Regarding Codechef's Cook-Offs

I have participated in 6-7 Cook-Offs now, and wanted to give some suggestions that I think will make it better.

Cook-Offs use ACM style ranking. But don’t you think 20 minutes penalty is a bit too much for a 2.5 hour contest? It is 20 min for 5 hour, so won’t it be better if it was 10 minutes here?

Another suggestion(mainly applies to people like me who need sleep lol) would be to shift Cook-Off to same time but on Saturday, since people have school/college/office on Monday.


I have participated in two cook-off’s only but 20 minutes penalty is way too much and someone having a minor bug who submits a minute later will be behind all those who submit after him in the span of those 20 minutes. In atcoder the penalty is 4 minutes which seems very reasonable, also at codeforces you lose 50 points which only affects the submission on problem A, and for rest of the problem -50 is ok. Codechef should definitely reduce the penalty to 10 minutes.


Heads up to that shifting to Saturday suggestion. Cannot wake up late on Sunday because of colleges and stuff the next day. For the 20 minute penalty, of course, even I feel that 20 min penalty for a 150 minute contest is harsh, but it depends on how much they want to stress on “AC-in-first-try” concept.

Will forward your suggestions to @admin, thanks :slight_smile:


+1 for suggestion to move this to Saturday night.
Also, 20 mins penalty does seem quite harsh.


Please forward, thank you!

Yes ,I think that there should not be a penalty of 20 minutes.


You mean that it should be removed altogether or just reduced?

@vijju123 it should be reduced but not removed altogether.

Removing altogether can increase the number of wrong submissions.


Yes, it would be much better if it was on Saturday. Even the 20 minute penalty could be reduced.

I think days of Lunch time and Cook-off should be interchanged. The timing will make more sense then.

And the penalty would be perfect at 10 minutes!

We cannot take up the Saturday request. However, we are certainly considering reducing the penalty.


Yes reducing penalty would decrease the number of wrong submissions

Can you at least consider changing the time from (9:30 to 12:00) to (9:00 to 11:30)?

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+1 for idea of shifting it to Saturday!

Oops clicked on the accepted tick by mistake, now I can’t accept it back again. Bug?

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Oo, another bug? :stuck_out_tongue:

Reported to

Well, it would be better if cook of is shifted to Saturday.

But i have different idea for time penalty. The idea is to reduce time penalty to 5 minutes with the adjustment that the user cannot submit another solution for same problem during this time. This idea is worth implementing if and only if it doesn’t cause much difficulty.

The best part of this would be that the flow of submission will be less, which would reduce the load on codechef servers, something that has been the trouble of last minute in codechef.

Another variation of this idea is to set a custom resubmit and/or penalty time for each problem which may be higher for easy/cakewalk problems like 10 min and less for medium/medium-hard problems or even 0 min for hardest problems.

This idea of differential resubmit time would strongly stress upon AC solution for atleast the easiest problems. Another benefit is that users are going to carefully analyse their solution before submitting.


I confirmed it, its a glitch issue. The answer is actually accepted, with karma credited to @admin 's account.

For easy problems, the idea of being unable to submit will heavily penalise that user, because many people say “I cant focus on next question until I get AC in previous one.”

On paper it seems flawless, but it will cause problems when implemented in practical