The grand final of the Karel Challenge 2023 was held on Saturday, June 3. More than 100 young programmers traveled to Barcelona to face the last phase of this programming competition, which is organized annually by Codelearn. Throughout the day, the participants tested their speed, strategy and precision when programming, but in the end there were only two winners: Oriol Garcia (KC Senior) and Sergi Ventosa (KC Junior)

The finalists of the Junior category were summoned at 10 in the morning to get their accreditation and prepare for the competition. The first games of the Junior Final started at 10.30am and the participants faced each other over five rounds in which many simultaneous matches of four players were played. A Karel Challenge match works as follows: each player is assigned a Karel robot of a different color and must guide this little virtual robot along a map through programming and get it to dodge all the obstacles, be the first to collect all the beepers and reach the exit before the rivals.

The matches lasted throughout the morning and at noon the top four had to face one last map. The players who reached the Final 4 in this category were Roger Soler, Eric Porcel, Guiu Lacambra and Sergi Ventosa, who was the fastest one and was proclaimed the winner of the Junior Final. His prize was a Nintendo Switch OLED, a champion’s trophy and 15,000 points that can be spent as he likes on the Codelearn platform, where there are other prizes reserved only for the participants of this competition. The rest of the participants in the final game took home 10,000 points and a gaming keyboard.

After stopping for lunch, it was time for the older ones. The Senior Final matches started at 4pm following the same mechanics, but this time with six rounds of matches and a higher level on the proposed maps, which were getting more and more complicated and posed a greater challenge for the finalists. Reaching the exit was not easy and, in addition, in this edition a maximum time was established for each game and the possibility of the confrontations ending in a draw, which did not happen in previous years. At the end of the afternoon, the top four sat down in front of the computers to play the final game: Roger Viñolas, Adrià Valeri, Oriol Garcia and Pau Vázquez starred in a last challenge that lasted three quarters of an hour. Finally, the first to find the solution was Oriol Garcia, thus proclaiming himself champion of the Senior category of the Karel Challenge 2023. As a reward, he won a gaming laptop, the champion trophy of its category and 40,000 points on the platform, while the other three finalists got 30,000 points and a tablet.

All participants in both categories returned home with a finishers medal and a Codelearn cap. In addition, other prizes were raffled off among all the finalists: rubik’s cubes, drones, retro consoles, Arduino kits, gaming keyboards and mouses, headphones, monitors, smartphones, a laptop, a TV and two gaming chairs. Once again, we really enjoyed this day and all the participants showed a very good attitude, a lot of sportsmanship and a desire to have fun, so we want to thank all the finalists for their assistance and the support of their families, as well as the collaboration of the FIB – UPC to make possible the organization of this final in Barcelona.

Karel Challenge Online

This year we are organizing a second Karel Challenge competition which will be held 100% online. The winner will receive a Google Pixel 7 and 30,000 points and the rest of the participants will get points depending on their position in the final ranking.

The game mechanics are exactly the same, but in this case it is allowed to use previously saved code, browser extensions, macros and similar resources, since in the online mode everything is legal as long as it doesn’t attack the server or other rivals and doesn’t change the source code of the game or the rules it follows.