Alternative Approach towards Long

After studying the entire debate about the Long Challenge , I feel that majorly two points make sense:

  1. Current 10 days and the steep rise in difficulty between Div 2 4th or 5th problem and 6th problem leave a window to ask hints/approaches.
  2. Weekend is a very crucial time for solving problems to many who are busy during the weekdays. (Eg: School students/Working Class)

So I wanted to suggest scraping of the current Long of 10 days and instead introduce a 5 Days Long (Fri 03:00 IST to Wed 03:00) with lesser no. of problems than current long.

This Long can be such that Div 2 is easier and has question tags with name of the Algorithms/Prerequisites . Div 1 in the new Long should have more problems like the ones in current Div1 Long (except for EOEO).

Please let me know about these suggestions. How do you feel about them? Do they make sense? Or am I missing something which is better in case of current Long Challenge.

PS: No common problem or maybe only 1 common problem between the two divisions.


Not sure how we can remove cheating, but having 10 days to solve questions has greatly helped me and my friends to go learn the new concepts required for difficult questions and coming back with the solution and implementing it and getting it accepted.


Yea, I think most of us will agree when I say, rank drops a lot during the second weekend.


Yes. Even I feel 10 days is too long plus I’m suggesting the help beginners need in the Div 2 contest anyways so the favourite question of all beginners “Isme konsa Algo lagega” will be answered legally instead of all these dirty games.

Instead of all this? Why not make something like “trusted participants”? Do not consider the people who give less than x rated competitions (preferably, x = \{2, 3\} ). This is what codeforces does. For example, if x = 2, a person who has not given at least 2 rated contests will not be included in the rank list. I think it’s a great system and will help reduce the number of fake participants.

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Well good idea, but keeping problem tags is not good, as it forces you to think in that direction without yourself thinking of what could be the approach. And secondly, the steep rise after 5th problem has a reason, and it is to differentiate between winners and mediocre.

just a doubt, how do you guys know which topic a particular problem is from?

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u need to solve a lot of problems…then u can find a pattern in the question itself

Well it was just a suggestion. As you just saw in this thread itself @champ_mark asked about figuring out. I’m not saying that for a problem based on an Algorithm we should give the tag as that Algorithm itself but for beginners a slight hint will help a lot. Let’s say a problem is based on Binary Search and it’s not obvious from the problem statement , we should tag it with Searching.

Now coming to the next point about difficulty gap , as you said it makes sense about the hard problems to weed out the average from the top performers. So okay I agree with this point.

Practice on other online judges . If you are a complete beginner , @striver_79 has a very good roadmap on his YouTube Channel.

Yes, I too think that duration of long challenge should be reduced because in most of cases people ask hints when they fed up from trying the same problem for more than 2 days.
Also the gap must be minimum, In Codechef long either you have a very easy or hard problem, there must be some medium concept involving problems.

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Everybody knows some topics that they are afraid of, like in beginning it might be segment trees or maybe HLD or maybe for some people it is FFT. What I like to do is, I try to know some of the trade-offs and uses of Algos and techniques that I think are out of my bound, and when I see a question needing those constraints I go and learn those and implement them and that’s how I progress. This time for me it was Convex Hull and Graham Scan for Delicious cake.

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a small edit would be better, why do we need the contest on different periods, why not the same, anyhow the div2 and div1 are separate. :expressionless:

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I’m really sorry . Didn’t notice that. Thanks for pointing that out. Actually I was referring the formats of the various Competitions on other OJ to find if anything like that already exists and the draft post was written in a hurry. This 5 days Long also leaves an additional window for a Balanced Short Contest (maybe Dinner or Breakfast? )

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