A New Year, Some New Names to Look Forward To

3 min read

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!

– Rudreshwar

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