ACM Queue Magazine is offering an online programming competition based on the 2011 International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC) Challenge problem. While competitors in the ICPC are normally concerned with writing programs that give correct output on judge's test data, this problem presents a different type of challenge. Instead of just running against predetermined test data, participants must develop programs that compete against those of other programmers. Each participant's program, their player, competes in a game-like simulation. Success is a result of developing and implementing a robust player with a sound strategy and correctly anticipating the strategies employed by ones opponents.
The winter 2012 Queue ICPC Challenge offers queue readers a slightly modified version of the programming problem that ICPC competitors faced at the 2011 world finals. Participants get one month to develop their players. During this coding phase, participants can submit player code and compete against preliminary versions of their opponent's players. Nightly updates of the preliminary standings will tell you how well you are doing, and, based on these standings, you can challenge other players to preliminary matches. At the end of the coding phase, a double elimination tournament will be run among the final submissions to decide the top four places. Final standings and all matches in the tournament will be available for viewing from the Queue site.