We are of the opinion that the shorter format of programming contests is where the real challenge resides. Requiring immaculate precision and faster thinking, the shorter contests leave a very thin margin of error for the participants. Throw in a tough problem set and you have all the ingredients to make any programmer in the world nervous. And it is exactly what we experienced in the first Cook-Off of the year 2017 – the January Cook-Off 2017.
Although, to be fair, didn’t think that the problem set is so though that one of the problems will remain unsolved. It was only after the contest we found out that despite about 150 submissions, no one was able to crack UNGAME. Not very often we have had contests with one or more problem unsolved. If truth be told, we can’t even remember the last time we saw a contest with one problem unsolved. If you know one, do let us know in the comment section.
Contrary to the conclusion, the January Cook-Off 2017 had a flying start with LISDIGIT attracting the early birds and rewarding them with the green tick of happiness. Some early birds also took their chance with DIGITLIS, however, not many found rejoice they were looking for. The similarity in the name of the two problems “Digit Longest Increasing Subsequences” proved to be an excellent decoy for the participants luring them into believing that the DIGITLIS will also be as easy as LISDIGIT. Many participants even fell into the trap; however, soon they realized their mistake and moved towards Matrix Transformation.
However, such was the nature of the contest that moving to other problems in search of solace was futile. Neither Matrix Transformation nor Xor Grid was able to console the participants looking to solve some problems and strengthen their positions on the rank table in their race against the fast ticking clock. As we neared the end of the contest, it all came down to the nerves of the participants and who could contain them better. And as in any other situation, experience played a major part as uwi, ptnk131627, al13n, dreamoon4, and iafir secured the top 5 positions respectively. On the Indian rank table, harshil7924, AnonymousBunny, uhateme, vignesh_m, and praran26 made up for the top 5. However, except for uwi they all had at least 1 penalty against their name, marring their clear green stats with a hint of red. But we think that red number is what helps you evolve as a programmer. So, there is nothing wrong to have some penalties every now and then, as long as you are ready to work to eradicate them in the future contests.
Now, it’s time to meet all our winners from January Cook-Off 2017:
So, let’s start with the ROW top 10:
Now, the Indian top 5, all of whom you already would have met above:
A big round of applause for all our table toppers and for you all who participated in the contest!
After every contest, the first thing the participants look for is the editorials and if the contest is even a tad bit difficult, the editorials take precedence even over the post contest bathroom break after the contest. And the January Cook-Off 2017 by no means can be called an easy contest, so, let us take you to the editorials of the contest. We hope you will enjoy them, as much as we did serving them
We are sure you already would have gone through them as soon as the contest ended, but if you missed out on them for some reason, here they are for you.
With that we move to the final section of the blog, where we say goodbye and move towards the next post for the month, which in this case is January LunchTime 2017. And, while we pen down the tale of that contest, you do let us know your thoughts on the first Cook-Off of the year, whether the contest was up to your taste or a tad too hot to handle. You can write to us at: email@example.com
So, in anticipation of your feedback and suggestion, it’s time to sign off.
See you at the contests.
With a New Year, come many things “New.” You have aspirations, expectations, and resolutions for the year ahead. Determined and focused you are ready to take on the world. It goes for the programming fanatics as well. For programmers looking to solidify their strengths and make a mark on the programming world, it was the beginning of a fresh programming calendar packed with many exciting programming contests to take part in and win. The first in line was our January Challenge 2017, set on the first Friday of 2017.
While the aspiring participants waited for the contest to start, we gave them a little New Year surprise, to sweeten the start of the year for them. However, like all sweet things, they were required to work a tad harder for their sweet. And they did work for it. How well, though, we will find out in this look back at the first long challenge of the year.
The January Challenge 2017 was coming on close heels of the busy ACM ICPC 2016 – 2017 India regionals. We along with many other ACM ICPC aspirants and some members of our problem setting panel were on the constant move to different regionals across India. And after experiencing the live action at the onsite contests, it was time to experience the same with global participants online.
The course for January Challenge 2017 came from Maksym Bevza, Praveen Dhinwa, Misha Chorniy, Vaibhav Tulsyan, Sidhant Bansal Sergey Nagin, Kevin Atienza, and Satyaki Upadhyay in company with the Istvan Nagi, making a comeback in the role of tester. Alongside them were our translators in Sergey Kulik (Russian), Team VNOI (Vietnamese) & Hu Zecong (Mandarin) and our editorialist Vaibhav Tulsyan. We thank them all for their efforts that they put all through the holiday season to get the contest ready. Like always, with them by our side, we were expectant of a great contest. And even though, not all the problems were served at ones, the participants seemed to enjoy all of them as and when they were served during the course of the contest.
