ICPC Local Qualifier 20/21 – Important Update

This year’s edition of the ICPC Local Qualifier was held on Saturday. Before the contest, we made it clear that we would post information both on this blog and the VIS mailing list, however, due to a mistake on our side, we only published the announcement on the latter. Unfortunately, many have now missed the contest, as they expected to find details here. Clearly, this is not fair.

As you can understand, it is our responsibility to find the best competitors for SWERC and ICPC, and fairness is our highest priority. We knew we couldn’t auto-qualify any contestants as this would be unfair towards everyone else. Hence, we decided that our best bet is to create a Local Finals round. This round will happen on the weekend of February 6-7th (exact time TBA). We know that this is in the middle of the exam period, but unfortunately time is tight.

The Local Finals will follow the same rules as the Local Qualifier contest, but with a reduced number of participants. First, everyone who solved at least 6 tasks in the Local Qualifier and is eligible for SWERC (this year) will automatically qualify for the Local Finals. This ensures that the participants of the Local Qualifier receive a fair chance.

Additionally, those who missed the Local Qualifier may qualify to the Local Finals by solving at least 6 tasks when participating in a virtual contest with the same tasks as the Local Qualifier. We trust you and hope that you play fair by not asking other participants for the tasks in advance. We’ve had several participants who were strong enough to score 6 or more points this year, so by cheating you will only make it more difficult for us to schedule & organize the Finals.

Now, we understand that some of you already talked to people who participated at the Local Qualifier and they might’ve told you about some of the problems. That’s fine – in that case, please e-mail us at acm@vis.ethz.ch as soon as possible, and we’ll work something out.

The rules for the virtual contest remain the same as for the physical contest:

  • You will be able to choose between a variety of languages, including ICPC’s official languages: C, C++, and Java.
  • The contest will be open-book; you are allowed to use any online resources (incl. docs and tutorials) that were made before the contest started.
  • However, all code must be written by yourself, either before or during the contest. This means that you are not allowed to copy code from other users or the internet.
  • All communication about the tasks between participants or with non-participants is strictly forbidden.

In order to participate at the virtual contest, please e-mail us at acm@vis.ethz.ch with your Codeforces name – we will send you instructions within 24 hours. You will be able to start the contest whenever works best for you, but you need to solve it before January 31st.

Of course, you are also allowed (and encouraged!) to participate at the virtual contest even if you are not looking to qualify. However, if you’re not eligible for SWERC, we ask you not to participate in the Local Finals, as that will make scheduling easier for us.

We hope that this is fair for everyone. If you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at acm@vis.ethz.ch!


The VIS ACM committee