Monday, February 13, 2006

Nihilanth 2006 Quizzes

Aadisht Khanna, whom you may remeber from such blogs as Maajarly Shadymax Arbit Fundaes, was at the recently concluded IIT-IIM culfest Nihilanth. The following is his report of the quizzes conducted there.

General Arrangements:

The organisers were extremely professional, and pulled out all the stops for us. Nihilanth teams were each given a room to themselves, instead of being thrown into a dormitory or common room. Five to a room doesn't sound all that great but it much better than the twenty-five to a room funda at Saarang. Other areas where the organisers were helpful: delaying the start of events as far as possible when the IIMB and IITM teams were stuck on a delayed train, and coming up with a non-points quiz when one of the quizmasters cancelled the India Quiz at the last minute. Another good thing is that Nihilanth had an entire venue to itself, so no interruptions from other events. Grub and Coffee at the mess were also Landmark Quiz Bangalore level (by which I mean after anticipating something so bad, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it at least met minimum standards). Cribs with general arrangements: IIMC is probably the worst venue to hold a Nihilanth after IIT Kharagpur and Guwahati. Kolkata is too far away from all other institutes (except Kharagpur and Guwahati), and IIMC in turn is too far away from Calcutta. This drives up travel time and costs, and in the case of IIMB and IITM can screw you over (since the IIMB second string team and the IITM teams had to miss the Biz Quiz). Being far away from the city also meant that you couldn't go out to eat, and that the food stalls on campus for the IIMC fest (which was running in parallel) were freakishly expensive. Also, the campus is frankly smelly and dilapidated- the seven 'lakes' lead to many insects, which lead to many birds, which leads to the campus being festooned with guano. The toilets are givvup-level- IIMC junta seem to not grasp the concept of flushing. Finally, although this is a problem with the sponsors more than the organisers, cheques for pirze money and travel reimbursement were not given immediately (and still haven't reached after two weeks).

The Quizzes:

Biz Quiz: won by IIMB after the only guy from there who refused to trust the public sector and flew down instead qualified solo while waiting for the rest of his team to show up (thank you, thank you). IIMA finished second. Conducted by G Sreekanth. Good points:

    1. Some very good fundaes
    2. Sreekanth came up with a variation on Stage 2 where instead of getting negative points for guessing the theme wrong, you only lose the opportunity to guess it further on in the round. Makes the risk more palatable.
Bad points:
  1. Some of the clues in the connect questions were really tangential.
  2. This quiz used Direct-Pass instead of Infinite Bounce (which IITM and IIMB have already moved beyond in favour of Modified Infinite Bounce).
Sci-Tech Quiz: conducted by Sreekanth and Anil. Won by IIMB-II. IIMB-I came second. Last quiz to be conducted on the first day, and finished at about two/ half past two in the morning. Started out with teams struggling to stay awake and then getting more alert as the quiz got more interesting.

Good Stuff:

  1. Some very good questions.
Bad Stuff:
  1. The questions were inconsistent. Some were too easy and some were bizarrely difficult.
  2. The stage two (Lucasian professors) was a peter* (to be fair, the QMs might not have known this).
Sports Quiz: conducted by Anil. I have zero fundaes on sports, so can't comment on it, but my team says it was one of the best quizzes ever, with very good fundaes. IIMB was obliterated in this quiz- I think IITM and IIMA were in the points for this one.

Movies Quiz: conducted by the IIMI chap who started the Nihilanth concept (can't remember his name). This was (almost) the worst quiz- prepared in a hurry and with almost every question getting answered on the direct. It was also short, so that if you missed a single question, you ended up out of contention. This was won by IIT Roorkee, which managed to crack almost every pass that came their way. The two IIMB teams finished joint third. I'm not sure who finished second- I think IIT KGP.

Lit+Arts: The best quiz in the two days over there. Conducted by Beatzo. Very long, but fun. (Shades of the Saarang Lone Wolf.) Good points:

  1. Beatzo seems to have struck a refined balance between questions he wants to put and a difficulty/ obscurity level which participants are comfortable with. So lots of new fundaes, but which were still crackable and workoutable.
  2. A written Stage Two.
  3. A long, long Stage Two (20 questions, I think).
Bad points: none.

Won by IIMB-I. I think IITM and IIMA were second and third in some order.

Non-ranking general quiz: conducted by IIMC junta after the India quiz was cancelled (as the QM hadn't prepared it). This was conducted for the prize money of the India Quiz, but had no points counting towards the Nihilanth trophy. IIMC was barred from participating. Won't comment on this- the organizers had to come up with a quiz on short notice, so they used questions which I think were used in IIMC internal quizzes. Since three QMs had to contribute whichever questions they had, there were problems with putting the questions on Powerpoint slides properly, the balance of the quiz, etc. I won't crib about this- if you have to come up with a quiz in eight hours (that too, starting at two in the morning), its excusable. I think IIMA won this, and IIMB-II came second or third.

General Open Quiz [Conducted by Gautam Bhimani (questions may have been contributed by Joy Bhattacharya, who was supposed to conduct it but told jai)] : The Open quiz of the culfest, which was open to the general public but had four spaces reserved for Nihilanth teams. However, all these four spaces were occupied on 'merit'. This was the worst quiz of the festival- not just by being the least good, but by being in a whole new league of badness. Cribs:

  1. No starred questions in the prelims.
  2. Almost zero funda-based questions.
  3. Although infinite bounce was used, the QM still had 'rounds'. Instead of mixing the questions up, there was an 'audio' round, a 'video' round, dy rounds, etc.
  4. The audio round was in turn a special round, where all the questions were based on covers/ ripoffs and fell into the set {Who is performing the cover, Who is the original by, Who has ripped this song off, Which is the song that has been ripped off}
  5. The filenames of the videos were not changed, so some questions had to be scrapped when the filenames showed up on the display.
  6. There was one round based on identifying celebrities from their pictures as kids.
  7. There was another round based on identifying the celebrity partners of people in the photos.

Won by Beatzo+Anil+someone else.

::Aadisht Khanna

*peter - n, IITM lingo : A question in a quiz that has been asked in a previous quiz (allegedly from the word "repeater").

1 comment:

Rahul Gupta said...

Aadisht,
Kolkata is as far from delhi and bangalore as bangalore is from delhi,kanpur,roorkee,kharagpur, calcutta and guwahati. So going by ur standards Bangalore, Kohzikode and IITM are thw worst places to hold events.