The Algorithm Competition is one of the most exciting events of the Topcoder Open. From Russia to Japan, Poland, and China, each year the Algorithm Competition is a battle of incredibly smart and talented coders vying for the TCO Algorithm Championship and the $10,000 prize!

Winning the TCO Finals can be life changing and this year the Algorithm Competition is even more fierce!

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TCO21 - Algorithm - CHALLENGE PHASE - image [v2]

About the Algorithm COmpetition

The matches are similar to Topcoder Single Round Matches (SRMs) and are available in four programming languages: Java, C#, C++, and Python.

The Algorithm Competition is a timed contest where all contestants compete online and are given the same problems to solve under the same time constraints. The Algorithm Competition will consist of four online stages, two online qualification rounds, five online rounds, up to five onsite regional rounds, one online wild card round, and the onsite Semi-Finals and Finals. The highest scoring competitors from each stage, the online round 4 and from the online wild card round will win a trip to the Tournament to compete in the onsite Semifinal and/or Championship Rounds of the Algorithm Competition.



The Challenge Phase is a timed event wherein each competitor has a chance to challenge the functionality of other competitors’ code.

A successful challenge will result in a loss of the original problem submission points by the defendant and a 50-point reward for the challenger. Unsuccessful challengers will incur a point reduction of 25 points as a penalty, applied against their total score in that round of competition.

During the online rounds, the Challenge Phase will last 15 minutes. During the onsite rounds, the Challenge Phase will last 10 minutes.

System Testing Phase

The System Testing Phase is applied to all submitted code that has not already been successfully challenged. If the Topcoder System Test finds code that is flawed, the author of that code submission will lose all of the points that were originally earned for that code submission.

The automated tester will apply a set of inputs, expecting the output from the code submission to be correct. If the output from a coder’s submission does not match the expected output, the submission is considered flawed. The same set of input/output test cases will be applied to all code submissions for a given problem.

All successful challenges from the Challenge Phase will be added to the sets of inputs for the System Testing Phase. Please note that you must be a Topcoder member as well as meet all of the eligibility requirements posted in the TCO Rules.


TCO21 - Algorithm - System Testing Phase - image [v2]

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