A Nail Biter, Indeed
by MaryBeth Biondi, TopCoder Staff
Friday, November 22, 2002
The morning's second competition brought a few more spectators onsite, but lots more online.
Nearly 50 members logged in to cheer on their fellow coders in a tightly contested match, which
pitted dmwright's tournament experience against reid's speed. dgarthur and lars, in some
people's minds, may have only been along for the experience.
Once again, everyone opened and submitted the 200-point problem first. reid submitted his
first for 193.47. Seconds later, dgarthur was awarded 190.40 points for his submission.
dmwright and lars submitted 11 and 13 minutes into the contest for 172.39 and 167.75 points,
respectively. Everyone except dmwright moved on to the 550-point problem next. In a move
that may have been part of his downfall, dmwright chose to open the 1000-pointer next.
lars pulled into the lead with the fastest submission of the 550-point problem for 415.89
points. Once again, dgarthur and reid submitted within seconds of each other, receiving
353.69 and 352.56 points. It would be another 43 minutes before reid and dgarthur
made the last two submissions of the contest for 461.94 and 465.73 on the 1000-point
problem. Neither dmwright nor lars was able to submit solutions. Surprisingly, the
scores at the end of the coding phase saw dgarthur in first (1009.82), reid in second
(1007.97), lars in third (583.64), and dmwright last (172.39). It appeared as though
dmwright's previous experience had not been enough to advance him to the finals.
Much to the crowd's dismay, the 15 minute challenge phase went by without any action.
Competitors and spectators gathered around the scoreboard as the system test results
were revealed. The day's first upset had arrived, with dgarthur's code passing all
system tests. reid saw his 1000-point problem, and lars his 550-point problem, each
fail systests, while dmwright's 200-point solution survived.
As we move into the afternoon contests, we have to wonder - will dgarthur meet fellow
North Carolinian NDBronson in the finals, or will there be more surprise finishes?