasymiv. Gerald Agapov and Hiroto tested the problems, with Gerald doubling as the Russian translator as well, while the editorials came from Ajay Kumar Verma. The month long hardwork of all these geniuses was put to test in our February Challenge. Let us find out what was the outcome.

The contest opened to a warm reception, the impending examination season seemed to have very little affect on the participants. And we’d like to believe that you all were well prepared. Longest Common Pattern, and Little Elephant and Subarrays, received all the love in the initial stage, but the love reached to other problems as the challenge progressed. After the calm and smooth start, we hit a minor hiccup as some of you were facing connectivity issue. Although it was not a long-drawn-out problem, but it still caused problems and we apologize for that. Following the technical wallop, we bumped into another, as we came to know that the problem LMATRIX is very similar to one another problem that had been used in our contest earlier. We took this issue to the problem setter and they agreed to it and decided to replace the problem with another on in LMATRIX2. We were upset about the entire episode as much as you all were. We deeply regret the inconvenience. Without losing any more precious time, we stopped all the submissions to the problem and added another problem LMATRIX2 in its place. In order to repair the damage caused by LMATRIX, we eliminated all the submissions made on LMATRIX and adjusted the ranks to not reflect them. While, it cannot redo the damage caused to the integrity of the contest and its problems, we like to believe that it was an honest mistake. Still, we are sorry about it. And will look to it that such “mistakes” do not take place in future.

After the blotchy opening two days, the contest resumed its natural course in its full glory. All the big guns had made their presence felt on the rank tables, and were facing tough fight from the emerging champions. And we must say that it was quite a treat to witness such great competition. In a contest were users from different part of the world were going up against each other to emerge triumphant, it was the Chinese coders who dominated the rank table. Among the top ten participants, we had eight users from China. However, our top three all had different nationalities. Now, without getting into the nationalities, here is how the rank table looked at the end of the contest.

Non-Indian Top Ten:

Indian Top Twenty:

Now, we move on to our special achievers category.

We’ll start with “Users with highest scores in Challenge problem other than the winners”:



Now our geniuses from school:

Top five non-Indian school performers

  • fancycoder of Hangzhou Xuejun High School
  • huzecong of High School Attached to Hunan Normal University
  • liuminghua of High School Attached to Hunan Normal University
  • zeulb of SMAK 3 BPK Penabur, Gunung Sahari, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • acmonster of Nanjing Foreign Language School, Jiangsu

Top five Indian School performers

  • neo1tech9_7 of Bharti Public School, New Delhi
  • buro of Kalyani Public School, Noapara
  • debjit99 of Hijli High School, IIT, Kharagpur
  • polingy of Delhi Public School R.K. Puram
  • auromun of Chettinad Vidyashram

Now, let us share with you the final stats of the contest:

  • Total Users: 4861
  • Total Submissions: 70726
  • Number of distinct users with correct submissions: 3913
  • Total users from India: 4014
  • Total users not from India: 847

Congratulations to everyone for their fantastic performance in the contest and all the best for the coming contest.

Despite the bumpy start, the February Challenge 2014 fared out to be a fine contest for everyone who participated in it. And off course for us, as we saw some fine performance, by some new names and some existing ones. Thanks to all you wonderful people for giving us yet another exciting contest.

With that, we conclude the post and say farewell to you. Now, let us set our sails towards the February Cook-Off 2014 and take you through it, as it happened.

If you have any memories of you about the contest, or any other query, suggestion, or feedback, send them our ways at

Till the next contest, it’s adios from CodeChef

Team CodeChef

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