The first AC submission of the year 2017 in our monthly contests came from poikniok on CAPIMOVE, who took 13 minutes to get past the problem, the first in the contest was by slowrunner on CHEFCIRC, but it was a WA. And with that, the tone was set for the contest. As most of the early joiners went for CAPIMOVE, which was the first to be solved, there were few others who went for CHEFCIRC and CATSDOGS, but not many got the result they were looking for. The aforementioned three problems gave a smooth start to many users’ first challenge of the year, while for very few it became a source of frustration too. But that’s how the nature of every programming contest is, you win some, you lose some.
We won’t put it on the New Years Eve hangover, but the slow flow of the submissions into the contest gave it away that not many had put their party hats back in the closet. The first 50 submissions into the contest took 40 minutes. The next 50 took another 40. So, in the first hour of the contest, we barely received a tad over 100 submissions, but that didn’t ring any alarms as we were expecting it to be a slow start for the contest and are sure of it to pick up pace as the contest progresses. And that’s exactly what happened.
The contest started with 4 problems to start with and the early birds seemed to be enjoying them, with Capital Movement, Reservior, and Cats and Dogs being the early favorites. As we moved into the contest, the submissions started spreading onto the other problems as well. And with that, the race to the top was on as well. While the submissions table kept getting populated with submissions of different result code, the rank table was still missing some of its familiar names. But the January Challenge 2017 perhaps was not for the familiar names after all. Yes, there were few in ceilks, ccz181078, hellkitsune, rajat1603, skyfire and others, but it wasn’t about them, this time.
The January Challenge 2017 belonged to the comparatively new and unfamiliar names. If truth be told, 4 out of the top 5 names on the rank table are adolescents on CodeChef, with 5 or less contests under their belt. However, that did not have any impact on their performance and approach towards the contest. jobasha, mirosuaf, and swm_sxt seemed unmoved by the reputations of the names accompanying them on the rank table and kept going calmly about their business. And even though they were eventually triumphed by ceilks and ccz181078 for the first two slots, they did secure positions in the top five of the first Long Contest of the year.
And now, let us meet all the names featuring on the rank table:
We start with the women:
The ROW top 10:
The Indian top 20:
The Indian top 5 school students:
The ROW top 5 school students:
Now, for the special achievers, we head towards the top Challenge Problem solvers.
First the top 3 from ROW, other than the winners:
Now, the Indian top 3:
Give it up for all our winners!
We hope you all enjoyed the contest and its content all through the ten days of the contest. However, if you faced even the slightest of problems, we have the editorials for all the problems waiting for you. So, head over to the link below and munch on the editorials for January Challenge 2017.
With that, it’s safe to say that the January Challenge 2017 announced the arrival of many promising names on the rank table and we look forward to getting many such promising performances from them in coming years. Who impressed you the most or who are you looking forward to in the year ahead, do let us know in the comment section? Also, if your favorites are not on the rank table, do let us know of that as well and we will keep a close eye on them.
Now, it’s time to say goodbye and move towards the shorter format of our contests in January Cook-Off 2017 and January LunchTime 2017. We will come back soon with their stories.
Till next time, bye.
See you at the contests!
It was the last day of the year 2016. The spirits were flying high as people all around the globe dressed up in an impeccable manner for the final party of the year on New Year’s Eve. Good or bad, however, the year 2016 had been, everyone seemed pumped and optimistic about 2017. We too were, and had our little celebration with our December LunchTime 2016.
Set on the last day of the year, our final contest for 2016 had a fun theme attached to it. Be it the names of the problems like Superheroes and villains & Fly height mode or the excited participants to wrap up the year doing what they love doing. Set by Pawel Kacprzak, who also doubled as the editorialist for the contest, the final course of the year was tested contest ready by Misha Chorniy. Accompanying them on the problem setting bench were our contest admin Praveen Dhinwa, our Russian, Mandarin, and Vietnamese translators namely Sergey Kulik, Hu Zecong, and VNOI Team. And then there were us, excited as ever. So, let’s see how the December LunchTime 2016 was.
