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Codeforces logo.png
Type of site
Competitive programming
Available inEnglish, Russian
Country of origin Russia
OwnerMikhail Mirzayanov
Created byMikhail Mirzayanov
LaunchedApril 10, 2009 (2009-04-10)
Current statusActive

Codeforces is a website that hosts competitive programming contests.[1] It is maintained by a group of competitive programmers from ITMO University led by Mikhail Mirzayanov.[2] Since 2013, Codeforces claims to surpass Topcoder in terms of active contestants.[3] As of 2018, it has over 600,000 registered users.[4] Codeforces along with other similar websites are used by top sport programmers like Gennady Korotkevich, Petr Mitrichev, Benjamin Qi and Makoto Soejima, and by other programmers interested in furthering their careers.[5][6][7]


The Codeforces platform is typically used when preparing for competitive programming contests[8][9][10][11] and it offers the following features:

  • Short (2-hours) contests, called "Codeforces Rounds", held about once a week[12][13]
  • Educational contests (2-2.5 hours, with 24 hours hacking period),[14] held 2-3 times per month;
  • Challenge/hack other contestants' solutions;
  • Solve problems from previous contests for training purposes;
  • "Polygon" feature for creating and testing problems;
  • Social networking through internal public blogs.
    Codeforces non-official vectorized main logo.(Without sponsors)

Rating system[edit]

Contestants are rated by a system similar to Elo rating system. There are usually no prizes for winners, though several times a year special contests are held, in which top performing contestants receive T-shirts. Some bigger contests are hosted on Codeforces base, among them "The Lyft Level 5 Challenge 2018", provided by Lyft[15] or "Microsoft Q# Coding Contest — Summer 2018" provided by Microsoft.[16]

Contestants are divided into ranks based on their ratings. Since May 2018, users with ratings between 1900 and 2099 can be rated in both Div. 1 and Div. 2 contests. At the same time, Div. 3 was created for users rated below 1600. The table below was up-to-date on 2018-12-26.[17]

Rating Bounds Color Title Division Number
≥ 3000 Black & Red Legendary Grandmaster 1 23(31)
2600 — 2999 Red International Grandmaster 1 103(157)
2400 — 2599 Red Grandmaster 1 212(406)
2300 — 2399 Orange International Master 1 143(364)
2100 — 2299 Orange Master 1 1091(2128)
1900 — 2099 Violet Candidate Master 1/2 1944(5503)
1600 — 1899 Blue Expert 2 6387(21596)
1400 — 1599 Cyan Specialist 2/3 13454(51629)
1200 — 1399 Green Pupil 2/3 19362(60964)
≤ 1199 Gray Newbie 2/3 8270(20125)

History of Codeforces[edit]

Codeforces was created by a group of competitive programmers from Saratov State University led by Mike Mirzayanov. It was originally created for those interested in solving tasks and taking part in competitions.[2] The first Codeforces Round was held on the February 19, 2010 with 175 participants. As of the end of July 2019 over 650 rounds were held, with over 9000 registered competitors per round on average. Before 2012 Codeforces Rounds were titled "Codeforces Beta Rounds" to indicate that the system was still under development.

Academic use[edit]

Codeforces is recommended by many universities.[18][19] According to Daniel Sleator, professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, competitive programming is valuable in computer science education, because competitors learn to adapt classic algorithms to new problems, thereby improving their understanding of algorithmic concepts. He has used Codeforces problems in his class, 15-295: Competition Programming and Problem Solving.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "North korean college coders beat Stanford University in a 2016". Codeforces — a Russian competitive coding site with contestants from around the world[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Codeforces Founder Will Teach Web Development at ITMO".
  3. ^ "Codeforces results 2013".
  4. ^ "Codeforces results 2017".
  5. ^ "The jocks of computer code do it for the job offers".
  6. ^ "Are programming competitions a good use of time?".
  7. ^ "Student of CSE Dept. becomes Candidate Master in Codeforces".
  8. ^ Difference between HackerRank, LeetCode, topcoder and Codeforces (Youtube). Event occurs at 1:45. Difference between HackerRank, LeetCode, topcoder and Codeforces: "Topcoder and Codeforces is a website that's typically used when preparing for actual competitive programming contests"
  9. ^ "All-Ireland Programming Olympiad Training".
  10. ^ "ACM-ICPC training at FIT CTU". (in Czech).
  11. ^ "The 30-minute guide to rocking your next coding interview". CodeForces questions are more similar to questions in competitive programming
  12. ^ "Competitive Programmer's Handbook" (PDF). At the moment, the most active contest site is Codeforces, which organizes contests about weekly.
  13. ^ "Algorithms programming competitions".
  14. ^ Erdősné Németh, Ágnes; Zsakó, László (2018). "Grading Systems for Algorithmic Contests" (PDF). Olympiads in Informatics. 12: 159–166. doi:10.15388/ioi.2018.13.
  15. ^ "Lyft 2018".
  16. ^ "Microsoft Q# Coding Contest".
  17. ^ "Codeforces: Updates in rating and rounds".
  18. ^ "Introduction-CS 97SI-Stanford University" (PDF).
  19. ^ "Introduction,COMP4128 Programming Challenges, School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW Australia" (PDF).
  20. ^ "15-295: Competition Programming and Problem Solving, Fall 2016".

External sources[edit]