Friday, April 20, 2007

Chakravyuuh 2007 - Report

Date: 14 Apr, 2007
Venue: COEP

Open Quiz
Set by: Abhishek Nagaraj, Aditya Gadre, Gaurav Singh and others from COEP
Theme: General

Quiz Final Results
(48 seamless IR + 1 written connect qn + 6 direct speciality questions
1st: Kunal Sawardekar + Shamanth Rao (A) - 115* (won on better elims score)
2nd: Amit Varma + Sumant Srivathsan (D) - 115
3rd: A.P.Alagarsamy + Prasann Potdar (B) - 70
Jt 4th: J. Ramanand + B.V.Harish Kumar (F) - 55
Jt 4th: Samrat Sengupta + Salil Bijur (C) - 55
6th: Meghashyam Shirodkar + Aditya Udas (E) - 40

Quiz Elims Results
(cutoff: 19/30 qns)
Samrat + Salil - 22
Kunal + Shamanth, Meghashyam + Udas - 20
Amit + Sumant, Alagarsamy + Prasann, Ramanand + Harish - 19
Dhananjay Shettigar + Amit Pandeya were also on 19, but missed out on starred qns.

Solo Entertainment quiz: (set by Aditya Gadre and Kaustubh Bhat): won by Aditya Udas


* The open quiz saw good attendance (I guess ~30 teams).
* A good and interesting elims. One or two could have been better designed and some dropped, but overall, was good. Was a very tight qualifiers too.
* Quiz started with a single written connect made up of 12 visual elements showed one by one. This was followed by 24 qns of regular IR. Then a set of 30 qns on different topics, of which 6 were offered as directs to the teams. This was part of the chakravyuuh round.
* Was a little disappointed with the finals content. The coverage of the questions and the design of the chakravyuuh round left a bit to be desired, IMO (see tag cloud).
* Nevertheless, there were some good questions such as the aussie guidelines qns. Moments of "should have got that" abounded. * Good organisation and effort overall, though the sound-and-light limitations of the COEP auditorium vis a vis the PSPL audi is harder to adjust to these days.

Please leave comments on this post if you have any suggestions, criticisms, corrections to offer.

Tag cloud of themes:

biz cricket eng_films eng_music etymology football
gen geo hindi_films history ind_films
ind_music india lit misc misc_ent music scitech
sports tv

(note: some questions have been tagged with multiple tags; don't have a roll-up to more general categories such as Entertainment; one question is not included as I don't remember the answer;)


Sudarshan said...

To be very honest : I felt the content this time was not as good as in previous years'.
The good part was that many of the staple topics were avoided (to my knowledge). But the new things that came in were not 'big' or 'exciting' or 'meaty' enough to be good quiz topics. To take some examples, there were two questions on naming of movies in the elims (Prestige and Pursuit of Happiness) and one in the entertainment quiz. All three were fill in the blank type questions. Also the initials on the shirts of characters in some ad, and the name of the cartoon sardar... I mean, these are not even ads that are all that pathbreaking or popular.
There were good questions, no doubt - good in a really 'boat club' kind of way. But some pruning would have helped enormously. In my personal experience, anything above 20 questions are enough for an elims, and we shouldn't be adding silly questions just to make up some quota. This same elims with only 20 questions would have been a memorable one.
The same for the finals - 40 to 50 normal questions are enough, let's not add questions just to fill up any quota. Mavis Beacon and esp. Jeremy Brett come to mind.

Ramanand said...

Forgot to mention that unlike last year, the large paragraphs in questions with blanks (which invite Wikipedia-lift-suspicions) were avoided this time.
Agree with Sud: there were these same types of qns repeated too often.

amit varma said...

I enjoyed the quiz, and thought it was a fairly good mix. I didn't notice any chestnuts, which is great. Just two minor points:

1] The themes for the Chakravyuh round were uneven, with some questions actually about the theme, and other questions being arbit trivia. We shortlisted five themes to pick, and knew the answers for the four we didn't choose: the one we did pick was cricket wicketkeepers, which had a question not about cricket, but some arbit trivia about an arbit wicketkeeper with no cricket content, which nobody knew. That was disappointing: in such a round, you need to keep thh questions even in relation to the theme.

