With the ICPC world finals just around the corner, teams from around the world are finalising their team references, planning the trips to Porto and most importantly, are preparing for the competition. And so did we, Lukas Michel, Gregor Matl and Florian Leimgruber from Team TUMbling.

From 9.3. to 17.3. we had the chance to participate in the Moscow Workshops ICPC Pre-Finals Bootcamp, held at the campus of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) in Moscow, Russia. As many other world finalist teams participated in this camp, it provided a unique training environment.

Besides the day off, every day of the camp started with a 5 hour ICPC-style contest. The tasks were particularly challenging, because, as chief judge Oleg explained, (imagine a strong Russian accent) "only hard problems make you stronger". Many tasks required clever mathematical insights as well as heavy data structure machinery. It comes as no surprise that even the best teams only managed to solve a fraction of the problems each day. This is why afternoons (..and nights) were dedicated to contest analysis sessions as well as upsolving. Overall, the contests were lots of fun - and even though there was little personal coaching involved, just being able to take the time to do so many contests and compete against other world finalists is a huge gain for us.

Aside from the training, we also had the chance to discover Moscow itself. As MIPT is located in the "Garching of Moscow", reaching the city center proved difficult. Fortunately on our day off the organisers arranged busses and sight-seeing tours. Did you know that the name "Red square" has actually little to do with the color red? As it turns out, the Russian words for "beautiful" and "red" sound similar, so apparently "Red square" is more of a translation error.

To finish off the camp, MosCode Festival was held on 17.3, a competitive programming competition not only for ICPC teams. We managed to take 13th place, one place shy of the medal range - and 6th among the ICPC teams. So things are looking good for Porto :)

All in all, the Pre-finals camp proved to be valuable training and a unique experience overall. We are very thankful to TUM and our coaches for making this possible, spasiba!

Team TUMbling


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