October Long Challenge 2020, The Definition Of Cutthroat Competition.

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The October Long Challenge has just ended, and we really couldn’t have hoped for a better way to start the month. With problems straight out of a dream and breathtaking ties in both divisions, this was the contest that left us all wanting for more. So without any further ado, let’s get straight to the details of the action-packed coding we just witnessed. 

The Rich Platter Of Problems 

For this contest, both the divisions were assigned nine problems to wade through. For Division One, the problem with most submissions turned out to be Positive AND. By the end of the competition, roughly 2525 players had sent submissions for this problem, and 1046 got the positive outcome they hoped for as their submissions ran successfully. While Positive AND might be the problem with most accepted solutions in Div One, D-Dimensional MST was the most attempted one. The problem turned out to be quite the heartbreaker as only 310 out of the 6850 players who tried their hand at it were rewarded with the green tick. Talking about tough problems, Rooted Minimum Spanning, Random Knapsack, and Village Road Network definitely deserve a shout-out. Rooted Minimum Spanning got a total of 1600 attempts, out of which 60 were successful, and Random Knapsack got 1775 answers, from which 44 hit the bullseye. Every player’s worst nightmare was Village Road Network as by the end of the ten days, only 29 people sent in successful solutions for this problem. 

Meanwhile, Division Two also had quite the party going. Here the problem with the most successful submissions was Covid Run, with 19200+ players cracking the code. Chef and Easy Queries was another popular problem as nearly 80000 players attempted it, and over 14700 out of them emerged victorious. Division Two’s most troublesome problems were Compress all Subsegments, Random Knapsack, and Village Road Network. Compress all Subsegments saw 3050 players send in answers and merely 40 of these were accepted. Random Knapsack was even more elusive in this Division as only 7 coders managed to send in successful submissions. Village Road Network acted as public enemy number one once again as only 2 players in this Division walked home with that revered green tick.  

During the contest, we got in touch with problem setter Chaithany Shyam who authored the problem Replace for X.

“I wanted to come up with an easy array problem. So I was thinking of some mathematical operations to perform on the array. I thought about some different operations and problems and kept changing/tweaking it until I got something satisfying. I am quite content with what I came up with,” he said while talking about his inspiration for the problem he set. 

The Stunningly Competitive Ranklists

The ranklists for this Long Challenge were truly great. We saw a rather unexpected turn of events as there was a 22-way tie for the first position in Division One. All 22 players had a perfect score of 900. Quite a lot of the chart was peppered with red as user tmyklebu sat atop the list. Next in line was Indian user pratyushsetu. pratyushsetu gave a superb performance that earned him 155 points and helped him qualify for a 5-star user. Right behind him was user progmatic from Belarus. progmatic was followed by player ksun48 who used the competition to gain 138 points and jump stars from 6 to 7. Next came United States user wmoise. Mirroring ksun48, wmoise accumulated 139 points during the contest and now qualifies as a 7-star user.  After wmoise we had the 7-star player icecuber from Norway. Just behind him was North Korean user rns6. The player started the competition as a 5-star user and ended as a 6-star player having gained 163 points during the contest. Right on rns6’s tail was red band player dario2994. The Italian accumulated 142 points in the contest and is currently enjoying a personal all-time high of 2675 points. Behind dario2994 we had coder lomzon. After nearly a year’s hiatus, the Vietnamese player who participated in a CodeChef contest gave a stunning performance in the contest to score 146 points. Next, we had a surprise entry in Chinese user wasa856. This was wasa856’s first time competing in Division One and the player has already managed to jump stars from 4 to 5. You can check out the full ranklists for Division One here

Even the Division Two ranklists were pretty chaotic for this Long Challenge. We had users memset0 and xyr2005 tied for the first position. Japanese user memset0 started as a 1-star user in this competition and successfully managed to jump a star after the contest. This was xyr2005’s first CodeChef contest, and the player was able to change stars from 1 to 3. Next, we had another tie as players maksim1744, and wpooh both had to settle for the 3rd spot. maksim1744 put up a stunning show as he accumulated over 200 points in the contest and jumped from a 3-star user to a 4-star one. The story was similar for wpooh, who gained 203 points in the contest and now qualifies as a 4-star player. On the number 5 spot, we had German user veladus. veladus, who entered the competition as a 3-star player, gave a superb performance to exit it as a 4-star one. Next, we had an all Indian 9-way tie for the sixth spot. Players eternityishan and harshith331 started the competition as 3-star users and exited it as proud 4-star players. After them came users goku5656 and sahil4321. Both these players gave a good performance and are now officially 3-star users. Another surprisingly good performer was player magneto_07. magneto_07 who started the competition as a 2-star user, gained 210 points during the contest and exited it as a 4-star user. The other Indians who were tied for the 6th place were – shaded, checkthiscode, liplop, and samar1617

With this, the match report for the October Long Challenge comes to an end. You can read more such blogs here. Until next time this is CodeChef correspondent Riddhi Acharya hoping that we will witness an equally delightful Cook-Off this weekend. 

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