The first Mega Cook-Off of 2016 and how it went

3 min read

We were coming from “the” biggest long challenge we’ve ever had. We were excited and pumped by the fact that, this is the first of the two Mega Cook-Offs we will be hosting for the aspiring ACM ICPC 2017 aspirants. All that made up for a rather exciting backdrop for our September Cook-Off 2016 and we were excited to join in the contest. And we are sure you were too. This was all before 9:30 pm IST on September 18th, 2016. When the contest bell rang, there was absolute silence and a sense of urgency among everyone, the participants, the problem setters, and everyone here at CodeChef.

The participants wanted to put every step in the right direction, while the problem setters wanted to see them fight with their problem set, and for us, well, we were just excited to some of the top programming brains battle it out. Not to mention, the fight among the Indian ACM ICPC aspirants to finish in top 50 and be eligible for their ACM ICPC travel reimbursed. So, pretty much everyone joining the contest had an agenda. Of course, it is there in every contest; however, the word “Mega” added a pinch of spice to the overall action. So, let us see how it went for everyone.

Let us start with the problem setters, our setter & editorialist for the contest was Tuấn Anh Trần Đặng, who was accompanied by Kamil Dębowski as the tester and Praveen Dhinwa as the admin for the contest. All those gentlemen have enough experience to understand the requirement of a mega cook-off and they had cooked a nicely balanced and testing problem set for the contest. The different flavors of Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Russian for the problem set came from Team VNOI, Hu Zecong, and Vasya Antoniuk respectively. With the problem setting panel confident and ready to see the fate of their problems, it was up to us to make sure that the contest gets a smooth start. And it got what it deserved, a smooth start with no issues what so ever. It was a small victory, but looking back at some of the disastrous mega cook-offs we have had, we were rather happy with it.

As the contest started, everyone quickly moved to the submissions page to see how the participants were faring against the problems. And viola, what a start it was, we got our first AC on TALAZY. It took only two minutes for lebron to crack it, but he was not alone in doing so. In a matter of second’s dreamoon4, rajat1603, and kefaa joined him with the same problem to their name. As the clock ticked, the number of submissions on TALAZY kept on mounting. And soon, it became apparent that, TALAZY is your gateway to your first AC in the contest. Among the first 200 or more submissions that we got, there were only 3 on TACNTSTR and sadly, they were all WAs. So, if there ever was any hint for the participants joining in the contest for where to start, we guess this was it. And it remained like that for quite some time. But every now and then there will be someone trying their hand on other problems too. Some succeeded straightway, some succeeded after a couple of tries.

In the end, though, we had all the five problems solved with Lazy Jem getting a maximum of 2137 successful submissions while Shortest path queries, turned to be the most troubling one with only 8 successful submissions. And now, let us take you through the rank table to meet our winners.

First ROW top 10:

Now, the Indian top 10:

A big round of applauds for all our winners. We hope you all enjoyed the contest as much as we did setting it up for you.

As for the participant’s eligible for their travel reimbursement for the impending ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 India regionals, we will be contacting them all separately. Till then keep coding and sharpening your preparation for the regionals.

Let us now, take you to the editorials for the contest. We are sure you would have gone through them all by now, however, if you have not, here they are for you:

They will help you get ready for the busy programming season ahead. And we are sure you would enjoy them.

With that, we arrive at the final segment of the post. We hope you are having a wonderful programming season, with plenty of contests to look forward to. We too have few lined up for you in October, so in anticipation of an exciting October ahead of us, we will put a full stop on this tale of the first mega cook-off of the year 2016 and will see you soon, with yet another exciting tale.

If you have any queries or concerns, you can always write to us at:

See you at the contests.

– Rudreshwar
Team CodeChef

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