Tuesday, March 27, 2007

March 2007 BC Open Quiz - Report

Date: 24 Mar, 2007
Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, PSPL

Open Quiz
Set and Conducted by: B.V. Harish Kumar
Theme: General

Quiz Final Results
(36 seamless + 6*6 specialities + 6 bid questions + 6*8 rapidfire)
1st: Samrat Sengupta + Salil Bijur (B) - 190
2nd: Niranjan Pedanekar + J. Ramanand (C) - 140
3rd: Amit Varma + Sumant Srivathsan (D) - 115
4th: Anand Sivashankar + Vibhendu Tiwari (F) - 110
5th: Ganesh Hegde + Kunal Thakar/Sudarshan Purohit (supersub) (E) - 85
6th: Kunal Sawardekar + Shamanth Rao (A) - 55

Quiz Elims Results
(cutoff: 15/35 qns)
1st: Anand Sivashankar + Vibhendu Tiwari - 17.5 (recd. bonus of 15 pts in final)
2nd: Samrat Sengupta + Salil Bijur (B) - 17 (bonus of 10)
3rd: Niranjan Pedanekar + J. Ramanand (C) - 16 (bonus of 5)
4th: Amit Varma + Sumant Srivathsan (D) - 15.5
5th-6th: Ganesh Hegde + Kunal Thakar, Kunal Sawardekar + Shamanth Rao - 15

Report (by Samrat and Ramanand)

* Thankfully, unlike the morning's quiz, the open quiz saw much better attendance (~20 teams).
* A very good and interesting elims. Qn 24 (recounted in the samples below) was particularly memorable. Elimination was one of the lowest scoring in recent times, but the quality of questions reflected the type in the finals which is a good practice.
* In a marked departure from previous BC Opens, Harish designed the quiz to have more non-IR rounds and a greater audience focus. We have been guilty of not having much for the audience to do during the finals except watch blankly, which was corrected by Harish this time.
* The quiz began with a video from Harish's previous Open, showing the then winners having bulbs go off inside them leading to some trampoliner-imitations. This seemed to have some effect on many participants, as many of them started leaping around in the quiz. The quiz was quite an audience spectacle - with lots of drama, controversy, sledging, sulking, witticisms, and smiles.
* A summary of the new rounds: First, a specialities round where each team had to pick a topic from the likes of Non-Congress Central Govts, Jnanpeeth award winners, Page-3, Cricket coaches, Nike etc. They also had to nominate another team that would receive questions that the team couldn't answer. The 1st question was some sort of a screening qn - if you got it wrong, the rest of the questions (5 of them) would go en masse to the nominated team. Phew! This round saw a lot of drama when some teams tripped at the first question and had to sit out the other 5 in agony (most of which they knew - in Shamanth's case: all). This section provoked the most comments, which we will come later to.
* A bid round consisting solely of connects was also tried. With different bid levels, the expected amount of work to be done in solving the connects was different. Was an interesting concept.
* There was a rapid fire round at the end to wrap it up; questions were Mastermind type direct ones, though it did not hold much excitement as positions were more or less decided by then.
* A maha-connect based on answers to questions on the finals was exclusively open to audience members. There were quite a few good audience questions, unlike the usual cast-offs that go in that direction.
* Positives: The excellent audience focus; the attempt to introduce different and potentially dramatic rounds; the effort taken to cover many areas (including the oft-neglected sports); the visually-appealing flash presentation made by Sirisha; full marks for effort; there were some very good connect questions, which were quite involved but workable; some of the regular questions were nicely presented/framed.
* Negatives: The qns in the specialities round were worth 10 points each, which was too skewed. The 1st question hurdle also turned the round into a sort of Russian Roulette, impacting some teams negatively and for others a windfall. Suggestions would be to have 5 pts each, have fewer qns, perhaps go back and forth between original and nominated team each time a mistake was made.
* The rapid-fire, being at the end, became a little unnecessary. More interesting variants of this, w.r.t. content and timing in the finals could be pursued.
* Some of us were not entirely happy with the adjudicating in the bid rounds :-) Essentially, the perceived problems here were that that some of the elements in some qns were too easy to merit the same value that some tougher qns had. Anyway, connects are hard to run, and the criticisms are for how the points were given, and not so much for the content themselves.
* We had a lot of questions (nice to have), but had to hurry in answering due to possible lack of time (not so nice). Perhaps if the questions are going to need time to figure out, fewer questions but with more opportunities to get a good shot in could be preferred.
* One also felt that Harish showed that it is indeed possible to have other alternatives to regular formats without diluting content or without making it too gladiatorial. It is only a question of getting the execution right, given one's heart is in the right place. And if you will not try, how will you know?
* The finalists were the usual suspects from BCQC and BQC. Samrat and Salil (pairing up for the first time) were consistent in their performance, winning their first BCQC Open and were mighty thrilled with it. The team of Ramanand and Niranjan ran them close, and cracked a lot of good questions and jokes. The Bombay team of Amit and Sumant came third. Surprisingly the in-form team of Shamanth and Kunal had an off day; they were also unlucky in the speciality round.
* We need to get our scheduling right - unfortunately, the weekend was a little cursed in terms of constraints, but in future, we will try to schedule on Sundays only.
* A big thanks to Landmark for sponsoring most of the prizes and to Persistent for making the auditorium available. Prizes were given out to all finalists, to the best two college teams and the best newbie teams not to make it to stage. A prize for the audience-maha-connect was won by Abhishek Nagaraj.
* Theme-Attic by: Abhishek (Computers), Shamanth (Science)
* Questions will be posted on the egroup soon. Leave your email id in the comments if you are not on the BCQC/BQC groups
* As usual, if we have got any details wrong, let us know.
* Your feedback is the main thing that keeps us from going backwards or being too complacent, so let us know how the quiz went for you (use the comments box).

