Monthly Contests September 2019 & 20, Memorable As Always

4 min read

We don’t mean to brag but we all know that the CodeChef monthly contests are a thrill. With dedicated problem setters and avid participants, competitions are our favorite part of the month. Today we decided to get a little nostalgic and take a look back at the September Contests 2019 and compare them to the September Contests 2020.  

The Uber Competitive Long Challenges

Beginning on the 6th of September, the September Long Challenge 2019 started of at a truly astounding pace and didn’t slow down for a moment. Division One was given 8 problems to tackle, and the players got right to work. By the end the favorite problem was Chef Designed a Network, with nearly 5000 submissions out of which 679 were accurate. Power Sum turned out to be a powerful problem as only 55 out of the 1500 coders who sent in submissions got the green tick. Slightly more tough was the problem Dodgers as not even a full fifty players could crack this code. Mimicking it’s counterpart even Division Two had 8 problems to solve. The one problem that a whole lot of players attempted was Easy Fibonacci. With 1,14,125 submissions out of which 6815 were accepted this problem was tough but it still topped the chart with most successful submissions. (Challenge) Sebi and CPU Design turned out to be the player’s worst nightmare as only 23 out of the 325 participants that tried to solve it emerged victorious. 

Unsurprisingly enough the September Long Challenge 2020 was just as iconic as it was in 2019. Making competition steeper, this time Division One had 10 problems to solve in ten days. At the end of the competition, Ada Matrix seemed to be the players’ problem as it got 2550 submissions with over 55% of players hitting bullseye. However, the problem that left a big amount of coders heartbroken was Chefina and Swap. More than 7000 players tried to solve it but alas only 1109 claimed bragging rights. Chef and Sums and Move the Coins 2 were the toughest in Division One as less than 50 players unlocked the answer to both problems. Meanwhile, Division Two had their own party raging. The most solved problem A Problem on Sticks received a stunning 18987 successful submissions. This was also the most attempted problem here with a grand total of 73,975 submissions. Even in this Division Move the Coins played villain as only 5 players got the revered green tick. 

The Mesmerizing Cook-Offs

Last September’s Cook-Off was a contest that had us all hyperventilating. With all the best coders under one roof, it was a contest dear to us. Competition was lethal as always and both Divisions had to go through 5 problems in the given 2.5 hours. In Division One it looks like the problem Angry Grandfather made a lot of the players happy. 226 out of the 450 players who attempted to solve this problem managed were successful. However, while Angry Grandfather may have stolen the spot for most successful submissions, Fitness Exercises was the one with most attempts at 675. Palindromes Machine had all the Division One players frustrated as only 11 coders managed to get the green tick for this one. As competition raged on in Division One, the scenario was hardly different in Division Two. Problem Playing with Matches got the most successful submissions as over 4200 players managed to crack the code for this one. On the other hand problem Two Groups was the one with most submissions at 11,075. This Division saw the rare occurrence of a problem with zero accurate submissions, as none of the 350 players who attempted to solve Save Jewels hit bullseye. 

This September’s Cook-Off was equally lethal as last time. Following the same pattern as 2019 both Divisions were bombarded with 5 tough problems. In Division One problem Maximize Subsequence Value acted as crowd favorite with 300+ players getting the answer right. At the same time not everything proved to be so easy as problems Balancing Game and Graph Labelling even combined couldn’t bring together a total of 15 accurate answers. While 10 out of the 125 players who sent in answer for Balancing Game were successful,  

only three 7-star players attempted Graph Labelling and out of these merely 2 emerged victorious. As always we saw quite the display of skill in Division Two. Problem Bowling Strategy seemed to act bandwagon as over 4800 players acquired the green tick here. Incidentally this was also the most attempted problem. Mirroring Division One, the toughest problems of Division Two even when combined couldn’t put together 15 successful submissions. While problem Minimum Insertions saw 150 attempts and 9 accurate answers, Joined Subarrays on Tree got barely 50 submissions out of which only two passed the test.  

Flamboyant LunchTimes

LunchTime is the contest that adds the perfect finishing touch to a month. The September 2019 version was no different as we got to see an intense 3 hours of coding. In Division One, Find the Sum had all the players hooked, as by the end this problem saw a stupendous 427 successful submissions. At the same time All Substrings was the problem with most attempts as over 1600 players sent in their answers. Not all problems were equally loved and Apples and Oranges seemed to be public enemy number one. Throughout the 3 hours just 150 coders were brave enough to send submissions and only 8 were smart enough to solve it. Division Two seemed to be an entire mood as well. Here the problem Chef Feeds Cat got fed a ton of successful submissions as 2000+ players solved it. Chef and Football Match saw an audience equal to an actual football match as 8550 coders sent in answers with fingers crossed. Treeversion was a problem participants tried to avoid as only 200 players sent in submissions out of which merely 14 get that green tick. 

The 2020 September LunchTime is certainly fresh in our memories. The contest saw some great coding that rendered us all speechless. In Division One the problem Robot Detector got the most submissions overall. However, the problem with most successful submissions was Root the Tree with 551 players acquiring the green tick for this problem. On the other side of the spectrum problems Few Different Elements and Permutation Split turned out to be tough to solve as both garnered only 20 and 19 successful submissions respectively. Mirroring the 2020 August Cook-Off, even in this contest we saw a problem go unsolved. Adding on Segments was attempted by over 150 players but unfortunately none cracked the code. In Division Two of the contest, problem Watermelon was decidedly the crowd favorite as 5300+ players managed to send in accurate answers. Although we did not see an unsolvable problem Division Two certainly had a tough set on their hands. Over here the problem that played villain in the love story of coder and solution was Permutation Split. Even as a whopping 1450 players sent in answers with fingers crossed, merely 6 were granted their wish.  

The players who consistently knocked it out of the park. 

In the midst of the overly competitive contests where new names emerge every day, managing to secure a spot in the top 10 across an year is a tough job. Listed below are the players who have pulled of exactly this feat. 

  • natsugiri – This Japanese player has certainly given a lot of the big names a run for their money. In the 2019 September Cook-Off, natsugiri clinched 2nd position with a gorgeous performance. This year he bagged the 5th place with an equally good show of skill. 
  • uwiJapanese star and current global rank 14, uwi has enjoyed more than his fair share of great performances. This code-legend finished fifth in both the September LunchTimes and we can’t wait to see what tricks he displays in the coming contests.
  • pwild It is fair to say that this German coder is a crowd favorite of CodeChef, and he only gets better with each passing year. Last September LunchTime pwild finished on the 9th spot and back then he was a 6-star coder. This LunchTime we saw a boost in performance as he bagged silver, and as of now pwild is a red band user. 

This puts an end to our little stroll past memory lane. Although this read left us feeling a bit nostalgic about the contests that were, we look forward to October and it’s challenges and hope to see you there with us. 

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