As some of you have already noticed, we are introducing the innovation &mdash a virtual contest system. I guess this term was invented as far back as in 2002, as we were working on the site http://acm.sgu.ru/. Besides we were the first ones to come up with and carry out the interesting idea: enable the users to run the past contests in a special mode that would imitate a real competition. It feels just like a real contest with real contestants competing alongside with the participant who writes a virtual contest.
The idea was a success and it was picked up by some online judges. Although frankly speaking, those ideas haven't been carried out by the many.
And now it's time to introduce the virtual contest system to Codeforces! Of course, the original Codeforces rules aren't easily converted to virtual form. That's why all past Codeforces contests will be available as virtual contests by ACM-ICPC rules. In light of oncoming ACM-ICPC subregional and regional contests it can be regarded as yet another opportunity to train.
Virtual contests are available to individuals as well as to teams. If you participate as a team, please make sure that the registered team represents all your team members and nobody else. If it is not the case, change it. So far there's only one contest available for alpha-testing: it's Codeforces Beta Round #76 (Div. 2 Only), but you won't have to wait much - soon all contests will be available in this mode. Now all the past contests are available as virtual contests.
When you take part in virtual contests please follow those simple rules:
- don't participate if you've already seen the tasks;
- don't participate if you only want to commit one problem or if you don't want/can't participate in the whole contest;
- during the contest don't read tutorials, don't use somebody else's code, don't talk to other people;
- try to make it an efficient and enjoyable training!
I expect some of you to write the offered contest virtually and share your impressions. For example, JKeeJ1e30 has already participated!
I hope you like the new opportunities. We'll add something, too, to give the system final flourish, but in any way we're waiting for your commentaries rich in interesting ideas and suggestions.MikeMirzayanov and the Codeforces team