End CC Long Challenges

Has CodeChef completely given up on making problems related to algorithms and data structures? Creating tricky problems where observation is involved is one thing but giving problems where the entire solution breaks down into a formula is really stupid.

Long challenges were supposed to be contests where you learn a ton of new topics while researching for the problem solution but it has just turned into a massive math exam.

This is officially my last CC Long challenge. Will continue to do lunchtime because problems are actually good and it’s really easy to get laddus.

It’s really sad that CC only has 3 monthly rated challenges compared to something like CF where they have 7-10 afaik. 2 of the 3 challenges almost always face some technical error and long isn’t even really a programming contest.


I also agree on this for real , Why make mathematics questions based on observations and pattern findings(which takes days or hours ) instead of algorithms and ds :pray: @alei . From next month not gonna participate in codechef long contests .


This is just my opinion and view on this topic :-

I agree with you 100% on this matter . This is not a coding competition , its just a “Math Long Challenge” . Thanks for putting this matter on discuss so the setter makes sure that not all problems are just pure maths without algorithms and data-structures . Any person with good math skills can score good without any need of algo and ds.

I agree MATH should be there, but not 100%.

There is not much to learn except of some good level math, THATS IT. And defeats the purpose of Codechef which is to make students able to perform good in icpc competitions . I don’t know how just solving some math-equation related problem will improve someone at graph-theory and other important topics,etc.

I hope setters make sure that the problems are based on variety of coding topics like algo,ds,etc. and not just high-level MATH.

This has happened earlier as well though :frowning:

Codechef Lunchtime and Cookoffs are very good opposed to this :slight_smile:

Also:-August Long was really good.


I choosed the best problem I read during July-August. I think problems are beautiful iff they require some interesting observation.
If you take days in finding something, is because you are lacking skills.
I think is ok to have some mathy problems once in a while. Also September Long Challenge is not completely a math contest.


How you think august long was really good?!

maybe coz he is in DIV1

I agree that the time taken is because of lack of skill and that observation problems are very fun to solve.

The point that he’s making is that the observation should lead to the problem breaking down to something like a classical algorithm/ds problem, not some mathematical theorem/formula.


My head is paining lol. Can’t even figure out the solution to the first question. It is so confusing, I can’t find any guidance to whether one should sit down and work out the first few possibilities and find a pattern or work on an algorithm or just wait for my brain to come up with an elegant proof. :slightly_frowning_face:


Frick yea! Solved it @nuttela!


For the same reason, I only see the questions and try to solve the ones which involves ds and algo. I have left participating in long challenges a long ago. I hope admins take this into consideration or rename the long challenges to long maths challenge.

PS: By maths I meant knowing about theorems which are rare to a cs guy.


I agree to what you say But Still Math is an important part in creating an algorithm. Also when a question is based on algo and ds it is straightforward and the solution is just to find a correct place to implement a pre written algorithm. But mathematical questions involve creating a new algorithm which is much important than just cramming some algorithms and saying you are competitive programmer. Even Legendary programmers like Gennady Korotkevich require so much time to tackle unconditional math problems (you can checkout this year’s codejam for example). For example take first question of September long challenge the main challenge is to find Nth fibonacci no. in as short as possible time. Many people just search on Google for Nth fibonacci no. And they see a formula pop up and they use it. Instead the formula which you got by searching you must have developed it yourself. Programming is not just implementing algorithms its about creating algorithms.

Stop the discussion of ongoing contest problems

This is your view : - Algorithmic Thinking is cramming and mathematical stuff is all nice , creative stuff .

No, mathematical questions are the easy-medium ones(if you have practiced), all you need to do is figure out the formula and paste it . More cheating occurs when all questions are math based because guys just need to ask each other the forumla to solve the question .

Programming has many parts like : - dp,graph and trees .

If you don’t study these in depth you will face hard time if you participate in any regular programming contest .

No, the kind of math we are talking about is different. Math is by all means allowed in all contests, but when its just some theorems which only PhD guys know or you have to do research on it…its not worth it .

Even if 50% contest is math contest, its all fine, I love math-stuff, but >50% is not good…


“Competitive Programming means to solve a problem by manipulating the algorithms you know and using some general tricks and ideas(and few times to come up with a completely new idea) .”

You don’t need to become Dijkstra and invent the shortest path algorithm in a 2-hour contest .

No one with basic knowledge of cp re-invents the wheel in a contest .


In one way, I do agree with you, though I would like to bring my point of view forward.
Let me use Codeforces as an example, since you have compared Codechef to Codeforces.

Notice the contest duration difference between Codeforces and CC Long Challenges. A typical CF contest is ~2.5 hours, whereas a long challenge is ~240 hours. Quite a gap right? Now notice the number of successful submissions for the hardest problems in the set during the CF contest.

In a span of 2 hours, multiple people have managed to correctly solve all the problems in the set. If the problems in CC longs were mainly algo and DS based (like most CF problems), eventually many would solve nearly every problem in the set. Whats the point of competition then? No one would even have substantial rating changes then, leading to people slowing moving away from CC.

This is why math based problems are included. The amount of time provided is sufficiently enough to reduce the problem to an equation and research on the best method to solve it. Most of the people just give up once they realize it requires math, as they simply want a straightforward implementation problem.
With the time duration of the contest, one could easily make testers, generators and observe patterns, thus finally reaching the answer.
Also, its not like all the questions are complete math based - they do include some algo and other related stuff.

Regarding the number of contests conducted, CF has a bigger, more active user base than CC. This is one of the main reasons for the difference in the number of contests.

Summing it all up, we really need to appreciate CC for its novel 10 day coding contest. TBH, most of my cp learning has taken place during these wonderful contests. Also, if you have medium~hard problems requiring little to no math, you should really apply to become a problem setter. Only then you would realize the amount of difficulty present in making a pure algo/ds problem to engage many participants over the 10 days of the contest.

In any case, COOK-OFF and LTIME is conducted every month with most problems requiring little math knowledge. So in my opinion, LONG contests are mainly for learning new stuff (so what if it is math, it is still educative!) and short ones, like all other short contests, are for ioi/icpc aspirants.


There are many algorithmic problems in Codechef Long Contests which get only 5 or 6 submissions:- https://www.codechef.com/MAY19A/problems/CUREK

So, putting hard problems related to DSA is also feasible .


@karangreat234 I think this would answer your reply rightly!


But codeforces arranges so many contests in a month with so many problems, and Codechef needs only 7-8 problems for long(each month), if I am right ?? Then also, it is hard ? :face_with_monocle:

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Lol. But if CF contests were made ioi style with 6 hours contest duration, 100-200(the figure might be wrong!) pple would get rank 1. So, comparing it to the 10 long days of contest, you could really understand the difficulty involved in making befitting problems…


100-200 can never get rank-1 if we use codeforces ranking system, even in codechef short contests, 100-200 ppl will never get rank-1 as everybody takes different time to solve problems.

Yes, in ioi system , its possible!!

The only thing required is :- Long Problems need to be hard. I get it as we have 10 days, so when setters are not able to find hard enough problems for a 10-days contest, they put math problems .

I have no problem with math qns, it boosts score.


the thing I hate is when the question starts with “you have given a tree of N nodes blah blah blah…”
and the solution come to be 2-3 line formula…


You mean SJ1 problem from April Long ?