Set on New Year’s Eve, the December LunchTime 2016, the contest started in typical New Year’s party where everyone is calm and composed at the start, but as the night progresses things starts getting interesting. The first fifty submissions into the contest didn’t create any major ripple to grab the attention of onlookers. Most of the ACs into the first 50 submissions of the contest came from the big guns like uwi, additya1998 and many other popular names. All of whom are well versed with our contests and have been on the top of the rank tables on more than one occasions. Furthermore, none of them were a school student, so our wait to see some action from the school students got stretched a tad.
But it was after 30 minutes when things started getting interesting. In and around the 44th minute into the contest we were joined by rubabredwan, tasmeemreza, and shivam312. All of them have been on CodeChef enough and none of them had the most fluent of the start to the contest. So, they didn’t catch our attention immediately. However, as we moved into the contest things started heating up. By now we were joined by the seasoned LunchTime campaigners like zscoder, barenuz, kmcode, yylidiw and many others. And when you have familiar names climbing up the rank table, you tend to focus more on them and less on others. We did that too. And we could not have been more wrong.
The sheer perseverance of rubabredwan, tasmeemreza, and shivam312 stunned us all as they took over the big guns and paved their way to the top. They had their fair share of tumbles as well. In fact, both rubabredwan and tasmeemreza got their first problems wrong in the first attempt. But they got hold of the problems real quick. The final hour of the contest was the most exciting one, as it was only a 20 point difference separating the top two with rubabredwan and tasmeemreza tied up on the same score. And we almost fell out of our seats, as it will be the first LunchTime victory for all three and we were all too excited for them.
shivam312 seemed to have more calculated approach as he took over 40 minutes to fully solve SBSWAP, while tasmeemreza was the fastest of the three as he tool minimum submissions to solve the 3 of the 4 problems in the contest. Then there was rubabredwan, who fully solved his third problem with just 2 minutes for the contest to get over. All three of them showed great composure and courage in the final few minutes of the contest. But they weren’t alone. There were quite a few other performances as well that caught our attention and to introduce them all to you, let us take you to the rank table.
Let’s start with the ROW top 10 school students:
Now, the Indian top 10 school students:
A big round of applause for all our winners from the final LunchTime of the year 2016!
We now move towards the editorials, which we are sure you would have devoured by now. However, if you missed them due to any reason, here they are for you.
With that it’s time to draw curtains on the final post for the year 2016 and the year as well. We now, move into a New Year and with that a series of new tales from our contests.
We hope you had a wonderful 2016 and will have an even better 2017. And on that note, it’s time to say farewell.
If you have any further queries or questions, kindly do let us know.
See you at the contests.
When you have a big day tomorrow, you tend to calm down, relax, and just prepare your mind for it. It holds true for many big sportsperson, many big movie stars, and pretty much everyone, except for programmers. Programmers are the most restless creatures on the night before. And after being with, knowing, and interacting with so many programmers over the years, we certainly can assert that. It was not different the night before the first ACM ICPC 2016 India regional was scheduled to take place at Hindustan University. Knowing that most of the top programmers in the country will either be travelling for the onsite event, or will be relaxing at home to compete in the coming ones, we thought it’s an ideal situation for a newcomer to rise and shine. And we could not have been far from the truth.
That he is talented and perhaps an emerging legend in the Indian programming world is something we have been hearing about rajat1603. Time and again, he even has proved it in various competitions. From being among the top school teams to come for the SnackDown 2015 Onsite to being one of the few school students to have secured a place in top 5 in our Cook-Offs, he has proven his mettle time and again. And the December Cook-Off 2016 was yet another display of his sheer brilliance. This time though, the setup had changed a tad.
He no longer is a school student, he was competing in his very first ACM ICPC Regional, and just like himself, his counterparts in uwi, yenthanh132, biginnnner, and many others had evolved too. And considering all that, we thought a night before his first ACM ICPC regional he might want to catch a breather and focus his energy on the big day tomorrow. He, on the other hand, had totally different plans. The December Cook-Off 2016 started sharply at 09:30 pm on 18th December 2016 and in the very first minute, CHEFSETC was cracked by, you guessed it, rajat1603. One minute is all it took him to crack the first problem of our Cook-Off. If that doesn’t send strong signals to your counterparts, we don’t know what does. And with that, it was on.
