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Poland triumphs in Google contest

Gratuluje Tomasz!

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The finals of the first ever European* Code Jam, based on Google US's annual programming contest, saw Pole Tomasz Czajka finish in a triumphant first place, in a final that was dominated by competitors from Eastern Europe.

Although Czajka had to see off 49 competitors from 15 countries to secure the €2,500 prize money, eight of the top ten finalists were from Russia, Poland and Estonia. Nearly two thirds of the final 50 were also from the East.

Western Europe made a relatively poor showing. Germany had the best representation with six contenders in the last 50. Sweden managed to field four, while the UK could only muster two.

The contestants spent an all-expenses-paid week in Dublin for the final rounds of the contest. Nearly 10,000 people entered in all, and were gradually whittled away over three rounds by tougher and tougher programming challenges.

In the final, competitors had to devise their own algorithms. Points were scored for unbreakable code, and lost if a competitor managed to crack it.

"It was a very intense and exciting final," said Knut Magne Risvik, Google's Norway engineering site director. "Tomasz did extremely well to keep his cool and finish top of a very talented field." ®

*Oddly, Europe seems to include South Africa. Perhaps Google Earth should get involved in this.

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