The Queue ICPC Challenge will take place in two phases. During a four-week coding phase, participants can develop their players and challenge others to preliminary matches to see who's doing best. Afterward, a double-elimination tournament will decide the winners.
The competition is open to readers of Queue Magazine. Readers are invited to work individually or in small teams to develop the best player they can. The winners will be recognized on the Queue webpage, and all tournament matches will be available for viewing from the Queue site.
At 00:00 UTC on January 15, a description of the problem will be made available on the Queue ICPC Challenge website. Participants can download this description along with a copy of the game and some sample code for players.
The coding phase will run for four weeks. Participants can develop their players, submit preliminary versions of their code and even compete with preliminary versions of other participant's players. Before the end of the coding phase, the end of UTC day February 12, participants must submit the final version of their players. The last (working) version submitted before this deadline is considered a the final submission.
A day of the coding phase runs from 00:00 UTC to 00:00 UTC the next day. With the exception of the last day, preliminary matches are held after every coding day. At the end of each day, a snapshot of the latest version of each participant's player will be taken. Each player will compete in 3 matches with other, randomly selected players. A win/loss record for these random matches will be recorded for each player and reported publicly at the Queue ICPC Challenge page.
In addition to the three random matches, each day a participant may request up to three additional matches with the latest preliminary version of other players. These matches are held at the same time as the random matches, using the snapshot of the players as of the end of the coding day. Results of these requested matches are not included in the win/loss record and are not publicly available, but a recording of the match is made available to both the participant requesting the match and the participant they challenged to a match. This gives everyone the ability to challenge others with a strong win/loss record and see how they perform against them. However, electing to compete against another in a preliminary match exposes something of your own play strategy to your opponent.
Recordings of requested preliminary matches are available the next day from the challenge submission interface. Recordings of the randomly selected matches are not made available.
At the end of the last coding day, February 12, a final snapshot of every participant's submission will be taken. These are considered the official submissions. In the days that follow, results of this tournament will be posted to the Queue ICPC Challenge page, typically with a few rounds of the tournament posted each day.