The competition part of the Olympiad starts with the blitz contest. This is a kind of warm-up before the main contest. For two hours all teams simultaneously solving math, informatics, chemistry and physics tasks.
Before coming to Moscow representatives of the competing cities send a set of tasks in each of the four disciplines. They are used for putting together the blitz contest tasks. The complexity of the tasks is appropriate for the level of the secondary school final examination. All teams receive tasks only in English.
The teams have to answer eighty questions, twenty for each discipline. The answers are checked automatically when the participants use a special computer program for typing in their answers.
While they are doing this, team leaders are watching the results in a separate room. There is a screen with online information about the correct answers for each team. The teams themselves do not have any feedback on whether they are right or wrong. This is an intriguing game, as the teams could enter as many answers as they wanted, but only the last one is evaluated.
These results are not included in the score when the main Olympiad contest results are summarized.
The participants of the previous Olympiads commented on an unusual format of the blitz contest. They all enjoyed working in a team. It was interesting for them to find out what tasks are included in exams that students of the same age take in other countries.
The Riga team liked that it was possible to solve problems from other disciplines: “There were really interesting tasks, it was a good experience. It was great that we had to use logical thinking. Working in a team is great!”
A participant from Milan: “I found some of the tasks very difficult; I could not understand several questions”.
A participant from Budapest: “I liked it that we all could work with these subjects; team contest is a good idea”.
A participant from Moscow: “The blitz contest was not difficult. It was similar to the unified State Examination by the type of tasks. Often specialists in math were solving informatics tasks, and chemists were doing physics tasks. And sometimes it was difficult to identify the area”.