Sample Elim Questions
1. Andrei Shevchenko - 2005; _______ - 2006; Gennaro Del Vecchio - 2007
2. Who won The Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award in 1952 for writing about the organization he had founded "The Court of Last Resort"?
3. What are these some of the types of: up and down, circular swing (windmill), Drunk style, half-circle, figure eight, side to side, whiplash, Two up, Two down, all-out, tandem, hammer, full body?


Brijesh said...

Nice detailed review.
Good effort by the blogmaster.
I wish every review is this elaborate
so that we who are away feel like we are part of it.

Some questions in the finals were excellent .... I particularly enjoyed ZADOK THE PRIEST.

To more such reviews...Cheers!

Anand said...

Speaking for myself, I liked the elims and was quite pleased that we were able to work out quite a few-Hugo, RK Films and the fact that we narrowly missed stuff like Zidane( we said Materazzi )would have us believe that most q's bordered on the original and were hence more "difficult".( Ed-Wagging the dog, Eh !)

I did not/do not like participants scoring others' papers-it is simply not required and the QM must do that part himself-just an admin quibble but quibble nevertheless !

I thought that BVHK's best questions were unanswered in the Finals and that perhaps itself is a sure reflection of an aging/tired set of quizzers who are happy with familiar "neural networks" and syllabus-based factoids but flounder inexplicably in choppy waters. I am sure that he will agree that some of his best q's from a new-vista/orig. take p.o.v went abegging-circa Angel Falls, the boxing series, dugouts, Enviga,and of course Zadoc.
Lit. was subdued !!

I have always held that one man's axons is another's dendrites and hence have never really liked connections-imho, unless based on very clear factual/objective links ,are mere strands of one's imagination and so merit no place in any final especially when we enjoin the name of one with the provenance of another mixed with the tenuous allusion of a third happily cohabiting with the visual depiction of a fourth.

Good efforts to explore new territories and that was easily the most noteworthy feature.

Semi-finally on the basis of my take on difficulty of q's/topical width etc. Sumant was the best quizzer on show and may have deserved to win, albeit having the adavantage of a full set of directs which he could not capitalise on.That the number of attempts per team should vary so much on the basis of rather "sunny" questions is another post altogether !

Finally, I must confess my peeve of the season has become grizzled veterans taking time to down a beer ( metaphor !), stroll down the Champs-Elysees and return to pretend to "work it out" when they knew it all along. I believe this year some Forest guy playing a despot won it !

Ramanand said...

Brijesh: report size was because there was so much to report! Don't expect this each time :-)

Anand: can somebody translate your comment into plain english? :-)

BTW, I hope the comment on grizzled veterans wasn't for us. 1) don't think we pretended to work out when we knew it 2) i am not a grizzled veteran. Not sure about my partner ;-)

niranjan said...

Anand, it seriously is time for you to retire. I can fund the VRS. You have been cribbing a lot without a lot of reason and I too have a right to be disgusted. It is hardly heartening to see you making castor-oil faces at everything that is thrown at you, be it questions, quizmasters, quizzers or the audience.

Name the instance that you are talking about ("people knowing and pretending to work out") or I will personally perform craniotomy (ref: Hannibal) on you to get it out.

On a real serious note, can someone volunteer to maintain a collection of "all-time great questions", so that we will come to know what people want to have in quizzes. We will keep on adding/deleting questions based on the discussion on that question. Eventually, we would come close to knowing what we want as quizzers.

Harish Kumar said...

Anand, agree with you on the point of correcting the answer sheets by the QM. You guys were not given one Q right though you got it right but actually got one point for writing OrdInance Depots. For the uninitiated Ordinance is not the same as Ordnance.
I also wrongly awarded you points for the Bid q on Gandhi - the correct answer was Gandhi and Cinema and not Actors who played Gandhi. Mea culpa on that point.

Abhishek said...

wiki would be a good way to implement "best questions" list. And yes, my biggest crib about Anand is that he said Sumant(1). ;-) (hajaar apologies)

(1) Unless I'm deeply mistaken or a case of an entirely different corporeal entity.

Ganesh Hegde said...

I liked the quiz. Good questions.
After Niranjans quiz last year, probably the only quiz where we (Kunal.T and myself) had to try and work out more than 80% of the questions since we didnt know answers right away. And unlike Niranjans quiz, we qualified, so yes, good quiz again :)
Had missed Harish's SOQ two years ago, but W5H or whatever more than made up for it.