Contrary to the blistering start from Rajat, uwi had a slippery start when he got TLE in his first submission on CHEFINS. However, he was quick to recover and bagged his first AC inside the first 8 minutes of the contest as he cracked CHEFSETC. If truth be told, CHEFSETC was almost solved by everyone who attempted it. Off the first 100 submissions into the contest, 98 were on CHEFSETC, and that made it obvious that it was the easiest problem in the contest. However, getting the easy problem quickly doesn’t win you the Cook-Off. So, it was better for the participants to move on to the other problems as soon as they can, and they did.
Rajat grabbed his second in CHEFARRB in the 8th minute of the contest, while uwi took further 10 minutes to crack the same. By this time, the competition was nicely balanced. But then, uwi decided to revisit CHEFINS, however, nothing changed this time as well, TLE is what he got this time as well. By this time, Rajat had already cracked CHEFNUMK and got a significant lead over uwi. With 3 problems to his name inside the first 45 minutes of the contest, Rajat seemed comfortably cruising to the top. However, CHEFINS was not easy for him either. It took him more than half an hour to get it right. That’s pretty much the time he needed to crack the first three problems of the contest. But once he got that, with no penalty to his name, it pretty much sealed the deal for him. And a top slot for him into the contest was almost assured, however, there still was a problem unsolved, yet no one had attempted it and with uwi struggling CHEFINS it was highly unlikely that he was going to attempt that one. So we sat back and waited for the final bell to ring and find out whether 4 out of 4 ACs can get Rajat a Cook-Off win, and turns out they could.
With that Rajat had sent a strong signal to all his counterparts competing with him at the ACM ICPC regionals. And he didn’t disappoint at the regionals either. If you were following our ACM ICPC live coverage, you would know what we are talking about. For now, let us quickly take you to the rank table for December Cook-Off 2016 and see who stood where.
We start with the Global top 10:
Now, the Indian top 10:
Let’s give it up for all our winners and for all you wonderful people on your performances in the contest.
The fifth problem from COOK77 i.e. CHEFTRI4 remained solved during the contest, which makes the editorials of the contest even more important. So, if you are still wondering around CHEFTRI4, check out the editorials for the contest below and get over it.
And that completes the tale of the December Cook-Off 2016. We hope you enjoyed the contest and its tale. If you have any interesting insight, story, or any event that made COOK77 memorable for you, kindly do share it with us.
With that, there remains only 1 final story from our contests in the year 2016, that is the December LunchTime 2016 and we will publish that too very soon. Till then, keep watching this space, keep sharing the stories you like and do let us know what you think of our contests and their stories.
That will be all for now from everyone here at CodeChef.
Till next time, adios.
December is a busy month for every programmer around the world, for it is the ACM ICPC season. The regionals take place across the globe and the crème de la crème of the programming world battle it out to secure a coveted place at the ACM ICPC World Finals. It was no different this year as well. As we stepped into December, some of the regionals across the world had just concluded and we were just weeks away from the ACM ICPC Indian regionals.
With everyone looking for means to put the finishing touches to their ACM ICPC preparations, our December Challenge 2016, was their final big chance to test the waters, before they move towards the final frontier. While, for everyone else, it was the final chance to spend some time with their beloved computers and keyboards, before they step into the festive season and treat themselves with the sugary goodness that every festive season brings with it. It was an interesting setup. So, let’s see how the December Challenge 2016 fared.
The start to the contest was akin to pretty much like any other long contest we have had all through the year. It took saurabhrathi12 only 6 minutes to get the first AC of the contest on ANKTRAIN; it was followed by a couple of more ACs on the same problem. The second problem that saw an AC was SEAINCR, soon after ANKTRAIN. It remained like this for quite some time. The number of participation kept going up in the first half of the contest, while it stagnated in the latter half. And that is when the positions on the rank tables get decided. And it was an interesting looking rank table this time around. And we will tell you why.
When in the final days of the contest, the rank tables are generally occupied by the favorites. It was no different this time, the likes of sumeet_varma, rajat1603, mugurelionut, notimesea and many others still shining brightly on the rank tables. However, what was striking this time was the number of consistent performers, occupying the top slots. It’s one of those moments when you see your hard-work finally paying off. And the feeling certainly cannot be described in words. To see the likes of gvaibhav21, jtnydv25, ccz181078, come through the ranks and stamp their authority on the top slots of the rank table.