2] There really should have been a tiebreaker. To lead throughout and get caught in the end and lose on prelims score was disappointing. Even a three-question written tiebreak would have sufficed.

Niranjan said...

One of the most uncomfortable quizzes I have sat through on either side of the stage. Dark, hot and sometimes tiring. Liked a few questions, but felt uncomfortable almost all the time. Maybe COEP is not such a great quizzing place on the other side of the road.

Abhishek said...

Sud : I firmly believe that elims need to have their share of really easy, medium and a few tough questions. This if you remember is one of the issues we discussed when we talked about getting more people to enjoy/stay on for the finals. 20 IMHO is not enough to fulfill these criteria.

Dhananjay Shettigar said...

To be very honest, I was disappointed with the content. True, there were some good questions but on the whole the quiz seemed to veer around a few topics that are probably close to the QM's heart. There were too many questions on sitcoms / serials. (Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai?!) Also, the connects seemed to be forced fit. The Nirma one took the cake. That seemed to be some sorta homage to Derek O'Brien. Even, the Amitabh one at the start of the finals was quite bad. Me and Amit are still kicking ourselves for changing the Kyoto Protocol answer at the last moment because it did not 'gramatically fit'. DAMN!!!

Abhishek said...

Dhanajay: criticism accepted.(and i know how it must feel to not qualify, second time IIRC.) accept that "disappointed" is a good word to use. "did not live up to expectations" is even more accurate. I myself realized once I had a glance at the end result(the day before) that the quiz had become Ent heavy, and frankly we took a call that it was better to leave it that way rather than replace it with hastily made bad questions.

I still think there were lots of good questions, so it was probably more a problem of getting the balance right, rather than the questions themselves per se. Also unlike last year, I had quite a bit of help on the Qs this year from people in college, but the fact that they were bigger ent buffs seemed to skew it up even more.

Niranjan: comments are probably valid. But they're not really helpful. Please to pinpoint - and don't worry about chastising, we're all ready to listen and learn.

Niranjan said...

Thanks, Abhishek, for the carte blanche ;))

- Skewed content balance as nicely depicted by Ramanand in the tag cloud

- Relatively exaggerated emphasis on ephemeral stuff such as current TV serials and pop culture (To give a recent current affairs example, question about Sanjaya Malakar is ephemeral, but that about Cho Seung Hui may be relevant for years to come)

- Similarly, many such irritating questions (about 4-5) in the elims: Who cares about what Hutch cartoons are called? They are not Marlboro men yet! Hutch would change the campaign before you say 'incorrect!' If these were meant to please school-kids who do not do much productive work that sit in front of the TV most of the day, their pleasure would be more than nullified with a Mahashweta Devi 'thrown in' to please Anand and co ;))

- Hot audience seating, dark atmosphere

- QM standing in the way of audience despite repeated requests (and the QM did occupy a considerable area of the screen ;)

- In general, lack of consideration for the audience, apart from (or including) throwing sticky chocolates at them

- Amitabh connect was rather unintelligent and literal; Had it been something like movies of Amitabh where he was named Vijay, or some such common trait with a hint to that common trait, would give more to be excited about

- A few exciting questions with good framing, but I personally did not like the choice of topics for some

- Dull framing in certain questions; e.g. 'You will never walk alone': Would have been a better question if the situation in which it was sung was described (refer to Vande Mataram-Anandmath question from one of the Mensas)

- Rush-rush-rushing the participants; Time given not enough

- No consideration for colour-blind people in the presentation

Harish Kumar said...

I agree with Abhishek on no. of questions in the elims and including the freebies in the elims.As long as one ensures that the qual. doesn't get decided on a freebie q, it should be fine. For that you need to have 30+ qs at a minimum or you risk doing either an esoteric set which keeps the finalists happy or a Mid-day crossword kind of elims.

amit varma said...

