By Michael, 9 years ago, translation, In English

Hi there!

This is the first post in the ACM ICPC World Finals official blog. This year Yandex is the local partner of the World Finals host — Saint Petersburg National Research University ITMO. We have a lot of former ICPC finalists working at Yandex, and some of them including me will work as analysts during the World Finals contest. Let me introduce my friend Egor Kulikov from Yandex in Saint Petersburg, who will be the ICPC blogger. I am more than sure that he will provide an expert coverage on different aspects of the World Finals, and that's why.

First and foremost, he was my teammate in the Moscow State University team for the World Finals 2007 in Tokyo, where we took bronze, so he knows everything from the inside. We had trained for five years to get there. The competition at MSU is always very strong, so in our case we basically had to win NEERC 2006 just to outrun our main rivals from the same university. They had already been to the World Finals once before and were thought to be obvious favourites, but it was like the goal of all our lives to advance to the Finals, so we did.

In high school both of us participated in mathematical competitions. We won prizes in Russian National olympiads several times and became the national team candidates for IMO. We did not qualify into top-6. However, this failure was one of our major motivators to get to the World Finals. Although we didn't know much about algorithms and data structures, we started programming, as there was no system of math olympiads for university students at that time. Participating in various contests and training camps, listening to the lectures, and learning algorithms by the word of mouth has become our main education in Computer Science since then.

Last but not least, Egor has become a World Champion twice: Google Code Jam 2010 and TopCoder Open 2012. There are only two other people on the planet, who did both, and you know one of them: it's Petr Mitrichev, our the same year student from MSU :) They are both my friends, so if you want to know more about them, you can read my answers on Quora about Egor and Petr.

Stay tuned for our ACM ICPC World Finals 2013 coverage!

P.S. If there appear some good posts in English about this year's finals, we may add them into this section of the site.

 
 
 
 
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9 years ago, # |
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There were rumors that before NEERC 2006 your team trained hard writing two contests each day. Is is true?

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    More like 2-3 a week — 2 on trains@neerc and sometimes one more

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    At those times it was relatively hard to find a contest to write. Oleg Hristenko set up some contests for us, sometimes we trained at uva.es, but it was always painful, and Egor spent some time searching through the internet to find some contests to participate. So I don't think 2 contests a day is realistic. It's more like as many as we could find, but far less than 14 a week. Probably 3 to 5. It could be 2 a day sometimes, though.

    One of the main things I didn't mention in the post, solving problems was enjoyable by itself, and I think one can't be really successful without it. You can't just set a goal to win and train hard, you have to get this overwhelming pleasure of solving a problem you didn't know how to solve before. Or even some problem that nobody else solved in the same contest :) BTW, the thing that bores me in the contests is that a lot of problems are based on the same ideas again and again, and there is little pleasure in solving a standard problem several minutes faster than others. Would be cool to have only-hard-problems types of contests with analysis postponed by at least a week or a month. This is probably not a very good way to train to win ICPC, but it could be much more rewarding and useful to the community long-term.

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      Prime (New Year) contest :-)?

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        Too rare and competes with other pleasurable activities :)

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9 years ago, # |
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... you can read my answers on Quora about Egor and Petr

So you like bughouse, will there be more bughouse players at the World Finals? :)

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    9 years ago, # ^ |
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    Petr plays too, and he attends all the finals as a guest. I think Sergey Nazarov who coaches Moscow SU ST will also attend, and he really is good at it. Maybe Vitaly Goldstein will also come. And Sergey Chernyshev.

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      9 years ago, # ^ |
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      Well, I'd like to play it with you.

      We need two boards, two sets of pieces and two clocks.

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        We have it all in our office at Moscow :) We'll have to find it somewhere in St.Petersburg.

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9 years ago, # |
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Does not Yandex have blogs systems?

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    We considered different alternatives and decided that Codeforces is the most appropriate place at this time, as it has the biggest community of competitive programming and active discussions.

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    I believe it is better to write such blogs for target audience, which is concentrated on Codeforces

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    We have a club for Yandex.Trainings here http://clubs.ya.ru/4611686018427469181/ , but the service is in Russian, and ACM ICPC needed an official blog in English.

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Third person, who did both GCJ and TCO, was Makoto Soejima (GCJ 2011 and TCO 2010 and 2011).

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I started programming after the university, and just a few years ago started to interested in programming contests (or realize it :) ). This ACM ICPC event looks very interesting, after read Egor's blogs, but I didn't hear this events too much before. I even can't imagine how this competitions looks like.. I saw some pics where three contestants seating, but I just see just one computer! So they can just use one? I'm never compete in a team, so could you tell some basic tactics, how they prepare to work well together? I even didn't know the basics, the teams should use the same programming languages for all tasks? While somebody coding the others try to thinking or/and made some sketch on papers? How to decide/assign who think which problem? I would be very happy if somebody tell about this, I think it would be very interesting... Besides that I saw lot of competitions in the Gym which was prepared for this kind of event (maybe Andrew Stankevich Contests). But I didn't know these kind of contests prepared for teams, or individuals? I mean if it prepares for a team for 5 hour competition, maybe individuals can use more than.

Sorry for my stupid questions...

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    Look at this at position 132. There we can see your perfomance on the contest. Problem C was solved at 0:39, then problem A was solved at 1:09. You can retype your solutions in a few minutes, if you have a printed copy. On the team programming competitions, the time of typing actual solutions is not the main part of the competition. You have to solve problem, then you or one of yours teammates have to implement this solution. Usually at the start of competition team opens a packet, where they can find three printed versions of problem statements for all problems. Then they try to invent solutions for the problems, implement them and get "Accepted" as soon as possible.