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The Queue ICPC Challenge game, Capture, is played on a field that looks something like the figure above. A red player and a blue player compete on the 800 × 800 field, which is populated with 112 pucks of different colors. Players are able to change the color of the pucks, and the goal is to convert as many pucks as possible to the player's own color.
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 11, 2010, the coding phase of the competition will start. Participants will be able to start developing and submitting their player code via the Queue site as described below.
The coding phase will run for one month. Participants can develop their players, submit preliminary versions of their code and even compete with preliminary versions of other players.
By the end of the coding phase, 00:00 UTC on February 8, 2010 (the end of the day on February 7 [The earlier deadline, 24 hours earlier, was extended]), participants must submit the final version of their player. The last version submitted before this deadline is considered 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 every participant's player will be taken. Each player will compete in 3 matches with randomly selected players from other participants. A will/loss record for these random matches will be recorded for each participant and reported publicly at: http://queue.acm.org/icpc/
In addition to the three random matches, each day you may request up to three additional matches with the latest preliminary version of the players from other participants. These matches are held at the same time as the random matches and depend on the state of players at the end of the coding day. This is called a challenge match. Results of a challenge match are not included in the preliminary win/loss record and are not publicly available, but a recording of the match is made available to both participants in the match. Thus, if you request a challenge match, you get to see how your opponent plays, but she also gets to see how you play.
Recordings of challenge matches are available the next day from the Queue submission interface. Recordings of the randomly selected matches are not made available.
At 00:00 UTC on February 8, 2010, a final snapshot of every player will be taken. These are considered the participants' official submissions.