If I may butt in again, one of the things I liked about this quiz was that there was a fair bit of entertainment in it. Poona quizzes often tend to be dreadfully boring, with very little audio-visual, music, films or lit. In that respect, I thought Abhishek's quiz was far better than most BCQC quizzes.

vibhendu said...

Niranjan:'You will never walk alone': Would have been a better question if the situation in which it was sung was described

Well, this is how the question appeared in the quiz Anand & I conducted at PSPL, just about a year ago:

In Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, the pregnant Julie Bigelow has just seen her husband Billy die in a failed robbery attempt. The townsfolk comfort Julie as the audience sees Billy proceed to heaven. The song is sung after the death of the main character to give courage to his pregnant widow, and is sung in a later scene to encourage a graduation class of which his daughter is a member.Which song ?
I know public memory is short but then at least six finalists from our quiz were on the stage this time around as well.

Ramanand said...

vibhendu: sheesh, I should try and remain awake more often during quizzes now! :-)

Abhishek said...

to be fair i mentioned that all the members of the cast joined the lead singer in singing this song, in a sort of consoling way (even though i did not give exact details like in this question.)

Sudarshan said...

Re the "20 questions in elims are not enough" topic : Which is better, having 20 good guestions (doesn't mean hard, just well thought out), or more questions with some that could be called 'arbit'? I don't ask this as a rhetorical question - would really like to know junta's opinions. Or point me to older discussion on the topic, if such exist.

Harish Kumar said...

I didn't mean 'arbit' questions to be included in the elims. I'm for adding 'easy' questions e.g. Xerox question in my Elims.

sumant said...

Better late than never, one could say, but my ~84 paise:

- The elim score tiebreaker was an ambush that we didn't really appreciate. It might help to announce such things in advance.

- I'm never one to really complain about an entertainment-heavy quiz, but even I was disturbed by the overwhelming contribution of American TV to this quiz. Thanks to Ramanand for the tag cloud. That said, it is virtually impossible to make a completely balanced quiz, for qualitative and logistical reasons.

- The auditorium was easily a detriment to the quality of the quiz. I know COEP would like to host their own event, but not at the expense of their guests. I should mention that not having access to refreshment on a summer afternoon is a bad, bad idea.

- I'm a big supporter of easy questions in the elims. We need people to come back to other quizzes, and the only way to do that is to help people feel good about quizzing. These questions won't affect the overall layout of the quiz, since most experienced quizzers would get them right anyway.

- There's no case to be made against topical or temporarily relevant questions. If they can be answered in the current event, they're good enough to merit a place. Whether they'll be valuable five years hence is a moot point that should not even feature in the evaluation.

- Pop culture and ubiquitous information like "H" and "i" on Hutch characters is really a gift to non-quizzers, but even the veterans shouldn't have trouble noticing them on practically ever street corner in every town in India.

- There were some instances of questions not being framed in quite the best way possible, but sometimes this happens, and as long as it is the exception rather than the rule, we can live with this.

- I think the quiz worked out well, and not just because we tied for tops in the finals. A more uniform topical distribution would definitely have been better, though.

Abhishek said...

sidenote : I find it imperative to mention that more than 250 people turned up to watch it (you might argue about their reasons) - but the fact is, lots and lots of people came up to me and appreciated the questions, the participants and definitely took away something about the BCQC and quzzing in general. This somehow failed mention before - but should be one of the things IMHO this Chakravyuuh should be remembered for.

BRIJESH said...

Hi...Heavy discussion! Can I have the questions pls, Abhishek?

Mail me at

Regards, Brijesh

niranjan said...


A sidey note on your sidenote:

You will hardly find people turning up at naming ceremonies for kids and expressing to the parents that they had problems with the name or the face of the child in question. They would say, "what a beautiful child, looks like its mom and perhaps also like its dad (even though it resembles half the people in the crowd), and what a very nice name (even though it is Abbhisheik)", since they have had their share of food.

But there is a great likelihood that the grandmom will comment on the name, and the aunt will comment on the colour, and the sister on the face. That's because they at least think that they care about the child and its fate in the world with the given name and the acquired face.