It was not easy to reach there and it certainly was not going to easy to stay there, especially when the seasoned campaigners have you in their sight. Every submission made now will decide their fate and position into the contest. But it seems that after years of wondering through the rank tables, they had mastered the art of defending their position on the rank table. So, as the fabulists would have it, it was a contest when persistence and grit won over experience. And now, we take a quick tour of the rank tables to meet all the winners from December Challenge 2016.
We start with the girls *Big round of applause*:
Now, on to the ROW top 10:
Now, the Indian top 20:
Now, let us move towards the schools to meet the young geniuses:
We start with the ROW top 5 from schools:
Now, the Indian top 5 from schools:
Now, for the special achievers, the top three scorers of the challenge problem, outside the winners:
First, the ROW top 3:
And finally, the Indian top 3:
Kudos to everyone on their brilliant performance in the contest!
With that, there are two more stories to tell from the month of December, which we will be updating pretty soon. We hope you had a wonderful 2016 and will have an even better 2017. And on that note, we would like to draw curtains on this delayed tale of December Challenge 2016. We hope you enjoyed the tale as much as you enjoyed the contest. If you have any feedback or words to say about the contest, the post, or CodeChef in general, you can always write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next time, take care.
Even though we are here in Mumbai a rather tropical part of India with very little to minimum winters, somehow, this final part of the year makes us lazy. As a result we fall behind on putting up some important post contest blogs, not many, but few. And the year 2016 has been no exception. So, we would like to apologize for the missed blog posts and will try to publish all the missing ones, before taking on the posts for year 2017.
These posts will be a tad concise, so if you think we have missed any important event or something worth mentioning, do let us know in the comments section.
We start with the final contest of November, the November LunchTime 2016. With an all Indian problem setting and testing panel featuring Praveen Dhinwa and Animesh Fatehpuria, the November LunchTime 2016 promised some beautiful and delectable problems. And the participants comprehended that, as soon as the contest started.
We knew that the students are coming out of a big festive seasons and are staring at another big one too. What we didn’t know was that, the festive season had hardly made them any lethargic. The contest started at 7:30 pm IST and we got our first AC at 7:33 pm IST on CHEFSTUD. And it was soon followed by a flurry of AC on CHEFSTUD and few more on CHEFSSET. The plethora of ACs against the two aforementioned problems made the difficulty level of the problems rather apparent. So, the flow of submissions was almost in their direction only, with every now and then, someone trying their hand on the other two.
And while CHEFSTUD & CHEFSSET brought the initial smiles for the participants, it were TOMJERGA and BALANPOL, which seemed like the deciding factor for who stands where on the rank table. So, let’s head over the rank list and meet the top 20 schools students from our November LunchTime 2016.
We start with the ROW top 10:
Now, the Indian top 10:
A big round of applause for everyone on the rank table and for everyone who participated in the contest! You all did well.
For those looking to have a better look at the solutions of the problems from our November LunchTime 2016, we have the editorials waiting for you. So, head over to the link below and let the nom begin.
And with that, it’s time to put the pen down on this curtailed tail of November LunchTime and quickly move towards the pending stories of December. So, that will be all from us folks. We will come back soon, with three more exciting stories from our December contests.
Till then, keep coding and if you have any queries or feedback, shoot them our way at: email@example.com.
You all must be well aware about the Goodies site and our own, Laddus, that we launched when CodeChef turned seven. The objective behind our initiative towards this sweet project was to motivate our users to perform better and that too consistently so that they earn and accumulate more laddus. You can redeem these Laddus for the goodies that we have listed on our site.
Motivation persists only when a person finds her goal achievable. We have been continuously analysing our user activity on the Goodies site of their behaviour and what goodies they redeemed with their Laddus. Apart from our most popular goodies, the funky bottle, the cool bag, the classic CodeChef t-shirt and the elegant pen, we found very few users redeeming the Hard Disk Drive which made us take the decision of reducing its price.
Here is the good news for the readers who read this post till this point. The new price of Hard Disk Drive is 3500 Laddus. Just grab your laptop and start coding, collect more Laddus and get the HDD. We just made it easier for you, 30% easier. We know we are being too generous. You can thank us by performing better in the contests and we will be happier to see more users redeem the hard disk drive.
So what are you all waiting for? The Long Challenge contest is coming. Sharpen your skills, prepare your templates and get ready for the battle. See you on the leaderboard.