The Official Blog of the 2008 TopCoder Open

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Wrapping Up

Posted May 20th 2008 3:54AM by d000hg

The dust has settled, the champions are crowned, and the competitors have scattered back to all 4 corners of the Earth. But there's one more post to make, albeit a little late.

Although I was initially attracted to TC by the programming contests, to me it's the community which is TC's biggest asset. Members from across the globe, united by their passion for competion and interaction with like-minded people from many countries, cultures and languages. And of course, it's largely due to my involvement in the community that a decidedly average-ranked coder like me ever got to attend the TCO... though seeing it in person only makes me want to return even more, as a competitor.

It was quite representative of the event that once the outsized cheques were dispersed, TC members quietly settled back down to chat and play games... almost as if this was the main part of the event. Perhaps it was.

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I thought members who have never been able to attend a tournament would also like to see what happens to the TC arena after the final award is presented. Wth amazing rapidity, the seasoned TC veterans, most likely exhausted from a very long week, make one final push...






I had a peek into the room on Friday. In the midst of piles of stacked chairs and tables, a few TC members could still be found, playing cards, chatting, and of course using the free wi-fi connection!

But now it's over... bar a few people no doubt still recovering from jet lag. However I'm sure from TC's point of view, it's probably almost time to start organising the next one! You never know, with a lot of hard work and luck, I might see you there!

Signing off...



Post Tournament Analysis

Posted May 16th 2008 6:33PM by Denis Horgan

studio.jpg marathon.jpg algo.jpg compDes.jpg compDev.jpg

Check out the Match Summaries from each of the five TCO final tracks...

oninkxronda is the new Studio Champion!

Psyho is the new Marathon Champion!

tomek is the new Algorithm Champion!

Pops is the new Component Design Champion!

romanoTC is the new Component Development Champion!


Play with the TCO App!!

Posted May 15th 2008 11:59PM by Denis Horgan

For the first time, the Studio, Component Design and Component Development all worked together at the TCO to design and develop a working application at the end of the three days. Now it's available for you to play with, so have fun with "TopCoder Distance".

(I'd write a whole thing here explaining what it is and how it works, but to be honest, I'm just too tired :) , but we'll be putting this up on the member home page when we get home from Vegas - Thank you, and hope you enjoyed the TCO Blog coverage!)

Feel free to discuss the app in the forums.

TC Channel: Wrapping up the 2008 TCO

Posted May 15th 2008 9:50PM by Denis Horgan

TC Channel: And the Algorithm champion is...

Posted May 15th 2008 8:12PM by Denis Horgan

TCO Algorithm final: play-by-play

Posted May 15th 2008 4:18PM by d000hg

The final was probably the most exciting match... results are announced in just about an hour but it's hard to call between Petr, Eryx and tomek. If you missed the match, you can find my real-time report on it in the forms here

Studio Round 2 & 3 Recap

Posted May 15th 2008 3:06PM by jwlms

The last two rounds of Studio were amazing. The competitors were given the challenge for Round Two just before they started and everyone was quickly making notes, highlighting important areas of the Spec and just generally preparing for the rapid 2-hour round. The finalists were tasked with designing a splash screen for Lending Tree. Only 15 minutes into the round, concepts were flying onto the screens. We had some account problems with istockphoto, so we made a quick decision to allow the competitors to submit either comp images or downloaded artwork. This round was definitely more hectic for both the finalists and the admins. After the round ended, everyone took a quick break and then we had a brief overview before Round Three.

Round Three was our sponsor raffle project for Lilly. The finalists had some time before competition day to speak with Lilly about their company and the goals for this design. About half-way through the round, you could see a swarm of yellow shirts (the Lilly folks) gathered around the kiosks chatting about the stock art choices and the branding treatments. It was very rewarding to see them so excited about the results.

I had to smile when I saw some of the guys were chatting with each other in the finalist forums just before the round ended. They planned to go play poker, and I hope luck was with them. The submissions are up on the Studio site for all three rounds, so be sure to check them out!

It's been a very exciting tournament for Studio and I can't wait for next year.

Here are the winning placements for each round:

And here are the final placements for each designer:

TC Channel: End of Challenge Phase

Posted May 15th 2008 2:56PM by Denis Horgan

TC Channel: End of Coding Phase

Posted May 15th 2008 2:53PM by Denis Horgan

TC Channel: Here we Go

Posted May 15th 2008 1:21PM by Denis Horgan

Meet the Algo Finalists

Posted May 15th 2008 1:20PM by Denis Horgan

Wednesday Night - Fun and Games

Posted May 15th 2008 12:27PM by d000hg

I think the other guys have given pretty good coverage on the development and studio contests, so I'm free to concentrate on other things. The main event of the day had to be the Poker tournament, which kicked off shortly after dinner. The prize: a pretty nice set of poker chips, made much nicer since they were exclusively TC branded. Second and third places would also tke prizes in the form of TC "goody bags".

Tables set up in preparation

The tournament began around 7pm, with over 60 players (I think there were 7 tables of 8 and one of 9). The game was no limit Texas Holdem, as might be predicted since this is the most popular form of poker in the wold right now.

I took part as an enthusiastic amateur, on a tale including bmerry and Abednego. Unfortunately, I hadn't done my research and failed to realise Abednego is a seasoned player. I went out after about 40 minutes when I tried to take him on... I was glad at least to see him on the final table.

The final table, shortly after Pops was knocked out.

The final table was exciting to watch. We had something like 10 all-in rounds in a row at one point. ivan_metelsky emerged as the star player, the guy just couldn't lose. He'd bet all-in nd people would fold, or they'd call and the community cards would invariably favor him. Pops was dealt a pair of kings, but the last card gave ivan_metelsky a pair of aces... that was just one example of many.

The crowd in disbelief as ivan_metelsky gets another great hand from nowhere.

The final 3 were Abednego, ivan_metelsky, and grotmol's girlfriend (who I think was the only lady taking part)

Abednego tries to take on ivan_metelsky... but the cards just weren't with him

Abednego went out first, leaving ivan_metelsky with about a million chips, and grotmol's girlfriend with about 7! She was really great, binging the table to life for a few minutes in spite of overwhelming odds. However, she was eventually knocked out.

The worthy winner...

However then there was another twist... it turns out ivan_metelsky works for TC and is ineligible for the prize... which then goes to the 2nd place!

The official and unofficial winners!

TC Channel: Preparing for the Finals

Posted May 15th 2008 12:30AM by Denis Horgan

Sarah speaks with leadhyena_inran on the eve of the Algo Finals.

Wednesday night...

Posted May 14th 2008 11:04PM by leadhyena_inran

..and we just finished the dress rehearsal for the final event. We're still waiting on Component Development scores, but the rest is in the can. Good luck to the Algo competitors tomorrow, and I hope everyone enjoys the Final Awards ceremony!

TC Channel: Component Dev Finals are Over

Posted May 14th 2008 10:55PM by Denis Horgan

Sarah speaks with ivern about the Component Development finals.

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